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'Substance' partially closes US consulate in China: official
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) May 14, 2013


A US consulate in China has suspended some of its operations, an official said Tuesday, after receiving an envelope which contained an "unidentified substance", reportedly white powder.

The consulate in the southern city of Guangzhou "received an envelope which contained an unidentified substance," on Monday, deputy US embassy spokesman Justin Higgins told AFP, adding that no one had been injured.

"We have not yet identified the substance," he said, adding that one part of the consulate had "temporarily suspended operations".

The Yangcheng Evening News, a Guangzhou paper, said the envelope contained a white powder. The consulate is mainly responsible for processing visas for Chinese citizens, it added.

US officials processed more than 1.34 million non-immigrant visa applications from Chinese citizens in 2012, up 34 percent from 2011, the embassy says on its website.

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Australian US Army general reflects Washington pivot
Washington (AFP) May 13, 2013
The appointment of an Australian to a senior position in the command of the US Army's 79,000-strong contingent in Asia-Pacific reflects Washington's strategic pivot to the region, officials said Monday. Two-star Australian Army general Richard Burr was appointed to the senior ranks of the US Army Pacific contingent in January, where he has been deputy commander for operations, commanding gen ... read more


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