china agrees to talk about iran sanctions
China agreed to discuss possible new sanctions against Iran for the first time during talks with key nations trying to get the Iranians to return to negotiations on the country's nuclear program, Britain's U.N. ambassador said Wednesday. Mark Lyall Grant said senior diplomats from the six nations — the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — held a conference call on a proposal for a fourth round of sanctions, which the United States circulated in January. China has not responded to the proposal. But Lyall Grant said that during Wednesday's call, "my understanding is that they have agreed to engage substantively."
U.S. clean-energy status falters
China overtook the United States for the first time last year in the race to invest in wind, solar and other sources of so-called "clean energy." U.S. clean-energy investments approached $19 billion, said a report from the Pew Charitable Trusts, a little more than half the Chinese total of nearly $35 billion. Five years ago, China's investment in clean energy was just $2.5 billion. The United States also slipped behind 10 other countries, including Canada and Mexico, in clean energy investments as a share of its national economy.
• The U.S. Mint is hoping to repeat the success it had with the 50-state quarter program with a new series of designs featuring national parks and forests.
New law requires Muslims to unveil
Quebec passed landmark legislation that stipulates Muslim women will need to uncover their faces when dealing with government services. The bill says people obtaining or delivering services at places such as health or auto insurance offices will need to do so with their faces in plain view. The law covers all garments ranging from the face veil to the burqa, a traditional head-to-toe veil worn by some Muslim women.
California: Elinor Smith Sullivan, a record-setting aviator named by fellow fliers the 1930 female pilot of the year over Amelia Earhart, died Friday of kidney failure in Palo Alto. She was 98.
Chile: Last month's devastating earthquake cost nearly $30 billion, according to the government's first detailed report.
Mexico: President Barack Obama's administration named 54 alleged drug cartel lieutenants and enforcers as drug kingpins under a law that allows the U.S. government to freeze their bank accounts and penalize their business associates.
Oslo: Sixteen runaway train cars careened downhill for 3 miles and crashed into a port building, killing three workers, before two of the cars plunged into the water.
Ottawa: A protest by hundreds of students led organizers to cancel a speech by American conservative commentator Ann Coulter at the University of Ottawa.