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Chinese President Hu Jintao waves after an arrival ceremony, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Chinese President Hu Jintao waves after an arrival ceremony, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011, at Andrews Air Force …

President Barack Obama welcomed Chinese President Hu Jintao to the White House Wednesday with full honors, a red carpet and a color guard. But the two leaders wasted no time in delivering pointed messages to each other at the start of daylong meetings to address trade, security and human rights issues that have been the cause of past strain between the two powers. In his remarks at the South Lawn arrival ceremony, Obama said each country had an enormous stake in the other's future, and he then referenced human rights.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The new Republican-led House is poised to deliver an emphatic thumbs-down to President Barack Obama's landmark health care overhaul, with no ready substitute of its own. The House vote Wednesday could turn out to be the high-water mark for repeal, a goal that energized conservative voters in the midterm elections and helped Republicans return to power in Congress. Democrats, who hung on to the Senate, have vowed to block the GOP drive.

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Surveillance video from an Arizona grocery store shows moments of mayhem and heroism as a gunman shoots Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the face, then turns the gun on a crowd of people waiting to meet the congresswoman, an Arizona sheriff's official said Wednesday. Pima County Sheriff's Chief Rick Kastigar said he watched the first part of the surveillance video, which shows 22-year-old Jared Loughner walking around a folding table behind Giffords, going up to her and shooting her in the forehead.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Builders began work last year on the second fewest number of homes in more than half a century, as the weak economy kept people from buying houses. Builders broke ground on a total of 587,600 homes in 2010, just barely better than the 554,000 started in 2009. Those are the two worst years on records dating back to 1959.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Joe Lieberman was so determined to hang onto his seat in 2006 after losing the Democratic primary in Connecticut that he ran as an independent. Now he's leaving without a fight. The 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, who angered the party by backing Republican Sen. John McCain for president in 2008, will leave the Senate on his own terms. He's decided to retire and not seek a fifth term in 2012, Democratic officials said Tuesday.

BEIJING (AP) — China's online population rose to 457 million in 2010 as use of mobile phones to surf the Web spread rapidly, an industry group reported Wednesday. China's population of Internet users — a group more than 50 percent larger than the whole U.S. population — grew 19 percent in 2010 over the previous year, said the state-sanctioned China Internet Network Information Center.

GENEVA (AP) — A Tunisian prosecutor opened an investigation Wednesday into the overseas assets of the ousted president and his deeply resented family Wednesday, as the U.N.'s human rights chief said more than 100 people have died during five weeks of unrest. The prosecutor's move came as hundreds of protesters led a peaceful — if noisy — rally in central Tunis, demanding that former allies of deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali stop clinging to power.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haitian authorities moved toward trying Jean-Claude Duvalier for alleged corruption and embezzlement during his brutal 15-year rule, opening an investigation against the former dictator whose unexpected return from exile took an already tense nation by surprise. The former strongman known as "Baby Doc" was questioned by judges for hours behind closed doors in a court in Haiti's capital Tuesday, defense attorney Gervais Charles said. The case is now in the hands of a judge of instruction who will decide whether there is enough evidence to go to trial, Charles said. The process that can take up to three months.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Nearly 10,000 years ago, man's best friend provided protection and companionship — and an occasional meal. That's what researchers are saying after finding a bone fragment from what they are calling the earliest confirmed domesticated dog in the Americas.

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Defending champion Roger Federer admitted he was lucky to escape with a victory at the Australian Open on Wednesday, edging Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3 in the second round. Early on it seemed as if Simon, who had beaten Federer in their only two previous meetings, would send the Swiss star packing out of a Grand Slam before the third round for the first time since the French Open in 2003 — a total of 31 majors.

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