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U.S. Snubbed in Big Defense Deal
Despite intense lobbying by the Obama Administration, New Delhi opted against awarding an $11 billion contract for new fighter jets to U.S. companies Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Also snubbed was Russia, India's traditional supplier of military hardware. One of the world's biggest arms buyers, India is now likely to get its jets from Europe. The U.S. ambassador in New Delhi resigned his post, citing "personal, professional and family considerations."
Rival Palestinian Factions Make Up
Ending a four-year rift, the two prominent Palestinian parties, Fatah and Hamas, agreed to bury the hatchet, form a unity government and hold elections that would politically reconnect the Fatah-held West Bank and the Hamas-held Gaza Strip. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose hard-line government has been liaising with Palestinian Authority President (and Fatah chief) Mahmoud Abbas while seeking to isolate the Islamist group Hamas in blockaded Gaza, warned Abbas, "You can't have peace with Israel and Hamas. It's one or the other."
Carter Tours Pariah State
Returning from a three-day visit to Pyongyang, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said North Korean leader Kim Jong Il expressed willingness to hold talks with the U.S. and South Korea. Carter, on tour with a delegation of elder statesmen including Finnish Nobel laureate Martti Ahtisaari, criticized Seoul and Washington for withholding food aid from the hunger-ravaged Hermit Kingdom.
More Misery for Misratah
NATO air strikes accidentally killed 12 rebels in Misratah, the third time friendly fire has led to rebel fatalities. As Muammar Gaddafi's forces continued to pummel the port city, leading to casualties, like the child pictured, clashes intensified farther west.
Still No. 1--but Not for Much Longer
china The first census in a decade for the world's most populous nation showed that population growth has slowed to almost half of what it was 10 years ago. China's 1.34 billion people are older and more urbanized than ever before, but some experts warn of a looming demographic crisis as the effects of the country's one-child policy take their toll. India's population, which is far younger, may eclipse China's in the next two decades.
The two Asian giants comprise one-third of humanity
[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]
AVERAGE LIFE EXPECTANCY
INDIA PROJECTED TO SURPASS CHINA IN 2026
POPULATION IN BILLIONS
SOURCES: NATIONAL BUREAU OF STATISTICS OF CHINA; INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND; CIA WORLD FACTBOOK; U.S. CENSUS BUREAU INTERNATIONAL DATA BASE