Top news: In its annual report to Congress on Monday, the Pentagon accused the Chinese military of mounting cyber attacks on the U.S government and various defense contractors, marking the first time that the Obama administration has explicitly blamed Chinese officials for the country's offensive cyber activities. The report, which called the cyber attacks a "serious concern," said that U.S. government computer systems "continued to be targeted for intrusions, some of which appear to be attributable directly to the Chinese government and military."
China's primary objective appears to be the theft of industrial technology, but according to the report, the information gathered by Chinese hackers could easily be used for "building a picture of U.S. network defense networks, logistics, and related military capabilities that could be exploited during a crisis." The diplomatic, economic, and defense industrial sectors that form the basis of U.S. defense programs are all being targeted, according to the report.
China rejected the accusations on Tuesday, saying that it "resolutely oppose[s] all forms of hacker attacks." "We're willing to carry out an even-tempered and constructive dialogue with the U.S. on the issue of Internet security. But we are firmly opposed to any groundless accusations and speculations, since they will only damage the cooperation efforts and atmosphere between the two sides to strengthen dialogue and cooperation,'' said a spokeswoman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Syria: The United Nations on Monday distanced itself from comments made by Carla Del Ponte, a member of the U.N. Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, alleging that rebel forces may have used chemical weapons in their fight against the Syrian government. The commission, according to a statement released Monday, "wishes to clarify that it has not reached conclusive findings as to the use of chemical weapons in Syria by any parties to the conflict."
- Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy on Tuesday reshuffled his cabinet, naming nine new ministers, including two additional members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
- A series of attacks in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, left at least 17 people dead on Monday.
- Turkish and Israeli officials held talks on Monday in Jerusalem over the deadly 2010 flotilla raid that drove a wedge between the two countries.
- North Korea took a pair of Musudan missiles off launch-ready status and moved them away from the country's east coast, according to U.S. officials.
- Clashes Monday between Islamists and police in Bangladesh left at least 20 people dead.
- A Taliban bomb killed at least 20 people Monday in Pakistan's Kurram tribal region.
- Ecuador withdrew its ambassador to Peru Monday, following a scuffle with two women in a supermarket checkout line last month.
- Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota said Monday that he has begun negotiations to bring some 6,000 Cuban doctors to Brazil.
- The trial of four former policemen accused of failing to prevent the 1996 murder of presidential campaign treasurer Paulo Cesar Farias began Monday in Brazil.
- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Moscow Tuesday for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
- Immigration to Germany increased by 13 percent in 2012 from a year earlier, according to statistics released Tuesday.
- Thousands of demonstrators turned out in Moscow on Monday to protest what they consider to be politically motivated prosecutions stemming from last year's riot in Bolotnaya Square.
- Authorities in Tanzania on Monday arrested four Saudi Arabians and four Tanzanians in connection with a Church bombing in Arusha that killed two people.
- British Prime Minister David Cameron is scheduled to hold a peace conference in London Tuesday with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
- Democratic Republic of Congo is the worst country in the world to raise a child, according to a new report.