Beijing factories shut amid smog nightmare

BEIJING - Beijing ordered hundreds of factories to shut and allowed children to skip school as choking smog reached over 25 times safe levels on Tuesday, casting a cloud over China's participation in Paris climate talks.

World's richest 10 pct produce 50 pct of CO2: report

LE BOURGET - The richest 10 percent of people produce half of Earth's climate-harming fossil-fuel emissions, while the poorest half contribute a mere 10 percent, British charity Oxfam said in a study released Wednesday.

Obama warns of climate security risks as tough talks begin

LE BOURGET - US President Barack Obama warned Tuesday global warming posed imminent security and economic risks, as negotiators embarked on an 11-day race to seal a UN pact aimed at taming climate change.

Climate deal needed if Bill's billions are to help poor nations

WASHINGTON - Heads of state and big-name billionaires opened the Paris climate summit with a bang on Monday, promising billions of dollars to develop new green technology to solve a key sticking point of the negotiations: financing a low-carbon future for developing nations like India.

Mugabe 'overjoyed' to host rare VIP visitor in China's Xi

HARARE - China's President Xi Jinping visited Zimbabwe on Tuesday on a rare trip by a world leader to a country shunned by Western powers over President Robert Mugabe's widely-criticized record on human rights.

'Botched' India cataract surgery leaves 15 with sight loss

NEW DELHI, India - At least 15 people in northern India have lost the sight in one eye after having "botched" cataract surgery, local officials told AFP Tuesday.

Faulty rudder system major factor in AirAsia crash off Indonesia: probe

JAKARTA, Indonesia - A fault with the rudder control system was a major factor in the December AirAsia plane crash into the Java Sea that left 162 people dead, Indonesian investigators said Tuesday.

No charges after US boy, 13, shot dead for stealing

CHICAGO, United States - A man who shot and killed a 13-year-old boy as he was stealing from an unlocked car was arrested but US prosecutors declined to press charges, police said Monday.

US says supports Thailand's relationship with China

BANGKOK - The U.S. Ambassador to Thailand said on Monday that the United States supports Thailand's relationship with China, countering suggestions that Thailand has turned to Beijing amid a chill in ties between Bangkok and Washington.

Number of AIDS deaths among young Asians doubles over past decade - U.N.

BANGKOK - The estimated number of adolescents dying of AIDS in the Asia Pacific region has more than doubled since 2005, experts said on Monday, warning of a ''hidden epidemic''.