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UN to discuss Korea situation

Sunday, December 19, 2010

UN to discuss Korea situation


Military maneuvers planned by South Korean troops did not take place Saturday because of bad weather on a border island shelled by North Korea last month, as the U.N. Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting at Russia’s request amid concerns over rising tensions on the divided peninsula.

The North warned Friday that it would strike even harder than before if the South went ahead with planned one-day firing drills. Four people died last month in the North’s attack on Yeonpyeong Island near the tense sea border.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled emergency closed-door consultations on North Korea today at Russia’s request, said Mark Kornblau, spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. The United States holds the council’s rotating presidency this month.

Obama pushes nuclear-arms treaty


Pushing hard for a victory on a top national-security imperative, President Barack Obama sought to assure Republican lawmakers Saturday that a new arms-control treaty with Russia would not hamper U.S. missile defense.

In a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Obama said that as long as he is president, the U.S., “will continue to develop and deploy effective missile defenses to protect the United States, our deployed forces, and our allies and partners.”

Obama’s message was aimed at some GOP critics of the New START treaty who have argued that the pact with Russia would limit U.S. efforts to deploy missile-defense programs.

NATO: 20 insurgents killed in fighting

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan

NATO said its troops killed more than 20 insurgents Saturday in fighting that broke out after a patrol came under fire in eastern Afghanistan.

In the southern city of Kandahar, a suicide bomber targeting a district chief killed two passers-by including a child and wounded at least nine people, authorities said.

The gunbattle between NATO forces and insurgents took place in the Tagab district of Kapisa province, where coalition forces called in air support after their patrol came under fire, NATO said. It claimed Taliban commanders were among the more than 20 insurgents killed.

About 3,850 French troops are deployed in Afghanistan, and a French soldier was killed Friday after a reconnaissance mission came under fire in the neighboring district of Alasay in Kapisa, bringing the total number of French soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2001 to 51.

Bank of America drops WikiLeaks

Bank of America Corp. has joined several other financial institutions in refusing to handle payments for WikiLeaks, the latest blow to the secret-releasing organization’s efforts to continue operating under pressure from governments and the corporate world.

The Charlotte-based bank’s move adds to similar actions by Mastercard Inc. and PayPal Inc. Though previous moves have prompted reprisals by hackers, Bank of America’s site is as well-protected as they come, security experts say.

Ohio Turnpike mulls 5-mph increase


The Ohio Turnpike Commission is set to vote Monday on whether to increase the toll road’s speed limit from 65 mph to 70 mph for all vehicles.

Edward Kidston, the turnpike commission member who put the proposed increase on the board’s agenda, told The (Toledo) Blade that the 5-mph increase may lure more drivers to the turnpike from secondary roads.

The increase would take effect April 1 if it’s approved.

Associated Press