American treasury chief Timothy Geithner is in Beijing for talks meant to persuade Chinese officials to support American restrictions against Iran's oil industry. Mr. Geithner is seeking cooperation with legislation recently enacted in the United States. The measure calls for limitations on financial organizations that deal with Iran's central bank. The bank manages the money Iran earnsあ from its oil exports. The measure is aimed at pressuring Iran to end its nuclear weapons program. China is Iran's top oil buyer. The Chinese government has repeatedly opposed American restrictions on Iran. China has sought to separate its trade relations with Iran from nuclear issues.
The United States has criticized a speech by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In his speech Tuesday, Mr. Assad blamed foreign interference for ten months of anti-government protests. A spokeswoman for the American State Department said Mr. Assad used his speech to try to take the attention of his people away from his promise to end violence against dissenters. Victoria Nuland said Mr. Assad blamed a foreign plot so big that it included the Arab League, most of the Syrian opposition and the whole international community. The United Nations says political violence has led to at least five thousand deaths during that time. Mr. Assad denied ordering security forces to shoot civilians.
Most voters in New Hampshire arrived at voting stations early Tuesday. The Northeastern state is holding an election to choose a Republican presidential candidate. Many political experts expect former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney to win. They also expect a strong second or third place finish to help keep some other candidates in the race. Candidate Newt Gingrich said voters will have to twice about giving their support to Mr. Romney if he continues to misstate his opinions. Mr. Gingrich was talking about a comment Mr. Romney made during a speech in which he said “I like to dismiss workers.” John Huntsman, the former ambassador to China said he is different from other candidates because, in his words, “Governor Romney enjoys firing people. I enjoy creating jobs.”
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Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has confirmed she will seek a seat in Parliament in elections planned for April. A spokesperson for Aung San Suu Kyi's political party said Tuesday that she will run for a seat in an area near her hometown of Rangoon. Last week, the government gave permission for her party to take part in the April first elections. It will be the first time that the National League for Democracy has been permitted to compete since it won a big victory in nineteen ninety. That year, the military blocked Aung San Suu Kyi and her party from taking power.
The Rwandan government says French investigators have found that assistants of President Paul Kagame were not involved in the killing of the president that he replaced. A government statement says the French found that the missile that brought down the airplane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana came from a military center. The statement says the military center was controlled by ethnic Hutu extremists and not by followers of Mr. Kagame. There was no confirmation from French judges or other officials. The killing of Mr. Habyarimana in April, nineteen ninety-four is considered the event that led to the Rwandan genocide.
Nigerian police stood guard Tuesday as tens of thousands of people protested increased fuel costs for a second day. The demonstrations interfered with business in major cities, including the business capital, Lagos. Thousands of people also demonstrated in Abuja. The crowds were so large that police brought in additional officers to help keep order. The strike is aimed at forcing the government to restart its support for the fuel industry. The popular system of support payments for fuel was canceled on January first. The move caused fuel prices to double in a single day.
In Hong Kong, some people are concerned that thousands of women from mainland China are secretly entering the territory to give birth there. Health secretary York Chow says the number of such births has grown from a few hundred in two thousand five to about forty thousand in twenty ten. About half the babies born in Hong Kong last year were born to mothers from across the border. Hong Kong University law professor Benny Tai says people worry that this birth rate of mainland Chinese will change the culture of Hong Kong society. Hong Kong immigration officials refused entry to more than three thousand pregnant women last year. Some women walk across the border and others pay for illegal transport into the territory.
President Obama is planning to create a committee that will watch for trade and business violations in China. The United States has criticized a speech by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that blamed the rebellion in his country on foreign interference. And, Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she will run for Parliament in April.
That's the news in VOA Special English coming to you from Washington.