US - MIDEAST: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is returning home from talks
in Washington without having resolved a dispute with the United States
about Israeli construction plans in East Jerusalem.
Mr. Netanyahu is expected to arrive in Tel Aviv later Thursday and
convene his seven-member Inner Cabinet to brief ministers on his talks
with President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials.
Before leaving the United States, Mr. Netanyahu said he made progress
in working with the White House to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace
process while maintaining Israel's national interests.
PAKISTAN - US: Top U.S. and Pakistani officials are meeting Thursday for the second
day of the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue in Washington, after making
progress Wednesday on developing a more sustainable partnership.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Pakistani Foreign Minister
Shah Mehmood Qureshi will continue to discuss a Pakistani list of
proposals -- including requests for more military equipment such as
drone aircraft, aid for improving the country's energy industry, and
economic stimulus efforts.
Qureshi told reporters Wednesday that the first day of talks yielded a
U.S. agreement to "fast track" delivery of key military supplies to
CHINA - INTERNET: A major U.S Internet company announced Wednesday that it will stop some
business activities in China because the Beijing government has begun
demanding personal information about its Chinese customers.
The move by the Go Daddy Group, which manages Internet domain names,
follows Google's decision this week to stop censoring Web searches in
China by moving its server to Hong Kong.
Go Daddy vice president Christine Jones on Wednesday told a U.S.
Congressional hearing on Beijing's Internet control that it will stop
registering new names in China because it does not want to be an agent
of the Chinese government.
CHINA - DIABETES: A new study says China now has the world's largest population of diabetics. A report published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine says more than 92 million men and women have been diagnosed with the disease, an average of one out of 10 adults in China. That number puts China ahead of India for the number of people with diabetes. The report says another 148 million Chinese citizens are pre-diabetic. The report says China's booming economy has led to major dietary changes, as people indulge in high calorie diets and get less exercise, leading to a rise in obesity.<!-- IMAGE -->
CHINA - US - ENERGY: A new study says China has surpassed the United States as the top investor in clean, alternative energy projects. The U.S.-based Pew Charitable Trust says China spent $34.6 billion dollars in 2009 on such projects as wind and solar power, while the U.S. spent $18.6 billion during the year. Phyllis Cuttino, the director of the Trust's Global Warming Campaign, cites the lack of strong national policies as the reason for the U.S. decline. Legislation tackling global warming is currently stalled in the U.S. Senate.<!-- IMAGE -->
EUROPE ECONOMY: European Union ministers failed to agree on how to help the struggling
Greek economy as the value of the euro plunged to a 10 month low
against the dollar Wednesday.
Greece, one of 16 nations using the euro as its currency, is facing a huge budget deficit and is deep in debt.
EU leaders open a two-day summit in Brussels Thursday, split on what steps should be taken to help Greece.
Germany opposes an EU-funded bailout, saying taxpayers should not be burdened.
Other EU members, including France, are reluctant to ask Greece to turn
to the International Monetary Fund.
US - CUBA - OBAMA: U.S. President Barack Obama has criticized Cuba over its human rights
situation, calling recent events on the communist-led island "deeply
President Obama Wednesday said the events underscore that instead of
embracing an opportunity to enter a new era, Cuban authorities continue
to respond to the aspirations of the Cuban people with a clenched fist.
In a statement, the president cited the recent death of dissident
hunger striker Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who died after an 85-day fast his
supporters say was staged to protest prison conditions.
OBAMA - HAITI: U.S. President Barack Obama has asked Congress for $2.8 billion in
emergency funds for reconstruction efforts in Haiti following its
devastating earthquake in January.
In a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Wednesday, Mr. Obama said the request responds to urgent and essential needs.
It comes a week before an international donors conference next week
where Haitian officials plan to ask for $11.5 billion in reconstruction
The January 12th earthquake killed an estimated 220,000 people and damaged much of the capital Port-au-Prince.
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