United Nations to Probe Myanmar Abuses

A United Nations envoy is in the former Burma today to investigate alleged abuses in September's crackdown on democracy protests.

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RACHEL MARTIN, host:

Hey. Good morning, everyone.

Police in Cambodia have arrested a former leader of the Khmer Rouge and his wife for their role in the 1970s Cambodian genocide. The ex-foreign minister of the Khmer Rouge regime and his wife were detained at their home and charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The communist regime that Khmer Rouge held power in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. The regime is widely blamed for the deaths of some 1.7 million people from starvation, disease, overwork and execution.

None of the group's leader have yet faced trial. A tribunal for the Cambodian genocide was finally created last year after seven years of contentious negotiations between the United Nations and Cambodia. Critics have warned that aging suspects could die before ever seeing a courtroom.

And a U.N. human rights envoy is in Myanmar today to investigate alleged abuses there during September's violent crackdown on democracy protests in September. Paulo Sergio Pinheiro has been a vocal opponent of the military regime in Myanmar, also known as Burma. He's given a list of prisons and detention centers he wants to visit during his five-day trip.

The anti-government protests were the largest in that country in 20 years. Myanmar media say 10 people were killed when soldiers were sent in to end the protest, although human right's group say the real total is much higher.

In news closer to home, Federal investigators have opened a criminal investigation into the oil spill in San Francisco last week that leaked some 58,000 gallons of fuel oil into the San Francisco Bay.

Last week, a container ship from Asia rammed into a support beam of the Bay Bridge ripping a gash into its fuel tank. Initial reports by Coast Guard officials say the disaster could have been caused by human error. Officials will continue interviewing crew members today.

Meanwhile, Senator Dianne Feinstein has slammed the clean-up process. Feinstein said help from cities around the Bay should have been brought in quicker. And now, it's time to get to work.

Senator DIANNE FEINSTEIN (Democrat, California): The action should be concentrated on getting this stuff off the beaches, off the rocks, preventing it from infiltrating into the soil and into the water as much as possible.

MARTIN: Feinstein plans to meet with National Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff today to discuss possible improvements in disaster response for the San Francisco Bay area.

Finally today, were you one of the many, many people who went to see what all the buzz was about at the box offices this weekend? Jerry Seinfeld's animation flick "Bee Movie" topped the box office numbers over the weekend pooling in $26 million. "American Gangster," which beat the "Bee" last weekend, was a strong second, this time with $24.3 million in ticket sales. The Warner Brothers family comedy, "Fred Clause," with Vince Vaughn debuted at number three.

That's the news and it's always online at npr.org.

BILL WOLFF (Announcer): This is NPR.

MARTIN: Luke and Alison.

BURBANK: Two people this weekend told me that I reminded them of Vince Vaughn. People used to say Johnny Knoxville, but as I get fatter, it's now…

MARTIN: Is that because you were in Vegas (unintelligible) out there?

STEWART: I think because you're in Vegas may be gambling(ph)?

(Soundbite of laughter)

BURBANK: I was probably part of that. I was wearing a suit, (unintelligible) very Vince Vaughny(ph).

STEWART: That could be it.

BURBANK: But I think it's also because of the Dunkin-Donut stop I make every morning at the 3rd Avenue can't be helping.

STEWART: Rachel, thanks for the news.

MARTIN: You bet.

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