A visit by US Secretary of State Colin Powell to Bishkek due on Saturday has been cancelled because of bad weather in Kirghizia. The US ambassador to Kirghizia told the press that the US Secretary of State had already arrived in Tashkent airport to leave for Bishkek but had to cancel the visit due to flight security reasons. It has been reported that the US Secretary of State called Kirghiz President Askar Akayev from Tashkent to express his disappointment at the cancelled visit. Colin Powell regretted being unable to visit Kirghizia in the course of his present tour of Central Asia later on as his schedule was very tight. Thus, in the next three days he is due to visit Astana, Moscow, Berlin, Paris and London. The US Secretary of State had planned to spend four hours in Bishkek. Colin Powell has left Tashkent for Astana.
Forest fires in Siberia have been raging for three months already. They have become a disaster not only of Russian, but of global scale. The fires have already scorched 12 million hectares of land