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Taiwan, China Look to Expand Ties Before Elections


Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Eric Chu, head of Taiwan's Nationalist Party.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Eric Chu, head of Taiwan's Nationalist Party.

Top political leaders from Taiwan and China met for the first time in six years Monday. They held talks that observers say are aimed at increasing support for the island’s ruling party.

The chairman of Taiwan’s Nationalist Party, Eric Chu, met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Mr. Xi is also the head of China’s Communist Party.

Mr. Chu noted his party’s support for eventual unification with China. He also called for more involvement for Taiwan in efforts aimed at reducing barriers in the area.

During his visit, Mr. Chu repeated Taiwan’s request to join China’s new development bank. China is concerned about the island joining the bank using a name that might suggest it is an independent country.

China and Taiwan split during a civil war in 1949. The government in Beijing considers Taiwan a rebel province and has threatened to use force, if necessary, to bring it under Chinese control.

Nepal rescue efforts continue to save lives

Nepalese soldiers clear wreckage in Kathmandu.

Nepalese soldiers clear wreckage in Kathmandu.

Four more people were rescued from wreckage in Nepal on Sunday, more than a week after a powerful earthquake hit the country. Police said one of those rescued was a 101-year-old man.

Nine days have passed since the earthquake struck. Officials say more than 7,200 people died in the quake. They are warning the number could climb “much higher.” Thousands of people are still missing.

Australia explains its investigation of the “Bali Nine”

The Australian Federal Police has defended its cooperation with Indonesia in the case of two drug traffickers. Australians Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were executed last week. The two men were part of a drug trafficking group known as the Bali Nine. Indonesia sentenced the two to death for their part in a plot to secretly transport the drug heroin from the island of Bali to Sydney in 2005.

The Australian Federal Police has denied accusations that it was partly responsible for their deaths. Officials have said they knew their actions 10 years ago could endanger the Australians, exposing them to the death sentence. They have said they have no reason to apologize for wanting to stop the flow of illegal drugs into Australia.

City of Baltimore lifts nighttime curfew

The mayor of Baltimore, Maryland, has cancelled a nighttime curfew in the U.S. city. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake ordered the curfew after riots that followed the funeral of a 25-year-old African-American man who died while under police arrest.

The decision came two days after the city’s top government lawyer announced she was bringing criminal charges against the six police officers involved in Freddie Gray’s arrest.

Texas police kill two gunmen

Police in Texas shot and killed two men Sunday outside a building where what organizers described as a free speech event was taking place. Officials said police reacted quickly when a car drove up to the building and two men began firing at a security officer. In the exchange of gunfire, the officer suffered wounds that were not life-threatening.

The free was held by an orgnization called the American Freedom Defense Initiative, also known as Stop the Islamization of America. It included a competition for cartoons of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. Many Muslims consider any image of him a crime against Islam.

More Republican candidates enter presidential race

And three more Americans are making plans to become candidates for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. Ben Carson said Sunday he will compete for his party’s nomination. He planned an official announcement at an event Monday in Detroit. Also on Monday, former Hewlett-Packard chief Carly Fiorina was expected to announce her candidacy. Former Arkansas Governor Mick Huckabee plans to join the race on Tuesday.

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Words in the News

unification n. uniting; combining; joining

wreckagen. what remains of something severely damaged or destroyed

traffickingn. the movement of something (in this case, drugs)

curfew – n. an order for people to stay off the streets or to close their businesses

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