US - MIDEAST: Israel's prime minister has rejected U.S. criticism of Israeli
construction in disputed East Jerusalem as he prepares to meet
President Barack Obama at the White House.
Benajamin Netanyahu told a major pro-Israel group in Washington late
Monday that Jerusalem is Israel's capital, "not a settlement." In his
speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, he said Jews
were building in Jerusalem 3,000 years ago and are doing the same today.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also addressed the forum,
warning that new Israeli construction in East Jerusalem and the
occupied West Bank "endangers" U.S. efforts to launch indirect
CHINA - GOOGLE: China said Tuesday that Internet company Google's decision to stop
censoring its search results in the country would not affect relations
with the United States.
Google announced Monday that it will redirect its Chinese services
through a Hong Kong server to get around China's demand that it censor
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters that he did
not see Google's actions as influencing Sino-U.S. relations unless
other people want to "politicize" the issue.
Qin said China filters content that it considers harmful to national
security or social interest.
THAILAND - NOKOR: Thai authorities say police arrested 16 North Korean asylum seekers in northern Thailand Monday. Police said the group was detained in Nong Khai province after crossing the Mekong river from neighboring Laos. Officials said the group has been charged with illegal entry.
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US - MEXICO: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads a Cabinet-level
delegation to Mexico Tuesday for security talks that follow the recent
killings of three people associated with the U.S. consulate in Ciudad
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Homeland Security chief Janet
Napolitano and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral
Michael Mullen, are among the officials joining Clinton for the one-day
meeting in Mexico City.
The assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Arturo
Valenzuela, said Friday that the discussions will be held "with the
utmost respect to Mexican sensibilities and Mexican sovereignty."
US - PAKISTAN: The U.S. Defense Department says U.S. defense chiefs have held talks
with visiting Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on
deepening cooperation between their militaries.
General Kayani attended a meeting Monday at the Pentagon with U.S.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral
Mike Mullen and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy.
The Pentagon says the aim of the meeting was to build on efforts begun
last year to broaden the U.S.-Pakistani relationship.
US HEALTH CARE: U.S. President Barack Obama will sign a historic legislative measure
Tuesday intended to extend health insurance coverage to 32 million
Americans currently without it.
Mr. Obama will be joined by House and Senate leaders from his
Democratic Party at an elaborate signing ceremony at the White House.
The $940 billion measure will eventually provide subsidies for
Americans to purchase mandatory private health care insurance, and bans
insurance companies from such practices as denying coverage to people
with pre-existing medical conditions.
CHINA - STABBING: China's official media report that a former doctor with a history of mental problems stabbed eight children to death and wounded five at a primary school in eastern Fujian province Tuesday. The state-run Xinhua news agency said police arrested 41-year-old Zheng Minsheng in connection with the early morning attack. Xinhua said Zheng attacked the children at the entrance of the school as they arrived for classes. The agency said passersby and school security guards subdued the suspect until police arrived. Six of the children died at the scene while two others died later.<!-- IMAGE -->
GREECE - ECONOMY: The Greek central bank says the country's economy is in a "vicious circle" of rising budget deficits and external debt.
The Bank of Greece said in a new report Monday that the already
battered Greek economy will shrink by 2 percent this year, while
consumer prices will rise about 3 percent.
The bank said a drastic reduction of the deficit and external debt is the only way out of the circle.
Meanwhile, the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, which
serves parts of the southern U.S., said Monday that the Greek financial
crisis could directly affect the U.S. economy.
Listen to our World News for details.