Island dispute — In a harsh statement, China on Sunday accused Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of presenting a distorted picture about its dispute with Japan over islands in the East China Sea, and it expressed “resolute opposition" to her position. The Foreign Ministry said Clinton “ignores the facts and confuses right and wrong" in a short description she gave of the situation at a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Friday. The objection appears to have been prompted by a reference to “unilateral action" used by Clinton in what was an otherwise standard reference to the escalating feud between China and Japan.
Boeing 787s — Federal investigators said Sunday that they had ruled out excessive voltage as the cause of a battery fire on a Boeing 787 in Boston this month, widening the mystery into what led to the grounding of the 787, the world’s most technologically advanced jet, after a second battery-related problem last week.
Mali fighting — Backed by French air strikes, Malian forces appeared close to recapturing a key central town in Mali where bands of al-Qaida-linked fighters had holed up, France’s defense minister said Sunday. The French military has spent the last nine days helping the West African nation of Mali quash a jihadist rebellion in its vast northern desert. The comments Sunday from Jean-Yves Le Drian, however, appeared to cast some doubt on local military claims that the town of Diabaly had already been recaptured from the Islamists.
Gun map — A White Plains, N.Y., newspaper has removed an online map that detailed who has handgun permits in two counties. The posting of the map on the paper’s website last month had sparked outrage and prompted changes in state law to give permit holders more privacy. Journal News President and Publisher Janet Hasson said the decision to take down the map came in response to a provision in New York’s new gun law, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed last week. The law also gives permit holders a way to request that their personal information be kept private.
Syria conflict — As Syrian opposition leaders met in Turkey over the weekend to try to iron out their differences, Syria’s foreign minister invited rebels to join a national dialogue, promising that all those who lay down their arms and forswear foreign intervention will be part of a transitional government. The minister’s offer went a significant step beyond what President Bashar Assad proposed in a speech Jan. 6, when he called for a national dialogue but intimated that those who had taken up arms would be excluded. It was unclear whether the minister spoke with full authority.
New Mexico shooting — A 15-year-old boy remained in custody Sunday night as detectives tried to piece together what led to the shooting of five people, including three young children, who were found dead in a New Mexico home. The teenager was arrested on suspicion of murder and other charges in connection with the shootings, which happened Saturday night at the home in a rural area southwest of downtown Albuquerque
Greek attacks — Greece has been dealing with an outbreak of violence in recent weeks. On Sunday, a crude bomb exploded at the country’s largest shopping mall in a suburb of Athens, injuring two security guards. No immediate claim of responsibility was made. The government, which just secured $60 billion in aid from its international creditors, says it is determined to crack down on lawless behavior. The problem, opponents of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras say, is that in its bid to restore order the government is provoking exactly the violence it says it is trying to quash.
German vote — Germany’s center-left opposition won a wafer-thin victory over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition in a major state election Sunday, dealing a setback as she seeks a third term at the helm of Europe’s biggest economy later this year. The opposition Social Democrats and Greens won a single-seat majority in the state legislature in Lower Saxony.
Afghan attack — Afghan police say insurgents have attacked one of their compounds in western Kabul, there are at least two explosions and a gun battle has broken out. Police officer Mirzal Mohammad says at least one insurgent blew himself up at the entrance to traffic police headquarters just before dawn today and a number of others wearing suicide vests entered the building.
Israel vote — Of all the issues at stake in Israel’s election Tuesday, Iran’s nuclear program might have been expected to be high on the agenda, with the vote serving as a referendum on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s stance toward Iran, a subject of robust public debate. But the campaign has largely skirted the issue, along with another that is no less critical for Israel: the impasse in peace efforts with the Palestinians.
Hostess liquidation — The pension fund for some of Hostess Brands’ workers has hired an investment bank to represent workers and pensioners as the Twinkie maker sells off its brands. In a statement posted Sunday on its website, the bakers’ union says the New York firm Gordian Group LLC will represent the fund.
— From wire reports