China and California team up
On a trade mission to China, California Governor Jerry Brown announced the creation of The California-China Office of Trade, the state’s first new foreign trade mission in a decade, according to a report in The China Daily. “Total trade between our two nations has increased by over 300 percent since China joined the WTO,” said Robert Griffiths, the American consul general in Shanghai, where the office will be based.
Officials said the initial investment partnership was worth $1.5 billion. The China Daily reports Chinese and Californian companies signed an additional $300 million in deals “to develop sectors including pharmaceuticals, high-technology, renewable energy, and innovation funding in universities.”
Tensions continue between U.S. and Russia
The Moscow Times writes that the U.S. may expand its list of Russian officials accused of abusing human rights. The U.S. has frozen the assets of officials on the list, which is named after Sergei Magnitsky, a whistle-blowing lawyer who died in a Moscow jail in 2009. It has also banned them from traveling to America.
The Russian government responded with anger to the list, placing similar restrictions on 18 American officials involved with the prison-camp at Guantanamo Bay. It also banned Americans from adopting Russian children. “This is our own business [the Magnitsky case], … and when somewhere abroad they start punishing us, this is unacceptable,” said Dimitry Peskov, the official spokesman of President Vladimir Putin.
American Jews ask Netanyahu to compromise on peace deal
Israeli deputy foreign minister Ze’ev Elkin had a few select words for 100 American Jews who urged Israel to make “concrete steps toward peace,” reports The Jerusalem Post. The Jewish leaders in the U.S. called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to protect Israel’s security while making “painful territorial sacrifices for the sake of peace.”
Elkin, who opposes a two-state solution, was unimpressed: “Pressure from overseas must not guide the prime minister in how he carefully administers the diplomatic process.”