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China warns US against meeting with the Dalai Lama

China has urged the US to scrap plans for President Barack Obama to meet exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama today, warning that the planned meeting would "seriously damage" ties between the countries.

Read: Obama to meet Dalai Lama over human rights concerns in Tibet

Obama's planned meeting with the Dalai Lama at the White House is a "gross interference" in China's internal affairs, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement on the ministry's website.

Obama to meet Dalai Lama over human rights in Tibet

US President Barack Obama will meet exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at the White House today, as the US raises concerns about tensions and human rights in Tibetan areas of China.

President Barack Obama will meet exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at the White House today. Credit: Reuters

"We are concerned about continuing tensions and the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibetan areas of China," Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council said.

Read: Dalai Lama - Bradford's Unlikely supporter - wishes team well ahead of final

"We will continue to urge the Chinese government to resume dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives, without preconditions, as a means to reduce tensions," Hayden said in a statement announcing the 10am (1500 GMT) meeting.

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Under fire Christie prepares to swear in for second term

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will be sworn in for his second term today amid allegations that he misused about $2 million in funds collected for Superstorm Sandy relief.

Christie is also reeling from the 'Bridgegate' scandal, as he and several officials face a class legal action over claims they conspired to cause a traffic jam on one of the country's busiest bridges.

Chris Christie will be inaugurated for his second term as governor of New Jersey today
Chris Christie will be inaugurated for his second term as governor of New Jersey today Credit: Dennis Van Tine/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

The relief fund Investigations focus on a $25 million Jersey Shore marketing campaign which included a television advert featuring Christie and his family.

The promotional advert - with the tagline that New Jersey was "Stronger than the Storm" - was broadcast in the spring as Christie headed into a re-election campaign to win a second term.

Christie was lampooned by his music hero Bruce Springsteen over the New Jersey bridge scandal, who appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon on NBC in the US to rework his hit Born To Run.

Read: Could a set of traffic cones halt the New Jersey Governor's White House ambitions?

Americans hold vigil for victims of gun violence

Hundreds of Americans held a vigil for the victims of gun violence on the cusp of one-year anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 20 children and 6 teachers dead.

The multi-faith service in National Cathedral in Washington DC brought together religious leaders and families of the victims of gun violence.

Many guests took to the stage, talking about their experience of losing a loved one in a gun attack.

Anthony Hardmon spoke about the pain after his 19 year-old sister Ashley was killed after being shot in the back of her head few blocks away from her home in Chicago.

Anthony Hardmon shows a picture of his late sister Ashley Credit: NBC News

Tom Sullivan showed the audience a picture of his son Alex, who died as he celebrated his 27th birthday with the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado.

Tom Sullivan speaks about his son Alex who died in the Aurora shooting Credit: NBC News
Hundreds gathered in the National Cathedral in Washington DC Credit: NBC News

Drink driving teenage killer spared jail due to 'affluenza'

A decision by a Texas judge to give an affluent teenager probation after he killed four people while driving drunk has sparked a backlash and complaints of a miscarriage of justice.

Eric Boyles, whose wife and daughter died in the incident, told CNN that he was shocked at the sentence.

The primary message has to absolutely be that money and privilege can't buy justice in this country, that it's not okay to drink and drive and kill four people, and severely injure another, and not have any consequences.

– Eric Boyles, whose wife and daughter died in the incident

A psychologist for the defence said the teen suffered from "affluenza", a condition where a person feels shielded from problems by money and having led a life of privilege paid for by his parents, local media reported.

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Teen drink driver avoids jail after 'affluenza' defence

An affluent Texan teenager who killed four people while driving drunk was sentenced to 10 years probation and ordered to get therapy, despite the prosecution seeking a 20 year jail term.

A psychologist for the defence said the teen suffered from "affluenza", a condition where a person feels shielded from problems by money and having led a life of privilege paid for by his parents, local media reported.

Four people were killed in June. Credit: NBC News

The decision by a Texas court has sparked a backlash and complaints of a miscarriage of justice.

The teen driver had three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system at the time of arrest, prosecutors said.

He was driving a pick-up truck when he ran down four people who were helping fix a vehicle at the roadside near Dallas.

One World Trade Center 'the tallest building in the West'

One World Trade Center, the marquee skyscraper at the site of the 9/11 attacks, is officially the tallest building in the United States.

One World Trade Center

By crowning the 1,776 feet Manhattan skyscraper as the tallest building in Western hemisphere, the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat ended a bitter dispute between New York and Chicago.

Chicago is home to the 1,451 feet Willis Tower that previously held the title.

The argument was centered around the building's 408-foot mast and whether it counts as part of its official height.

The mast counts as part of the official height.

NYC's newest, tallest building: One World Trade Center

Had the council classified the mast as a broadcast antenna, the title would have been kept by the Willis Tower.

Ariel Castro death 'may have been accidental'

Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro, who was found hanging in his prison cell in September, may not have committed suicide but could have died accidentally, according to a report from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Ariel Castro was found dead in his cell on 3 September
Ariel Castro was found dead in his cell on 3 September Credit: DPA/Press Association Images

The report said prison officials had falsified logs and failed to make regular checks on Castro's cell on 3 September, the day of his death.

The possibility of accidental death was disputed by Franklin County coroner Jan . Gorniak, who called his death "a hanging suicide" in an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper.

Castro was serving a sentence of life plus 1,000 years for the abduction, torture and detention of three young Cleveland women. He was taken off suicide watch in June, but should have been monitored by guards every 30 minutes.

Fire in Los Angeles forces 'mandatory evacuations'

A fire at a powerhouse in the Lake Elizabeth area of Los Angeles country has forced evacuations, reports the LA Times.

A tweet by the LA Times shows flames close to nearby homes.

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