The top U.S. negotiator for talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program says those discussions could resume soon.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said today (Monday) the negotiations likely will start shortly after China consults with the other parties in the six-nation talks.
He made the remark in Beijing, following discussions with his Chinese counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Wu Dawei.
Hill said there is reason to be optimistic about prospects for the talks. New hope for the negotiations came last week when Hill and his North Korean counterpart met in Berlin and agreed to resume negotiations.
China – Vatican: China's state-backed Catholic Church is welcoming a new proposal from the Vatican to try to repair strained relations with Beijing.
Liu Bainian, the vice chairman of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, said today (Monday) he hoped the Vatican's invitation to open a dialogue with Beijing could help improve ties.
The diplomatic gesture came Saturday, following high-level debate on the Vatican's relationship with China.
Liu said the Vatican had mentioned the growth of the Chinese Catholic community, which he says is proof the Vatican recognizes China's respect for religious freedom.
China – Cars: China says Beijing's already snarled traffic situation is likely to get worse in the run up to the 2008 Olympics.
The official Xinhua news agency said today (Monday) that Beijing registered more than 22 thousand new vehicles in the first 18 days of this year.
Xinhua said the capital city already has more than two million registered vehicles and more than four million people have a driver's license. The paper said officials predict the number of cars is expected to reach over three million by the 2008 Olympic Games.
Cars contribute to choking air pollution in major Chinese cities.
India Unrest: Security forces have been deployed in India's technology hub of Bangalore after rioting left a 12-year-old boy dead and at lest 24 people injured.
Police said today (Monday) that protests Friday by thousands of Muslims against last month's execution of Saddam Hussein sparked a chain of violence between minority Muslims and nationalist Hindus.
Authorities say the boy was killed Sunday night when police opened fire on a group of rioters looting Muslim stores and throwing rocks at cars.
Officials say Sunday's riot is a reaction to Friday's violence, when Muslims ransacked Hindu shops and burned cars to protest the hanging of Saddam.
Authorities temporarily imposed a curfew, but lifted it when conditions normalized.
Iraq: Iraqi officials say a double car bombing in a central Baghdad market has killed at least 70 people and wounded more than 130.
The bombs went off almost simultaneously just after noon today (Monday) at a second-hand market for clothes and electronic goods in the Bab al-Sharqi area.
It is the deadliest sectarian attack in Baghdad since about 70 people were killed in a university bombing on January 16th.
More than three-thousand American troops (from the 82nd Airborne Division) have arrived in Baghdad in recent days as part of a military buildup to help Iraqi security forces curb sectarian violence.
The U.S. reinforcements are the first to be sent to Baghdad as part of President Bush's controversial new strategy to stabilize the city.
In an interview with the newspaper, "USA Today," Mr. Bush says he will not set a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq, because doing so would enable insurgents to adjust their tactics.
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