Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping has told American leaders that China is ready for honest talks about human rights. Mr. Xi has also promised that China will cooperate on economic issues. Mr. Xi met President Obama and Vice President Biden at the White House Tuesday. He said China has made major improvements on human rights in the last thirty years. But, he said there is always opportunity for more improvements. Mr. Xi also told State Department officials that the United States and China should try to have more balance in trade and investments. And, he said the two countries should discuss their economic concerns instead of restricting international trade.
Officials in Thailand have said an Iranian man carrying a bomb wounded four people and destroyed his own legs Tuesday in Bangkok. Government officials said the first of three explosions took place at a house where the Iranian was staying. Soon afterward, he threw a bomb at a taxi that refused to stop for him and later he tried to throw a small bomb at police on a busy road near a school. The Thai national police chief said the bomb appeared to be designed to harm people and not places. The Bangkok explosions followed bomb attacks aimed at Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia. Israel accused Iran and the Islamist group Hezbollah of responsibility for the attacks. Officials say it is not clear if the three incidents are linked.
The commander of international forces in Afghanistan has condemned militants for using children as suicide bombers. General John Allen was reacting to a recent case in the Afghan city of Kandahar. Afghan national security forces arrested two boys there who were planning to become suicide bombers. Afghan President Hamid Karzai pardoned the same boys last August for the same crime. General Allen said that by organizing child suicide attacks the militants have lost the Afghan people's remaining support.
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Pakistan says it has temporarily let NATO send some kinds of food to its troops in neighboring Afghanistan. The decision comes less than three months after Pakistan closed its border to NATO supply trucks crossing into Afghanistan. Pakistan did so after a cross-border raid by coalition forces killed twenty-four Pakistani troops in November. The incident has hurt relations between NATO and Pakistan. Pakistani Defense Minister Ahmed Muktar said Tuesday that his government would let NATO use Pakistani air space to send perishable food into Afghanistan for a limited time. The minister also said he asked the coalition not to buy more supplies that can spoil such as food.
China says it is ready to get more deeply involved in the European debt crisis. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao made the statement in Beijing after meeting with European Union President Herman Van Rompuy. Mr. Wen said Chinese support is, in his words, "sincere and firm." He said China will match words with actions, but the Chinese leader gave no details. In Greece, the government of Prime Minister Lucas Papademos met Tuesday to identify another four hundred thirty million dollars in budget cuts. European leaders are demanding written guarantees from Greece that it will carry out the proposed cuts.
Nigeria's new police chief has said that police force members commit murders, jail innocent people and demand money from people. During a speech Monday in Abuja, the acting Inspector General of Police, Muhammad Abubakar said the police force had fallen to its lowest level. The new chief said police anti-robbery squads have become killing teams and innocent people are being held in prison because they cannot afford to pay illegal bail money. Mr. Abubakar also ordered the removal of roadblocks, which many Nigerians view as bribe collection points.
News reports from Somalia say that African Union troops have clashed with rebels related to al-Qaida. It is not clear how many people died in the fighting in Mogadishu on Tuesday. Military officials say the AU peacekeepers, as well as Somali government troops, launched an attack on al-Shabab bases. They said the attack was successful but al-Shabab news media reported that rebels said their forces defeated the peacekeepers.
South Sudan has accused Sudan of carrying out airstrikes on a disputed border town. The accusation comes two days after the countries agreed not to attack each other. Officials in South Sudan say warplanes dropped bombs on the town of Jau Sunday. South Sudan says Jau is inside its borders. Sudan says the town is in its territory. Disputes over borders and oil have raised tensions between Sudan and the newly independent South Sudan. Leaders on both sides have said the countries could go to war.
Syrian government forces have renewed their attack on the city of Homs. Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping has told American leaders that China is ready for honest talks about human rights. And, the commander of international forces in Afghanistan has condemned militants for using children as suicide bombers.
And, that's the news in VOA Special English, coming your way from Washington.