Bush pledges more help for Latin America
President George W Bush on Monday pledged more social aid for Latin America and said the White House will hold a conference to discuss better ways to help the region.
Bush, who starts a week-long Latin American tour on Thursday, said the conference will take place "in the coming months" and will include members of the private sector, non-governmental organizations, religious groups and volunteer associations.
The conference will seek to find more effective ways to deliver aid and build the institutions needed for a strong civic society, he said.
Bush, whose administration has been criticized by opposition Democrats for not paying enough attention to Latin America during his six years in office, starts his trip in Brazil Thursday.
He will also visit Uruguay, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico.
Speaking before the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Bush vowed to boost aid to Latin America in education, housing and health, saying "helping our neighbors build a better and productive life" was a US priority.
The region has "made great strides toward freedom and prosperity," he said, "but despite the advances tens of millions in our hemisphere remain stuck in poverty."
"Amid the progress we also see terrible want," he said.
"Nearly one of four people in Latin America lives on less than two dollars a day. Many children never finish grade school, many mothers never see a doctor. In an age of growing prosperity and abundance, it's a scandal and it's a challenge," he said.
Bush said the US initiatives include an additional 75 million dollars for Latin Americans to learn English in their countries or in the United States, 385 million dollars for housing, and unstipulated amount for medical assistance through military teams.
A Chinese research vessel - widely tagged as a spy ship - reached Sri Lanka's Hambantota Port on Tuesday morning, reports said, amid concerns in India. Yuan Wang-5 is used by China's People's Liberation Army to track satellites and ballistic missiles. The ship is said to have some 2,000 sailors aboard. It's considered to be strategically important because of its location. External affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi gave a sharp response over Beijing's comment.
Details and reactions are unraveling everyday after the attack on author Salman Rushdie last week in New York, United States, left the world in shock and horror. Rusdhie, 75, suffered grave stab wounds after he was attacked at a literary event in New York on Friday. Indian-American Padma Lakshmi, TV host and model, Padma Lakshmi, was married to Rushdie between 2004 and 2007. Laksmi is also the host of popular show 'Top Chef'.
Iran's foreign ministry said on Monday that no one had the right to level accusations against Tehran over Friday's attack on Salman Rushdie, and only he and his supporters were worthy of reproach and condemnation for denigrating the world's Muslims. In Iran's first official reaction to Friday's attack, ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said freedom of speech did not justify Rushdie's insults against religion. Writers and politicians around the world have condemned the attack.
An area of intensely warm weather -- a so-called "extreme heat belt" -- with at least one day per year in which the heat index hits 125 Fahrenheit (52C), is expected to cover a US region home to more than 100 million people by the year 2053, according to a new study.
Ukraine called for new sanctions on Russia and warned about the consequences of catastrophe at Europe's biggest nuclear plant, where fresh shelling nearby has renewed a blame game between both sides. Ukrainian and Russian-installed officials have traded accusations over who is responsible for attacks close to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southern Ukraine. In Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's late Monday-night address, Zelenskiy sought a tougher world response on the Kremlin. Reuters could not immediately verify battlefield reports.