WORLD IN BRIEF: US-China tension looms at climate talks

US-China tension looms at climate talks

COPENHAGEN -- In a showdown between the world's two largest polluters, China accused the United States and other rich nations Tuesday of backsliding on fighting global warming and the top U.S. envoy said Chinese greenhouse gas emission commitments should be independently verified.

Trying to ease the tension, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said rich and poor countries must ''stop pointing fingers'' and should increase their pledges to cut emissions to salvage the faltering talks on a climate pact. The European Union also urged both the U.S. and China to increase their commitments on emissions targets, but the U.S. would not change its offer.

Bomber strikes near former VP home in Kabul

KABUL -- A suicide car bomber struck Tuesday near the home of a former Afghan vice president and a hotel frequented by Westerners, killing at least eight people and wounding nearly 40 in a neighborhood considered one of Kabul's safest.

The blast was the deadliest in the heart of the city since an Oct. 28 assault on a guesthouse filled with U.N. staffers killed eight people.

Explosions in 2 major Iraq cities kill 9

BAGHDAD -- A barrage of bombings killed nine people in two of Iraq's largest cities Tuesday, stoking Iraqis' anger that insurgents continue to slip past security forces amid looming national elections and the U.S. military's planned exit.

The explosions in Baghdad and Mosul come on the heels of last week's horrific suicide bombings in the Iraqi capital that killed 127 people and wounded more than 500.

Hamas blames Israel for talks breakdown

TEHRAN, Iran -- Israeli intransigence caused a breakdown in negotiations to release an Israeli soldier held by the militant Palestinian group Hamas, its leader said Tuesday.

Speaking in the Iranian capital of Tehran, Khaled Mashaal said the Israelis have no choice but to free the Palestinian prisoners Hamas wants if it ever wants to see Sgt. Gilad Schalit again.

Hamas and Israel have been negotiating to exchange hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for Schalit