Beijing, China (CNN) – China and the United States kicked off two days of high-level talks Monday - with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking Beijing to support sanctions against North Korea, and Chinese President Hu Jintao showing a willingness to reform the yuan but offering no timetable.
Both sides agreed that the Strategic and Economic Dialogue is meant to come up with "win-win solutions, rather than zero-sum rivalries," as Clinton put it at the opening of the talks.
But it is unclear how much progress the two countries will make on thornier issues, of which there is no shortage.
In her opening day remarks, Clinton praised China for supporting tough United Nations sanctions against Iran and said the same level of cooperation was needed against North Korea.
(CNN) - Democratic Senate candidate and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has apologized for misstating his military record during the Vietnam War.
"I have made mistakes and I am sorry. I truly regret offending anyone," Blumenthal said in a statement sent to the Hartford Courant Sunday night. "I will always champion the cause of Connecticut's and our nation's veterans."
Blumenthal's comments come one week after the New York Times reported that he distorted his military service record. The article alleges that Blumenthal lied about serving in Vietnam and says that he never served in that war, even though the candidate has claimed he did in speeches before veterans groups and military families.
Blumenthal acknowledged last Tuesday that he has not always accurately described his military service during the Vietnam War.
"On a few occasions I have misspoken about my service and I regret that and I take full responsibility," Blumenthal said while surrounded by Vietnam veterans at a news conference in West Hartford. "But I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country."
Blumenthal served in the Marine Corps Reserves during the Vietnam War, and was stationed stateside. He says he mistakenly said he served "in" Vietnam rather than "during" Vietnam in his previous speeches.
The absence of a strong apology in his remarks last Tuesday fueled criticism from Republicans and even some Democrats.
(CNN) – The White House issued a statement Monday morning supporting South Korea's decision to suspend trade and toughen its military stance toward North Korea.
The statement said measures announced by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak Monday are "called for and entirely appropriate." Lee's speech came in the wake of an official investigation's findings that North Korea fired a torpedo on a South Korean warship.
"Specifically, we endorse President Lee's demand that North Korea immediately apologize and punish those responsible for the attack, and, most importantly, stop its belligerent and threatening behavior," the White House statement said. "U.S. support for South Korea's defense is unequivocal, and the President has directed his military commanders to coordinate closely with their Republic of Korea counterparts to ensure readiness and to deter future aggression."
Beijing, China (CNN) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged North Korea Monday to reveal what it knows about the "act of aggression" that sunk a South Korean warship.
She also said the United States' "support for South Korea's defense is unequivocal" and that North Korea should "stop its belligerence and threatening behavior."
South Korea has said a probe concluded the North fired a torpedo that sunk a South Korean military ship in March. The United States supports that finding, Clinton said while in China.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak announced Monday that his country was suspending trade with North Korea, closing its waters to the North's ships and adopting a newly-aggressive military posture toward its neighbor.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com
CNN: Democratic infighting gives GOP rare victory in Hawaii
Republican Charles Djou took advantage of an intra-party fight among Democrats to snatch a House seat that Democrats had held for 20 years in Hawaii. Djou, a Honolulu city councilman, won 67,274 votes or 39.5 percent of those cast. The special election was for the state's 1st congressional district, which opened up after 10-term Democratic lawmaker Rep. Neil Abercrombie stepped down earlier this year to concentrate full-time on his bid for Hawaii governor.
CNN: Pawlenty, Rendell disagree on Tea Party movement's impact
In the wake of Rand Paul’s win last week in Kentucky’s Republican Senate primary, both national parties are trying to figure out just what to make of the Tea Party movement, the conservative, grassroots movement that backed Paul and has coalesced in opposition to policies of the Obama administration and congressional Democrats. Democrats and Republicans disagree on the impact of the movement, and those differences were on display Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.
New York Times: Republicans See Big Chance, but Are Worried, Too
Republicans remain confident of making big gains in the fall elections, but as the midterm campaign begins in earnest, they face a series of challenges that could keep the party from fully capitalizing on an electorate clamoring for change in Washington. There are growing concerns among Republicans about the party’s get-out-the-vote operation and whether it can translate their advantage over Democrats in grass-roots enthusiasm into turnout on Election Day. They are also still trying to get a fix on how to run against President Obama, who, polls suggest, remains relatively well-liked by voters, even as support for his agenda has waned. Republicans are working to find a balance between simply running against Democrats and promoting a specific alternative agenda.
Washington Post: Are Democrats pulling back on faith outreach?
If 2008 was the year Democrats finally got religion, will 2010 be the year the party loses it again? This is the worry among some religious progressives, who worked to transform the image of Democrats from wary - or even hostile - toward religion to a party that hired faith consultants, advertised regularly on Christian radio and featured candidates, including Barack Obama, who spoke openly about their relationship with God. These days, the Democratic National Committee's faith staff of more than a half-dozen has dwindled to one part-time slot.
CNN: Sestak: White House offered a job to keep him out of primary
Rep. Joe Sestak says he was offered an unspecified job by the White House in an attempt to stop him from challenging Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania's Senate Democratic primary. Sestak, who defeated the veteran Specter in last week's primary election for the Democratic nomination, answered "yes" Sunday when asked by CNN about the White House offer. Sestak has previously acknowledged the offer in other interviews. However, Sestak refused to provide any further details "about something that happened months earlier," saying "beyond that, there's nothing to add."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: State coming to grips with loss of clout in Washington
Arlen Specter's pending departure from the Senate and the February death of Rep. John P. Murtha represent a double blow to the ability of the region and the state to attract federal dollars. Gov. Ed Rendell, an ally of both lawmakers, called the impact of the twin loss "incalculable." Between them, the two veterans had amassed decades of seniority on the appropriations panels in the House and Senate, the crucial arbiters of congressional spending bills. With that longevity came their ability to steer millions of dollars to myriad state and local interests, ranging from the military industrial complex in microcosm around Mr. Murtha's Johnstown home base to medical and scientific research at the region's universities.