China’s Gu Kailai, wife of recently ousted Chongqing Party Chief Bo Xilai, had her day in the Heifei Intermediate People’s Court in the murder case of Neil Heywood. Following an ultra-brief trial, Gu will receive the verdict and sentencing in her case at a later date.
President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea visited the Dokdo/Takeshima islets that are also claimed by Japan. The move is certain to stoke tension in yet another East Asian territorial dispute, and Japan has reportedly temporarily withdrawn its Ambassador to Seoul.
In Vietnam, the United States began efforts to clean up the chemical dioxins of Agent Orange left over from the Vietnam War around the city of Danang. According to the New York Times, the program will cost $43 million over four years.
The government of the Philippines stated that the death toll has reached 60 due to a deluge of flooding this week, primarily around Manila, with nearly 2.5 million people affected . The announcement comes as millions in the Asia-Pacific are dealing with extensive flooding due to heavy rain in China, the Korean Peninsula, and parts of Southeast Asia.
Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum, emphasized that the possible visit by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the PIF would be a key development in the region. The long rumored appearance would take place during the annual Pacific leaders summit in late August.