BEIJING: When Chinese officials and the Obama administration begin serious discussions over issues at the heart of relations between China and the United States, the usual suspects will no doubt emerge: trade, North Korea, human rights, Taiwan.

Iran said Tuesday that it had launched its first domestically produced satellite, a move that has prompted concerns in the United States and other nations about Iranian nuclear ambitions and its ability to deploy long-range ballistic missiles.

It seemed that every chance he got, President George W. Bush ignored or flat out refused to address the problem of climate change. So we were greatly encouraged by President Obama's swift announcement that he is likely to approve California's request to regulate greenhouse gases from vehicles - a request the Bush administration denied.

BEIJING: A 21-year-old woman in central China has been infected by the H5N1 strain of bird flu in the country's eighth reported case of the disease this year, the Health Ministry said Sunday, as Hong Kong reported that three birds found at local beaches had died of bird flu.

Until recently, green investment funds were mostly a niche for individual investors. But now investing with the idea of improving the environmental actions of corporations, not just maximizing profit, is catching on among big pension funds and foundations, particularly in Europe and even in a few outposts in the United States.

Candy, snacks, bakery products, pet food and other Chinese products that contain milk will be detained at the U.S. border until tests prove that they are not contaminated, the U.S. government announced.

A noxious cocktail of soot, smog and toxic chemicals is blotting out the sun, fouling the lungs of millions of people and altering weather patterns in large parts of Asia, according to a report released Thursday by the United Nations.

Much of the Vietnamese capital remained under water Sunday as the death toll from the city's worst flooding in two decades climbed to 17, disaster officials and state media reported.

Chinese regulators said over the weekend that they had confiscated and destroyed more than 3,600 tons of animal feed tainted with melamine, an industrial chemical that has been blamed for contaminating food supplies in China and for leading to global recalls of Chinese dairy products.

The death toll in a mine explosion in northern China this week has risen to 23, with six others missing and presumed dead, state media reported Friday.