Chinese President Hu Kicks Off Visit, Haiti Charges Former Dictator Duvalier

BY News Desk  January 19, 2011 at 8:30 AM EDT


Vice President Joe Biden and Chinese President Hu Jintao listen to the U.S. national anthem during Tuesday’s arrival ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Chinese President Hu Jintao will spend Wednesday meeting with President Obama at the White House before a state dinner in the evening on the second day of his visit to Washington.

The two leaders are expected to focus on the pressing issues of China’s currency and trade tiff with the United States and North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. President Hu has called for cooperation on mutual interests, despite ongoing differences over human rights and other issues.

China’s imprisonment of dissident and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo has been a source of contention; President Obama received the honor last year. President Hu last visited the United States in 2006, and the last state dinner for a Chinese leader was in 1997, when President Clinton hosted Jiang Zemin.

Former Haitian Dictator Detained Port-au-Prince

Two days after his surprise return to the country after some 25 years in exile, former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier was taken into custody at his hotel, where he waved at gathered supporters as he was escorted out. He was taken for questioning on unspecified charges and allowed to return to his hotel. A court is investigating whether or not it will pursue legal action against Duvalier.

Duvalier’s return raised speculation about his motives, as Haiti’s political landscape has been particularly unstable in the wake of a disputed presidential vote and chronic discontent stemming from a slow recovery to the devastating earthquake that hit the country last January.

Duvalier was driven from power in 1986 by popular revolt. Human Rights Watch has called for his prosecution for the torture or death of tens of thousands of Haitians during his rule.

New Details of Tucson Shooting Emerge in Surveillance Video

Investigators are piecing together details of the shooting rampage at a Safeway in Tucson, Ariz., that killed six people and injured 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, from surveillance cameras on the premises, according to the Washington Post.

The footage shows alleged shooter Jared Lee Loughner inside the store before the shooting began. The videos then show a gunman approaching Rep. Giffords, shooting her at close range and then firing into a crowd of people that included federal judge John Roll, who died at the scene, before being pinned down by several bystanders.

Ambulance Used to Attack Police Compound in Iraq

In the wake of an attack on a group of police recruits that claimed at least 52 lives, one or more suicide bombers used an ambulance filled with explosives to attack a compound in Baquba, 40 miles north of Baghdad, killing an estimated 12 people and wounding others on Wednesday.

A group of Shia pilgrims was also targeted by a suicide bomber. Two people died in that attack.

Goldman Sachs Profits Halved

Goldman Sachs’ earnings dropped by 52 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, reflecting a decline in investment and trade revenue. The bank also settled a fraud lawsuit with the U.S. government.