Britain and China signed trade deals on Tuesday worth more than £14 billion ($28 billion, 17 billion euros), during a visit to London by Premier Li Keqiang aimed at resetting economic and diplomatic ties. Links between Britain and China were strained after British Prime Minister David Cameron met exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in 2012. But Li and Cameron said they were now focused on strengthening British and Chinese economic ties after concluding deals and holding talks at Cameron's Downing Street office. The largest deal was a £12 billion agreement between British energy giant BP and Chinese state-owned peer CNOOC to supply China with 1.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year over 20 years from 2019.
Relatives of victims of mass shootings in the United States urged fellow citizens Tuesday to fire a volley of postcards at politicians to demand universal background checks for gun buyers. Everytown for Gun Safety said more than 600,000 people have already signed up to send blue "Not One More" cards to state governors as well as senators and congressmen in Washington, many of whom face re-election in November. The campaign follows a rash of highly publicized shootings in recent weeks in the United States, which in 2010 saw 31,672 gun-related deaths, of which 61.2 percent were suicides and 35 percent homicides, according to the Centers for Disease Control. "My son Chris has been dead for 26 days and there's a hole in my heart that nothing can fill," added Richard Martinez, referring to the May 23 shooting spree near the University of California in Santa Barbara that left seven dead, at an emotional press conference in Washington.
United Nations (United States) (AFP) - The ICC's chief prosecutor asked the United Nations Tuesday to investigate allegations that its Darfur mission had been covering up crimes by Sudanese forces against civilians and peacekeepers. Fatou Bensouda, who presented the UN Security Council with her latest report on the situation in the Sudanese region, spoke of allegations that the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) had "been subject to manipulation."
A series of bombings in Baghdad and shelling in another Iraqi city killed 21 people on Tuesday, while police found the bodies of 18 security personnel north of the capital. The violence came during a major offensive, spearheaded by the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant but involving other groups, which overran all of one province and chunks of three more in a matter of days. In the deadliest single attack, a car bomb exploded in a market in the predominantly-Shiite Muslim area of north Baghdad, killing at least 11 people and wounding more than 20, security and medical officials said. In Fallujah, a city west of Baghdad that has been held by anti-government fighters for more than five months, shelling killed four people and wounded three, Dr Ahmed Shami said.
French prosecutors have dropped a corruption investigation into the flamboyant son of former Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade, his lawyers said Tuesday, weeks before he stands trial in his own country. Karim Wade is suspected of having corruptly acquired a multi-million-dollar fortune while his father was in power and is due to be tried in Senegal next month. Senegalese authorities had also lodged an official complaint in France in 2012 in the belief that part of Wade's alleged $242 million (179 million euro) fortune may have been invested in the country. French prosecutors dropped their probe for lack of sufficient proof, his lawyers said.
Negotiators from Iran and six world powers sought Tuesday to overcome major differences and hammer out the text of a momentous nuclear deal just five weeks before a deadline. This hugely complex accord would see the Islamic republic scale down its nuclear programme to ease concerns that it wants atomic weapons -- something Iran has long denied. In return Iran is demanding the lifting of all UN and Western sanctions that are hitting its vital oil exports, clogging up its financial system and causing major economic problems.
By David Adams MIAMI (Reuters) - Cuban exile Joe Arriola at one time would never have dreamed of returning to his homeland while it was under communist rule. But after 53 years in the United States, the former manager of the city of Miami swallowed his pride and decided he had waited long enough. Arriola, 67, said a week-long trip to the island last year had opened his eyes to what he now believes is a failed U.S. policy of trying to isolate Cuba. "The number one weapon we have is capitalism and we are not using it," he said over breakfast at the Riviera Country Club in Coral Gables, a bastion of older, conservative-minded exiles in Miami-Dade County.
London's stock market closed higher on Tuesday as investors awaited this week's US Federal Reserve policy meeting, while fears that violence in Iraq could disrupt energy supplies still weighed on sentiment. The benchmark FTSE 100 index rose 0.18 percent to 6,766.77 points. The "focus will increasingly... shift away from events unfolding in Iraq and the Ukraine to tomorrow's FOMC meeting," said analyst Markus Huber at broker Peregrine & Black. The Federal Reserve should keep monetary policy unchanged in a two-day meeting, but analysts will looks for any hint on changes to the trajectory for interest rates.
The United States Tuesday unveiled "historic" steps to combat illegal fishing and proposed plans to create the world's largest marine sanctuary in a bid to help save the world's besieged oceans. "We all know how fragile our planet can be," Obama said opening the second day of a landmark conference dubbed "Our Ocean" urging everyone to "redouble our efforts." The White House said Obama had ordered his cabinet to look at ways to expand a US marine sanctuary in the central Pacific Ocean where "tropical coral reefs and associated marine ecosystems are among the most vulnerable areas to the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification." Overfishing threatens whole species as well as the people who depend on them for food and their livelihoods," Obama said.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he is confident that relations between the United States and Brazil can improve following a cooling in bilateral ties caused by last year's revelations that the National Security Agency spied on the country's president. "I am confident they can," Biden said when asked by reporters about the future of Brazilian-U.S. relations as he arrived for a meeting with Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff in Brasilia.