In choosing a major escalation with China over cyber-espionage, the United States has laid bare its frustrations after years of hoping the Asian power would accept a US-led international order. President Barack Obama and his predecessors have long recited a mantra that the United States welcomes China's rise but wants it to join a "rules-based order" and take a greater responsibility in global affairs. The United States on Monday indicted five Chinese military officers for allegedly hacking into US computers to steal trade secrets, with prosecutor David Hickton saying the case vindicated "hard-working men and women" around the world who "play by the rules." China responded swiftly and angrily, summoning the US ambassador and charging hypocrisy as former government contractor Edward Snowden has revealed widespread US snooping inside China.
Israeli police on Tuesday arrested four people suspected of "acts of racist vandalism" in the north of the country, a police spokesman said. "Four people suspected of acts of racist vandalism in the town of Yokneam were arrested and questioned by the police and the Shin Bet" internal security agency, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. Media reports said one of those arrested admitted to vandalising a dentist's practice belonging to Israel's Druze Arab minority. Attacks on Christians in Israel have also increased in recent weeks ahead of a papal visit beginning on Sunday, attracting concern from the Catholic Church in the Holy Land.
Blantyre (Malawi) (AFP) - Malawi deployed the army Tuesday to contain violence that saw polling stations burnt and marred polls seen as the first true test of President Joyce Banda's scandal-tainted rule. As polling stations opened as much as 10 hours late, anger and speculation about the fairness of the vote spilled over into violence -- mirroring the country's volatile politics. On the outskirts of the commercial capital Blantyre, an AFP reporter saw the smouldering remains of a polling station that had been torched by voters protesting late delivery of balloting material. A tent used as a polling station was burnt in another Blantyre township, according the electoral commission chief Maxon Mbendera.
Mariupol (Ukraine) (AFP) - In the shadows of the chimneys towering above Mariupol's vast steelworks, a few thousand workers gathered after a call by Ukraine's richest man for people to rally against the insurgency raging across the east. "We want peace in our country," said Olga, one of the workers listening as plant managers spoke out against the pro-Moscow rebels now in control of more than a dozen towns in Ukraine's industrial heartland. Olga was among a crowd of workers in the southeastern city who had answered the appeal by billionaire industrialist and powerbroker Rinat Akhmetov to take a stand against gunmen he said were creating "fear and terror" in the region. "It was high time he did this to stop everything that is being done here," accountant Natalia Opredelyonova told AFP.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has brought unprecedented criminal charges against five officials in the Chinese military for hacking into private U.S. companies' systems and stealing trade secrets. It was the first time the U.S. has revealed any evidence the Chinese government was going after American companies' private information for economic gain.
The African Union force battling Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels said Tuesday it had conducted new air strikes against a rebel base in the south of the country, the second attack in three days. A statement from Amisom said its planes were after "senior leadership and foreign Al-Shebab fighters" at a base near the town of Jilib in Somalia's Middle Juba region. Two of the bombs landed near Faragurow village leaving four civilians wounded but we don’t know about other casualties they may have caused," said a local resident, Moalim Hassan. Idle Ahmed, another resident, said Shebab militant fighters riding on pick-up trucks were seen rushing to the scene and stopped ordinary civilians from approaching.
Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) (AFP) - Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam visited regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia Tuesday as his country struggled to elect a new president. Salam told reporters in the Red Sea city of Jeddah the repeatedly-delayed election of a leader to replace President Michel Sleiman's whose mandate expires on May 25 is an "internal Lebanese affair". The official SPA news agency said Salam spoke after meeting King Abdullah at Jeddah airport. Earlier, after meeting Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, an adviser to Salam said his visit "is not related to the presidential election in Lebanon".
Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah will travel to Iran on May 31 amid a recent thaw in Tehran's relations with Gulf states, the Iranian foreign ministry said Tuesday. Relations between Iran and the Gulf states have been frosty for years, with disagreements over the unrest in Bahrain and the conflict in Syria, before Hassan Rouhani was elected president of the Islamic republic last June. "The visit (of the Emir), which is upon the invitation of President Hassan Rouhani, will open a new chapter in relations of both countries," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham told reporters at a news briefing.
Bahrain's parliament on Tuesday sacked a Sunni MP who had criticised conditions at a detention centre where inmates are mostly Shiites held over roles in anti-regime protests. Parliament speaker Khalifa al-Dhahrani said 31 MPs out of the 40-member chamber voted to eject Osama Mehanna, in a statement published by BNA state news agency. Mehanna was elected in October 2011 in partial polls held to replace 18 MPs of the Shiite Al-Wefaq opposition group who resigned in protest at violence used to quell a month of pro-reform protests.
Attacks north of Baghdad killed 11 Iraqi soldiers on Tuesday, the latest in a protracted surge in bloodshed just a day after officials announced results from April's parliamentary election. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who is seeking a third term in office, has been held responsible by critics for the deterioration in security but he has blamed external factors such as the civil war in neighbouring Syria. In Tuesday's deadliest attack, gunmen opened fire on a bus transporting soldiers from the restive northern town of Suleiman Bek, according to local official Talib Mohammed al-Bayati. The authorities have trumpeted wide-ranging operations against militants and say that external factors are responsible for the surge in bloodshed.
The front-runner in Guinea-Bissau's presidential race, Jose Mario Vaz, won the decisive run-off on Tuesday, according to preliminary results released by election officials. The candidate of the west African nation's largest party won an overwhelming 62 percent of the vote against independent rival Nuno Gomes Nabiam, the election commission said. Vaz, 57, of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, won the first round on April 13 but failed to get an outright majority, pitting him against Nabiam in a head-to-head second round on Sunday. Already mired in poverty, the fragile nation of 1.6 million has been stagnating for two years under the rule of an army-backed transitional government, with the economy anaemic and endemic corruption fuelled by rampant drug trafficking.