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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama pressed visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Monday to help break the logjam to elusive Mideast peace talks, acknowledging with a deadline fast approaching that the task ahead is "very hard, it's very challenging."
By Daniel Wallis and Diego Ore CARACAS (Reuters) - A Venezuela National Guard captain died on Monday after being shot in the head during a demonstration, the military said, the 29th fatality in six weeks of clashes between protesters and security forces. General Padrino Lopez, head of the armed forces' strategic operational command, said the captain was shot late on Sunday at a street barricade set up by demonstrators in the central city of Maracay, in Aragua state. "Our armed forces don't repress peaceful protests, they protect them ... Much more Venezuelan blood would have been shed if it were not for the responsible actions of our National Guard." Since early February, students and hardline opposition leaders have been calling supporters onto the streets to protest against President Nicolas Maduro and his socialist government. The demonstrators are demanding political change and an end to high inflation, shortages of basic foods and one of the worst rates of violent crime in the world.
Michelle Obama will look to dispel growing mistrust between the United States and China through a weeklong tour of the Asian power focused deliberately on soft issues, officials said Monday. Accompanied by her two daughters and mother, the US first lady will head Wednesday on a tour to some of China's most celebrated sites including the Great Wall, the ancient terracotta warrior sculptures of Xian and a panda preserve. White House officials said that Michelle Obama would not take up the myriad disputes between the two nations but would instead speak about educational exchanges and emphasize US goodwill toward the Chinese people. "I think it is important to break through that mistrust and the first lady's visit is an opportunity to do that," Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, told reporters.