Top news: During her second day of talks in Beijing on Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised two of the touchiest topics in U.S.-Chinese relations: the Syrian crisis and territorial disputes in the South China Sea. But public remarks by Clinton and Chinese officials suggest the two sides did not make much progress in reaching consensus on the issues.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, for example, told a press conference that "history will judge that China's position on the Syria question is a promotion of the appropriate handling of the situation," eliciting a sharp response from Clinton. "It is no secret that we have been disappointed by Russia and China's actions blocking tougher U.N. Security Council resolutions," she noted.
Chinese officials also issued warnings about Washington's renewed focus on the Asia-Pacific region and efforts to resolve maritime disputes between China and its neighbors. Yang declared that China "has sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and the adjacent waters," while Premier Wen Jiaobao added that the "U.S. should respect China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity." Clinton's meeting with Vice President Xi Jinping, who is expected to become China's next leader, was canceled.
Quebec elections: Pauline Marois and her separatist Parti Quebecois emerged victorious in elections in the Canadian province of Quebec on Tuesday, though the party did not secure enough seats for a majority in the provincial assembly. A deadly shooting later disrupted Marois's victory speech.
- Mauritania extradited former Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi to Libya.
- Iran has reportedly resumed sending military supplies to Syria over Iraqi airspace.
- Egyptian authorities charged the former culture minister under President Hosni Mubarak with corruption.
- A suicide bomber killed at least 25 mourners at a funeral in eastern Afghanistan.
- The Japanese government has reportedly agreed to purchase disputed islands in the East China Sea from a private owner.
- North Korea's state-run news agency reported that the country's parliament will hold a second session later this month.
- The European Union launched an inquiry into whether the Russian company Gazprom has restricted competition in Central and Eastern European natural gas markets.
- German officials will mark the 40th anniversary of the Munich Olympics massacre along with Israeli survivors of the attack.
- Militants killed four Russian soldiers in the North Caucasus province of Ingushetia.
- Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced a deal to hold peace talks with FARC rebels.
- The Mexican navy captured Mario Cardenas Guillen, a leader of the Gulf drug cartel.
- Colombian police are searching for the gunmen who killed drug trafficker Griselda Blanco.
- A Kenyan military offensive against the al-Shabab stronghold of Kismayo has forced hundreds of Somali residents to flee the town.
- Roughly 2,000 workers at South African mines in Marikana held a demonstration after deadly unrest in the area last month.
- Pirates hijacked a Singapore-owned oil tanker off the Nigerian coast.
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