World briefs: China imposes tight security

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BEIJING -- Democratic activist Hu Jia said he spent Tuesday alone in a hotel room in southern China, where he has been confined for the past week under the watchful eyes of eight to nine plainclothes security agents.

The restrictions on him and others have become an annual routine on June 4 -- the anniversary of the government's violent suppression of the 1989 protests in and around Tiananmen Square -- when much of the country is placed on a lockdown of sorts by the ruling Communist Party.

On Tuesday, China's restricted Internet was more finely edited than usual, with censors hand-deleting posts with even the vaguest reference to that day 24 years ago when the government opened fire on unarmed civilians. The square itself was flooded with uniformed and plainclothes police.

Xi, Obama to hold summit

BEIJING -- President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet Friday and Saturday in California.

The two leaders are expected to confront tensions over cybersecurity, North Korea's renewed nuclear ambitions and China's concern over the U.S. strategic shift toward Asia and away from the Middle East.

Mr. Xi is set to meet Mr. Obama at Sunnylands, the Annenberg family estate in Rancho Mirage, following his visits to Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico. It will be their first meeting since Mr. Xi took over as general secretary of China's Communist Party and then state president in a once-a-decade power shift in March.

Khamenei faults critics

TEHRAN -- Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, accused foreign and domestic critics Tuesday of attempting to undermine the country's June 14 presidential election.

"A vote for any of these eight candidates is a vote for the Islamic Republic and a vote of confidence in the system and our electoral process," Ayatollah Khamenei said in a sweeping speech, referring to the eight men declared eligible by Iran's Guardian Council. He denounced critics inside and outside Iran who say the elections are "engineered" or "illegitimate" because only perceived loyalists of the ruling establishment have been permitted to run.

Arctic oil rush

KIRKENES, Norway -- Russia, Finland and Norway are in talks to create a fund that will help pay for investments in the Arctic Barents region as part of a plan to gain access to billions of barrels of oil and natural gas.

Russia, Finland and Norway are targeting the Arctic to replenish their oil and gas reserves. The Nordic part of the Barents Sea alone is estimated to hold 6 billion barrels of oil and gas.

The Barents Sea is located north of Russia and Norway.

Queen marks a milestone

LONDON -- Queen Elizabeth II Tuesday marked 60 years since her coronation with a service in London's Westminster Abbey, where she was crowned.

The hourlong service for 2,000 guests Tuesday morning was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, John Hall, and the address was given by the Anglican faith's most senior cleric, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. As monarch, Queen Elizabeth, 87, is head of the Church of England.

"Here today we gather to give thanks to almighty God for the faithful ministry and dutiful service the queen continues to offer God and the people of this nation... and as head of the Commonwealth," the dean told the congregation.

-- Compiled from news services



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