United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the situation in Syria is very bad and getting worse. Mr. Ban told the U.N. General Assembly in New York that U.N. efforts to help Syrian refugees are not well financed. He said only half the money needed has been given so far. He praised nearby governments for being generous in opening their borders to refugee camps. He said those governments urgently need more support. Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey have all welcomed Syrians fleeing violence in their country.
American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Beijing on her third stop in the Asia Pacific area. The visit is aimed partly at urging China and its neighbors to agree on a method for settling territorial disputes in the South China Sea. China claims nearly all of the area. It has refused to agree to a process for negotiating disputes over the oil-rich area. Chinese officials want to deal individually with the opposing nations. Other nations with claims to the sea include Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei. Secretary Clinton met Tuesday with China's Foreign Minister Yan Jiechi. She said the United States is committed to building a co-operative partnership with China.
Afghan officials say a suicide bombing has killed at least twenty people. The attack took place Tuesday at a funeral in the Dor Baba area in eastern Nangarhar province. A spokesman for the province says at least twenty-five people died in the explosion. It was one of the deadliest attacks on civilians in recent weeks. Officials say the target of the attack probably was a district governor who was among the fifty people injured. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Taliban militants have attacked government officials at public events in the past.
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French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti have called for urgent efforts to restore economic growth and create jobs in Europe. After meeting in Rome Tuesday, Mr. Hollande told reporters that economic growth will allow euro-zone countries to honor their budget commitments. He expressed confidence that even Greece can recover. Mr. Monti has urged the European Union and financial markets to recognize efforts by members to begin financial reforms.
Indian police have raided homes and offices across the country as part of an investigation into suspected corruption by the country's ruling coalition. The Central Bureau of Investigation says law enforcement officials organized the raids to learn if there was cheating and criminal plotting in the award of coal fields to private companies. A CBI spokeswoman told the French news agency that police held raids in ten cities. She said police searched coal company offices in New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. The opposition Bharatiya Janata party insisted that all coal awards be canceled immediately. India's government has denied the accusations of corruption.
Spanish police have removed more than eighty migrants from a very small Mediterranean island. They had tried to enter Spain illegally. The migrants landed last week on Isla de Tierra near Morocco. Spanish officials say police removed most of the migrants early Tuesday and handed them over to Moroccan officials. Some women and children were taken to a Spanish hospital for medical treatment. Rights group say the migrants should have been given lawyers and allowed to request asylum in Spain.
A Kenyan warship has fired shells at the small Somali town of Kismayo, the headquarters of the Somali militant group al-Shabaab. The warship fired ten rounds of shells at the coastal town on Monday. The shelling apparently took place after an al-Shabaab gunboat seemed to threaten the warship. No one was injured. [A] Kenyan army spokesman confirmed the identity of the ship to the Somali service of VOA. He believes of the force supporting the Kenyan government, that only Kenya has a warship in the area.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has announced a deal with the country's main leftist rebel group to begin talks. The talks are aimed at ending nearly fifty years of war. Mr. Santos announced the deal Tuesday to a national television audience. He asked the Colombian people for patience and strength. He called the agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, better known as FARC, a roadmap to peace. The President said the talks to end the hemisphere's longest-running conflict will begin next month in Norway with the meeting taking place later in Havana.
President Obama's wife, Michelle, is set to speak to delegates as the Democratic party opens its convention Tuesday. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the situation in Syria is very serious and getting worse. And, America's top diplomat has arrived in Beijing on a visit aimed in part at urging China and its neighbors to agree to a method for settling territorial disputes.
That's the news in VOA Special English from Washington.