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Mr. Noda was speaking before meeting with his counterpart, Wen Jiabao. He meets with Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday before returning home. His visit to China was planned before Mr. Kim’s death was announced Dec. 19.


Rally denounces killing of protesters

SANAA — Tens of thousands of people demonstrated Sunday in Yemen’s capital, protesting the deaths of protesters and demanding the resignation of the vice president for failing to bring the killers to justice.

Marching past the office of Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, the protesters denounced him as a “tool in the hands” of outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The march took place as Mr. Hadi was meeting with U.S. Ambassador Gerald Feierstein. A statement from Mr. Hadi’s office said they discussed Yemen’s crisis, and Mr. Hadi appealed for calm.

Mr. Hadi is heading a transitional government after Mr. Saleh agreed to transfer power following months of demonstrations and turmoil.

Under the U.S.-backed plan, Mr. Saleh won immunity from prosecution, angering many of his opponents. Yielding to pressure to defuse the country’s tensions, Mr. Saleh said Saturday he would leave for the United States.

The U.S. is concerned about months of turmoil in Yemen that have led to a security breakdown because the al Qaeda branch in Yemen has taken advantage of the vacuum to expand its presence in the south of the country.


Opposition calls for U.N. to end crisis

BEIRUT — Syria’s top opposition leader called on the Arab League on Sunday to bring the U.N. into the effort to stop the regime’s bloody crackdown on dissent, as security forces pressed ahead with raids and arrests and killed at least seven more people.

Burhan Ghalioun, the Paris-based leader of the Syrian National Council, made the plea as Arab League officials were setting up teams of foreign monitors as part of their plan aimed at ending nine months of turmoil that the U.N. says have killed more than 5,000 people.

Opposition groups say the Arab League is not strong enough to resolve the crisis, which is escalating beyond mass demonstrations into armed clashes between military defectors and security forces, and a double suicide bombing that shook Damascus on Friday.

The Arab League has begun sending observers into Syria to monitor compliance with its plan to end to the crackdown on political opponents. Syrian President Bashar Assad agreed to the league plan only after it warned that it could turn to the U.N. Security Council to help stop the violence.

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