Negotiations to settle the political crisis in Greece have ended. Greek President Karolos Papoulias said the talks had failed. Socialist PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos says Greece will have to hold new elections, possibly next month. Political leaders in Greece have tried unsuccessfully to form a coalition government. They have not been able to agree on the spending plans approved by European Union countries to resolve Europe's debt crisis. Greek voters rejected the plans' deep spending cuts, tax increases and reductions in government jobs.
The new President of France, Francois Hollande, has met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. Mr. Hollande was expected to ask that a debt resolution agreement of euro nations be renegotiated to assist growth instead of reduced spending. But, Chancellor Merkel has said the agreement is not negotiable. The new French president flew to Germany after his swearing in Tuesday. Lightning struck the presidential airplane shortly after it left an air base near Paris. No one was hurt and the plane safely returned to the base. As a result, Mr. Hollande was forced to take a second aircraft. Before leaving Paris, President Hollande named Jean-Marc Ayrault as France's prime minister.
The United States Justice Department is investigating the more than two billion dollar trading loss at the investment bank J.P. Morgan-Chase. News reports say the investigation began just days after the chairman of J.P. Morgan announced the loss from complex trading in the bank's London office. After the announcement, shareholders approved a twenty-three million dollar pay deal for Chairman Jamie Dimon. He has objected to new laws aimed at increasing government supervision of complex financial activities. On American television, President Obama spoke about the J.P. Morgan situation. He said it proves that strong rules are needed to keep financial companies from making the mistakes that led to the two thousand eight economic crisis. One J.P. Morgan official has resigned. Others are expected to resign.
In Colombia, a bomb attack has killed at least two people and wounded seventeen others. President Juan Manuel Santos says the bomb was an attempt to murder a former interior minister. The President said the target was Fernando Londono, who was among the wounded. Mr. Santos said the explosion killed Mr. Londono's driver and a policeman. The Colombian president condemned the attack and said his government will not be frightened by terrorism. No one has claimed responsibility. Mr. Londono was interior minister under former President Alvaro Uribe who led a military campaign against Colombian rebels.
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Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng says American and Chinese officials had been discussing plans for him to travel to the United States. The activist told VOA that an official from China's central government had visited him in the hospital to discuss details of the trip. An American official says the United States has completed processing his travel documents. The activist has been offered a chance to teach and study in New York. He also said his mother is now permitted to walk around her village without being followed. He criticized charges against his nephew and said he has found a lawyer to represent the nephew. Chen Guangcheng has been blind since childhood. He is being treated in a Beijing hospital for injuries suffered during his escape from house arrest in April. Six years ago, a Chinese court gave him a four-year prison sentence for publicizing abuses under China's forced abortion policy.
Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr is defending his country's military ties with the United States. Mr. Carr spoke Tuesday on his first official visit to China. He said that his talks with Chinese officials have been mostly about Australia's decision to accept up to two thousand five hundred American troops. The first American marines began arriving in April. The United States says the troop deployment is aimed at improving security in East Asia and the Pacific. Mr. Carr told reporters in Beijing that Australia's military relationship with the United States is not new. He also said he would like to see greater military cooperation between Australia and China.
Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she supports efforts by American Senator John McCain to suspend but not remove restrictions against her country. She says that would send a message of support for democratic reforms by the new Burmese government. Aung San Suu Kyi made her comments during a video discussion with the George W. Bush Presidential Institute in Washington.
Finally, award-winning Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes has died in Mexico City. He was eighty-three years old. Mr. Fuentes wrote mostly about modern Mexico and what he saw as its political failures. His first novel, The Air is Clear, was published when he was twenty-nine years old. Mexican President Felipe Calderon said he deeply regrets the death of what he calls the country's beloved and respected writer.
Syrian activists say government forces killed at least twenty people during a funeral in central Syria on Tuesday. Negotiations to settle the political crisis in Greece have ended and new elections are planned. And, the newly sworn in French president, Francois Hollande, has met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.
And, that's the news in VOA Special English coming to you from Washington.