UN Chief Visits Washington, Wildfires In Oklahoma

Apr 7, 2011

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is visiting Capitol Hill, telling U.S. lawmakers despite economic hard times, the world body depends on American financial support. Today on Morning Edition, NPR's Michele Kelemen talks with Ban about the UN's more aggressive role in conflicts in Ivory Coast and Libya.

Colombia's president, Juan Manuel Santos, visits President Obama at the White House. AFP says they'll approve a free trade pact. Trade Representative Ron Kirk says the deal meets Democratic lawmakers demand for increased protection of Colombian worker and union leaders rights.

There's word about Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. He disappeared last weekend when Chinese agents arrested him at Beijing's airport. Now the Los Angeles Times reports China accuses Ai of unspecified 'economic crimes'. Ai, a Chinese dissident, received acclaim for co-designing China's "Bird's Nest' stadium built for the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008.

AFP says Mexican security forces discovered 59 bodies piled into mass graves in Tamaulipas state, near the border with Texas. Local authorities investigated after several buses disappeared late last month. Last August, the bodies of 72 migrants were found in the same town; they'd refused to work for drug traffickers.

Fire alerts are posted for parts of Oklahoma as AP reports blazes damaged homes in Oklahoma City. As Eyder wrote yesterday, the region is suffering the worst drought since the Dust Bowl. The National Incident Information system says despite the Oklahoma outbreak, the Crystal fire north of Denver, Colorado remains the most threatening. It's nearly 50% contained. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.