Reuters World News Highlights

WASHINGTON – China’s leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping wooed and warned the United States on Wednesday, offering deeper cooperation on trade and global troublespots while demanding Washington heed Beijing’s demands on Tibet and other contentious “core interests.” – – – – AMMAN/BEIRUT – Syrian opposition leaders and the West have scorned a new offer by President Bashar al-Assad to hold multi-party elections, as his troops mounted more attacks on rebel-held areas.

Honduras prison fire kills more than 350 inmates

COMAYAGUA, Honduras (Reuters) – A massive fire raged through an overcrowded prison in Honduras, killing more than 350 inmates, many of them trapped and screaming inside their cells.

Syrian forces attack Hama, ignore international pressure

AMMAN, (Reuters) – Syrian government forces launched an offensive on the city of Hama early yesterday, firing on residential neighbourhoods from armoured vehicles and mobile anti-aircraft guns, opposition activists said.

Canada boosts police powers, alarms privacy watchdog

OTTAWA, (Reuters) – A new law gives police stronger powers to track what Canadians do online, but raises concern from the privacy watchdog about “warrantless access to personal information.” Chantal Bernier The Conservative government says the draft law it unveiled yesterday aims at hunting down paedophiles or other criminals by giving police, the country’s spy agency and the Competition Bureau increased access to customer data from Internet service providers.

Nigeria police torture, are corrupt – police chief

ABUJA,  (Reuters) – Nigeria’s corrupt police force acts on the whims of the highest bidder and officers carry out extra-judicial killings and torture, the acting inspector general of police said.

World News Highlights

(Reuters) – WASHINGTON – U.S. President Barack Obama told Chinese leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping on Tuesday that Beijing must play fair in international trade and vowed to keep pressing China to clean up its human rights record.

Obama, other politicians decline to return Stanford money

(Reuters) – National fundraising committees for the Democratic and Republican parties, President Barack Obama,     and other major politicians have declined to return campaign     donations totaling $1.8 million from Houston financier R.

UN says Syria emboldened by diplomatic deadlock

AMMAN/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The UN human rights chief accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of launching an “indiscriminate attack” on civilians to end pro-democracy protests and said he had been emboldened by the failure of the Security Council to condemn him.

Sierra Leone president forced out UN envoy –letter

FREETOWN (Reuters) – The United Nations was pressured by the president of Sierra Leone to cut short the tour of its mission chief ahead of an election later this year, the envoy said in a letter seen by Reuters yesterday.

Israel blames Iran after attacks on embassy staff

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel accused arch-enemies Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of being behind twin bomb attacks that targeted Israeli embassy staff in India and Georgia yesterday, wounding four people.

Obama, other politicians decline to return Stanford money

(Reuters) – National fundraising committees for the Democratic and Republican parties, President Barack Obama, and other major politicians have declined to return campaign donations totaling $1.8 million from Houston financier R Allen Stanford, now on trial for allegedly masterminding a $7 billion Ponzi scheme.

US Supreme Court justice, wife robbed in Caribbean

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and his wife Joanna were robbed last week at their vacation home on the Caribbean island of Nevis by a man armed with a machete, a court spokeswoman said yesterday.

Adele triumphs at Grammys with six wins

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Soul singer Adele triumphed in her return to music’s stage on Sunday, scooping up six Grammys and winning every category in which she was nominated including album of the year for ‘21’ and best record with “Rolling In the Deep”.

Henrique Capriles: Venezuela’s opposition candidate

CARACAS, (Reuters) – State governor Henrique Capriles won the Venezuelan opposition coalition’s primary yesterday and will face President Hugo Chavez in an October presidential vote, sources said.

Commonwealth questions leadership change in Maldives

MALE, (Reuters) – The Commonwealth is sending a team to the Maldives to  investigate why the first democratically elected president of the Indian Ocean nation has suddenly been replaced, the 54-nation group said yesterday.

Sun arrests pile pressure on Murdoch media empire

LONDON, (Reuters) – Rupert Murdoch is under pressure over his Sun tabloid after the arrests of several senior staff in a corruption probe, but whistleblowers inside his media empire may pose more of a threat than the public outrage that forced the closure of its sister paper.

Syrian forces shell Homs; truce in mountain town

AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian forces bombarded districts of the city of Homs yesterday in their drive to crush a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, whose ally Russia said it would not support an Arab peace plan circulating at the United Nations.

UK police arrest five at Murdoch’s Sun newspaper

LONDON (Reuters) – British police yesterday arrested five people at The Sun newspaper, its parent company News Corporation said, as part of an investigation into illegal news gathering that forced the closure of another of the firm’s British tabloids.

Libya wants Gaddafi son extradited, Niger balks

TRIPOLI  (Reuters) – Libya urged Niger yesterday to extradite Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saadi, saying his call for Libyans to prepare for a “coming uprising” threatened bilateral ties.

Greece warns bailout rebels of disaster

(Reuters) – Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos told lawmakers to back a deeply unpopular EU/IMF rescue in a vote today or condemn the country to a “vortex” of recession.

Romney wins Maine Republican caucuses

Portland, Maine – Repub-lican front-runner Mitt Romney bounced back from midweek losses in three states to win the Maine presidential caucuses, the state’s Republican Party announced  yesterday.