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As China's Xi Jinping visits, Africa asks: What are we getting out of this

Chinese President Xi Jinping is touring parts of Africa this week, celebrating ever-closer economic ties that have made Beijing the continent’s biggest trading partner. But the bloom is off their initial romance, as each side finds previously unseen flaws in its partner. “The honeymoon is over,” says Deborah Brautigam, an expert on China and Africa at Johns Hopkins University. “Now they are working on their relationship. It is not purely harmonious by any means.” Indeed, China and Africa may be going through something of a “seven-year itch,” say some observers. It has been that long since 48 African leaders gathered at an unprecedented summit in Beijing to embrace China, and now some influential African voices are grumbling about whether their continent has benefited sufficiently from that embrace. The figures are startling: Chinese trade with African countries has leapt fourfold in six years to reach nearly $200 billion in 2012. There are now between 1 million and 2 million Chinese

Arab League grants seat to Syrian opposition

The summit of Arab League on Tuesday granted Damascus' seat to the Syrian opposition and acknowledged the right of the member countries to provide all means of self- defense to the Syrian opposition. Earlier on Tuesday, Moaz al-Khatib, resigned head of exiled Syrian opposition coalition, took up Damascus' seat at the summit, calling for more political and financial support to the Syrian opposition. The Arab League suspended Syria's membership in November 2011. Earlier this month, some countries, mainly oil-rich Qatar and Saudi Arabia, led a push to invite the Syrian opposition to occupy the seat of Damascus at the pan-Arab body. The Arab leaders rushed through the summit Tuesday, one day earlier than scheduled. A total of 15 heads of state of Arab countries attended the summit, including Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, while Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Algeria, Oman, Sudan and the United Arab

Yankees complete trade for Vernon Wells

Vernon Wells won’t be wearing No. 10 in the Bronx, and he’s starting his Yankees career with No. 56. ‘I’m going to wear Lawrence Taylor for a little bit,’ he joked after his trade to the Yankees was made official. TAMPA — The trade took two days to complete, but Vernon Wells is officially a Yankee. Having passed his physical earlier in the day, Wells arrived at Steinbrenner Field Tuesday afternoon and settled into his new locker. "Just the history and the names that are in this clubhouse, and the guys that are in this clubhouse, this is special," Wells said. "It's obviously a huge commitment to put the pinstripes on, but this is baseball. This is the center of it all and this is a fun way for things to go toward the end of my career." Wells was assigned No. 56 — "I'm going to wear Lawrence Taylor for a little bit," he joked — though he figures to be assigned a lower number once more cuts are made this week. The Yankees sent minor league

T-Mobile's iPhone 5 By The Numbers

With much fanfare and hullaballoo, T-Mobile USA CEO John Legere announced that the company will finally offer Apple's smartphone. The iPhone 5 goes on sale from T-Mobile April 12, but customers can sign up starting April 5. T-Mobile is advertising the iPhone 5 for $99, but that's not necessarily what you'll pay. The $99 is actually a down payment on the iPhone 5. Thereafter, T-Mobile's iPhone 5 customers will make monthly payments of $20 for 24 months until the device is paid off. Between the down payment and the monthly installments, the total amounts to $580 -- that's about $70 less than the iPhone 5's raw $649 selling price. As soon as the iPhone 5 is paid off, you'll own the device, whether or not you stick with T-Mobile USA. Even better, once you own the device, T-Mobile USA will unlock it so it can be used on competing networks. (Yes, new phones will be locked to T-Mobile's network.) The beauty of T-Mobile's new model is that there are no cont

Obama chooses first woman Secret Service director: officials

WASHINGTON | Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:48pm EDT President Barack Obama has chosen veteran Secret Service agent Julia Pierson as the first woman to become director of the agency that protects the president, two officials told Reuters on Tuesday. Pierson has been chief of staff at the Secret Service, which last year became embroiled in a scandal involving agents taking prostitutes to their hotel rooms in Colombia before Obama visited the country. Pierson is a native of Florida and began her career with the Secret Service as a special agent with the Miami Field Office in 1983. Starting in 1988, she served four years with the Presidential Protective Division. She will replace Mark Sullivan who retired as Secret Service director in February. The position does not require confirmation by the Senate.

Dominican immigrant feels "pure joy" from Powerball win

Pedro Quezada holds up his $338 million Powerball jackpot check on Tuesday, March 26. / CBS News The Dominican immigrant who won the $338 million Powerball jackpot said Tuesday his head wasn't clear enough to decide what to do with his winnings, but knew he was going to help his "humble" family. Pedro Quezada appeared at New Jersey lottery headquarters to officially claim the $338 million Powerball prize, his wife and brothers also in the room. The former shop owner from a working-class suburb of New York City has been in the U.S. for 26 years. "I felt pure joy, just happiness," he said in Spanish, a translator by his side. The numbers drawn Saturday were 17, 29, 31, 52, 53 and Powerball 31. If Quezada takes a lump-sum payment, it would be worth $221 million, or about $152 million after taxes. It's the fourth-largest jackpot in Powerball history. Casiano, one of Quezada's five children, said his family plans to keep open the Passaic bodega they have

Supreme court indicates cautious approach to gay marriage rights

The polarisation of the supreme court was laid bare on Tuesday, the first of two days of hearings on gay marriage. Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images US supreme court justices tore into a central argument of opponents of same-sex marriage on Tuesday as the court heard for the first time arguments over whether gay couples have a constitutional right to wed. The deep polarisation of the court on social issues was laid bare on the first of two days of hearings on gay marriage, which saw liberal justices shoot down claims that same sex-couples should not be allowed to wed because they cannot procreate, while the conservatives attacked rapid change as undermining centuries of tradition. But none of the parties in the cases under consideration on Tuesday, involving a 2008 California referendum barring gay marriage, may get the definitive rulings they are seeking. One persistent line of questioning raised the prospect that the court will sidestep a decision on the basis that

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