Gates to visit China
China has confirmed the dates for U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to visit China in early January.
The Chinese Defense Ministry says Gates will pay a visit from Jan. 9 to 12. at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart, Liang Guanglie.
The visit comes almost a year after China cut off certian military exchanges with the United States, following the Pentagon's decision to sell a nearly 6.4-billion-U.S.-dollar arms package to Taiwan.
Flights resume at NY airports following blizzard
Planes have begun landing again at two of the busiest airports in the United States after a blizzard grounded flights in the New York metropolitan area.
Flights began arriving in the JFK and LaGuardia airports late Monday.
The blizzard stranded thousands of travelers trying to get home after the holidays.
New York City and surrounding areas appear to be the hardest hit by the storm.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
"We recorded 20.5 inches of snow on Staten Island, 19 inches in Lower Manhattan, 18.5 inches in Washington Heights, 16 inches in northern Brooklyn, 18.5 inches in Woodside and 15 inches in the Bronx. In other words, a lot of snow every place. It was a very heavy snowfall and as you know, it was accompanied by intense winds."
Many offices in New York are closed for business, including the United Nations, which has canceled all events at its headquarters.
UN peacekeeping chief: Cote d'Ivoire mission in huge pressure
The United Nations chief of peacekeeping operations in Cote d'Ivoire says their mission in the country is under difficult conditions due to the political impasse.
Alan Leroy has met with the internationally-recognized new President Alassane Ouattara and has also reviewed the security around the Golf Hotel in Abidjan where Ouattara has been holed up.
The hotel has been the opposition leader's seat of government since the disputed November election.
International pressure is now piling on Laurent Gbagbo to step down.
The Economic Community of West African States is threatening a military intervention if Gbagbo does not step down from the presidency.
White House "deeply concerned" over conviction of former Russian tycoons
The United States has voiced serious concerns about a second guilty verdict against the jailed Russian former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
The 47-year-old former head of the now-defunct Yukos oil company is due to be released next year, but the guilty verdict from his second trial could see him jailed until 2017.
The White House has called the verdict a "selective application" of justice.
Khodorkovsky is already serving an eight-year sentence for fraud and tax evasion.
U.S. embassy in London was a target of UK suspects
The U.S. embassy in London was a target of a group of men arrested last week in Britain and charged with conspiracy to cause explosions and preparing acts of terrorism.
The U.S. State Department confirmed this after nine men appeared in court to face the charges.
They were among twelve men arrested last week in what British police said were counter-terrorism raids.
The suspects were from London, the Welsh capital of Cardiff and the central English city of Stoke.
A/H1N1 flu kills 56 in Egypt since October
The Egyptian government now says 559 new human cases of the A/H1N1 virus have been confirmed in the country over the last week.
The Egyptian Health Ministry says since October, an outbreak of the A/H1N1 virus has killed a total of 56-people, with more than 11-hundred others infected.
But Egyptian officials contend that the prevalance rates are within normal tolerance.
Meanwhile in Jordan, four people have died there after contracting the virus.
580 economic fugitives still at large overseas
A senior Chinese police officer says a total of 580 fugitives suspected of economic crimes are still at large in foreign countries, with most fleeing to North America and Southeast Asia.
The fugitives have allegedly been involved in crimes including contract fraud, illegal fundraising, bank loan fraud and illegally transferring funds abroad.
Meng Qingfeng, who's in charge of the economic crime investigation in the Ministry of Public Security, has told the China Daily that Chinese police have seized more than 250 fugitives in 20 countries and regions, including the United States and Canada, since 2006.
But he acknowleged that the biggest legal hurdle is an absence of extradition treaties between China and some Western countries.
Chongqing ranks first among listed happiest cities in China
Chongqing in southwest China has become the only provincial-level municipality listed among China's happiest 10 cities in 2010.
The annual happiest cities list is complied by Xinhua News Agency affiliate Oriental Outlook, with the criteria based on people's feeling of happiness rather than economic achievements
Judges and survey respondents say the secret recipe for Chongqing residents' happiness is its massive crackdown on organized crime coupled with locals' love of singing revolutionary-era songs.
Other cities that made the top ten include Chengdu, Kunming, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Changchun.