US - CHINA - TIBET: China has warned U.S. President Barack Obama not to meet with Tibet's
spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, saying such a meeting would harm
Zhu Weiqun, the head of the department in charge of talks with the
Dalai Lama, told a news conference Tuesday that if Mr. Obama meets with
the Dalai Lama, it would threaten trust and cooperation between China
and the United States.
The warning follows a meeting between China and envoys of the Dalai
Lama last week. The meeting ended with no compromise from Beijing on
US - CHINA - TAIWAN: The U.S. State Department has expressed regret that China has cut off
bilateral military contacts over the sale of U.S. arms to Taiwan.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Monday that despite
China's displeasure over the arms sale, dialogue on other bilateral
issues should continue. He said the sale is no different from past U.S.
arms sales to Taiwan.
The $6.4 billion sale, announced Friday, prompted Beijing to threaten
sanctions against U.S. companies that sell Taiwan weaponry.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Monday that sanctions would not
US BUDGET: U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday unveiled a federal government budget that puts spending at $3.8 trillion and will push the deficit to a record $1.6 trillion this year. The budget includes $100 billion in spending on a new jobs program aimed at tackling the country's double-digit unemployment. It also includes increases in spending for the military and education. But Mr. Obama also vowed to work to slash the deficit in half while in office through a combination of tax increases on wealthy Americans and cuts in domestic spending.
US - PAKISTAN: Five American terrorism suspects detained in Pakistan have declared
their innocence and say they have been tortured by U.S. investigators
and Pakistani police in jail.
As the five suspects arrived in a police van for court Tuesday in the
eastern city of Sargodha, one of the suspects tossed a scrap of paper
The suspects wrote on the paper that U.S. FBI and Pakistani police have
tortured them, and that they are being framed. The paper also said the
police are keeping the suspects away from their families and the media.
SRI LANKA: An international human rights group is calling on the Sri Lankan
government to end what it calls a crackdown on journalists, political
opponents and human rights activists following the country's
Amnesty International says opposition supporters and journalists have
been arrested in Sri Lanka since the election last week. The group says
several newspaper editors have also received death threats.
Madhu Malhotra, the group's Asia-Pacific Deputy Director, said the end
of the country's civil war against the Tamil Tiger rebels and the
historic election should have ended political repression in Sri Lanka.
US - IRAN: Iran has dismissed a U.S. expansion of missile defense systems in four
Persian Gulf nations to counter what the U.S. sees as a growing threat
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast rejected the U.S.
missile expansion plan Tuesday at a news conference, saying the plan is
U.S. officials said Sunday the military has been quietly increasing the
deployment of land-based Patriot missile defense systems in Gulf
nations for months. Officials say those nations include Bahrain,
Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
CHINA - MILK: China has launched a 10-day nationwide check for toxic milk products
that have found their way back into the market after a 2008 scandal
that sickened hundreds of thousands of children.
The official China Daily newspaper quoted Health Minister
Chen Zhu as saying that some unscrupulous food companies processed and
resold melamine-laced milk powder that was recalled but not destroyed
by dairy companies.
Melamine can cause kidney stones and is used for making plastics,
fertilizers and concrete. Its high nitrogen content allows protein
levels to appear higher when it is added to milk or animal feed.
MALAYSIA - BURMA: Malaysia says it plans to issue identification cards to refugees who
are recognized by the United Nations, allowing them to stay in the
country temporarily and avoid arrest as illegal immigrants.
The refugees, mostly from Burma, have often spent months in overcrowded detention centers and faced caning and deportation.
Malaysian Home Secretary General Mahmood Adam said Monday that the
government would work with the UN refugee agency to issued the cards.
He said the refugees could stay in the country temporarily, but cannot
work there except for performing odd jobs.
FRANCE - US - PLANE CRASH: The trial of U.S. airline Continental and five individuals charged with the crash of an Air France Concorde that killed 113 people in 2000 is set to begin Tuesday in France. The defendants include two employees of the U.S. carrier, two employees of Aerospatiale, the company that made the supersonic Concorde, and a French aviation official. All are charged with manslaughter. The trial is expected to last four months. The Concorde crashed in flames shortly after takeoff from Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport on July 25, 2000, killing all 109 people on board and four on the ground.
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