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Biden says China cyber-theft must stop

Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the opening session of the 2013 Strategic and Economic Dialogue on Wednesday.

AP

Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the opening session of the 2013 Strategic and Economic Dialogue on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that China’s rise is good for the United States and the world but that its theft of US intellectual property must stop, as the two global powers began annual talks to build cooperation and hash out differences.

The Strategic and Economic Dialogue is taking place a month after the US and Chinese presidents held an unconventional summit at a California resort that aimed to set a positive tone in relations but made plain Washington’s anxiety about Chinese cybertheft.

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Secretary of State John F. Kerry returned from his wife’s bedside in Boston for the start of the talks. He issued tearful thanks for the good wishes for his wife, who remains hospitalized. He was to return to Boston later Wednesday.

House GOP splits farm bill
in attempt to revive it

WASHINGTON — Republican leaders hoping to recover from an embarrassing defeat in the House last month are preparing to split a massive farm bill and vote on it Thursday.

The GOP House leadership released a smaller version of the five-year bill late Wednesday, dropping a politically sensitive section of the legislation that would have made small cuts to the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program. Republicans are divided on how big cuts should be to food stamps, which have doubled in cost in the last five years.

Senate panel approves antidiscrimination bill

WASHINGTON — Gay rights advocates notched another victory Wednesday after a Senate panel approved a bill that would prohibit employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The measure won support from all Democrats and three Republicans on the 22-member committee, signaling it has a strong chance of passage in the full Senate, though its future in the house is less certain.

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