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EU climate chief urges China to show international commitment

By Stian Reklev BEIJING (Reuters) - China could set a new pace for slow-moving international climate talks by bringing its domestic commitment to fight global warming on to the world stage, the EU's top climate change official said on Wednesday. EU Climate Change Commissioner Connie Hedegaard is visiting China this week for two-way talks ahead of a June U.N. meeting in Bonn where negotiators from more than 190 nations will continue efforts to agree a new international climate treaty.

U.S. steps up trade pressure on Japan ahead of Obama visit

By Antoni Slodkowski and Linda Sieg TOKYO (Reuters) - The United States put last-minute pressure on Japan to compromise in tough trade talks on Wednesday, shortly before President Barack Obama was to arrive for a state visit. The two-way talks - focusing on Japan's agricultural market and both countries' car markets - are key to reaching a multilateral trade pact that is central to Obama's strategic shift towards Asia.

Obama says Senkakus covered by Japan-U.S. security pact: White House

U.S. President Barack Obama has stipulated the Japan-administered Senkaku islets in the East China Sea claimed by China are covered by the bilateral security treaty, the White House said Wednesday. This marks the first time Obama has clearly stated that the uninhabited islets are within the scope of the treaty, which obliges the United States to defend Japan in a possible contingency.

Senkakus covered by Japan-U.S. security pact: Obama

President Barack Obama became the first U.S. president to stipulate that the Japan-administered Senkaku islets in the East China Sea claimed by China are covered by the bilateral security treaty, as the White House revealed his remarks in an interview with a major daily published Wednesday.

Brazil hosts meeting to craft Internet governance rules

Brazil will host a meeting Wednesday on how the Internet should be governed in the future, aiming for global partnership after worldwide outrage over allegations of widespread online spying by the United States. President Dilma Rousseff had called the two-day NetMundial meeting in a bid to find ways to curb abuses following the furore sparked by allegations of US spying revealed in documents leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

Washington calls S.Sudan violence an 'abomination'

The White House expressed horror at what it called the "abomination" of spiralling violence in South Sudan's civil war, where rebels have been accused of massacring hundreds of civilians. The rebels seized the town and oil-hub of Bentiu last week, unleashing two days of ethnic slaughter as they hunted down civilians sheltering in mosques, churches and a hospital, butchering dozens on the roadside, according to the United Nations.

China military says faces 'complex' task keeping secrets

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's military faces a "severe and complex" task in maintaining secrecy, especially given the widespread use of the internet and mobile communications, and needs to ensure security is tightened, a top military paper said on Wednesday. Secrecy is needed to ensure that the Chinese army is capable of both waging war and winning, the People's Liberation Army Daily said, citing a document approved by President Xi Jinping and issued by the powerful Central Military Commission.

60% of China underground water polluted

Sixty percent of underground water in China which is officially monitored is too polluted to drink directly, state media have reported, underlining the country's grave environmental problems. Water quality measured in 203 cities across the country last year rated "very poor" or "relatively poor" in an annual survey released by the Ministry of Land and Resources, the official Xinhua news agency said late Tuesday.

Dispute islands 'within scope' of US-Japan alliance

The islands at the centre of a corrosive row between Tokyo and Beijing are covered by the US-Japan defence alliance, Barack Obama told a newspaper ahead of his arrival in Tokyo Wednesday. Obama, whose tour of Asia will also take in South Korea, the Philippines and Malaysia, is the first sitting US president to explicitly affirm that hostile action against the island chain would spark an American reaction.

Obama heads on Asia tour, visits US disaster site

After meeting with survivors of a deadly landslide near Seattle, President Barack Obama left Tuesday on a weeklong tour of Asia in what the White House has called a "rebalancing" eastward of US foreign policy. Obama left Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, D.C. aboard Air Force One, and then made a stopover in Washington state to visit the scene of the landslide a month ago in Oso, some 95 kilometers (60 miles) northeast of Seattle.
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