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China to Resume Talks With Tibetans, Dalai Lama Says

The Dalai Lama said Monday that formal talks between his envoys and their Chinese counterparts were expected to resume in June, even as Chinese officials kept up their public denunciations of the Tibetan spiritual leader.

For the last two months, the Dalai Lama has witnessed from his perch here in exile a historic outburst of protest in his homeland, but he has been accused by officials in Beijing for trying to split the nation and was even derided as a “wolf in monk’s clothing.” All the while, he has gone hoarse telling the world’s news media that he is neither for the independence of Tibet nor against China’s hosting of the Olympic Games.

“Now the time has come for the Chinese government to conduct a thorough realistic review,” he said in an interview. “They have poured in billions. But they have failed to bring satisfaction to Tibetan life. They have to find out what’s wrong.”

Asked repeatedly whether he expected China to negotiate in good faith, or engage in talks simply in an effort to deflect mounting international criticism before the Beijing Olympics, the Dalai Lama demurred. “Too early to say,” he said.

Hundreds Arrested in U.S. Sweep Of Kosher Meat Plant

In the biggest workplace immigration raid this year, federal agents swept into a kosher meat plant on Monday in Postville, Iowa, and arrested more than 300 workers.

The authorities said the workers were suspected to be in the United States illegally or to have participated in identity theft and the fraudulent use of Social Security numbers.

A spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement would not say how many people had been rounded up beyond the initial 300 or whether the management and owners of the plant, AgriProcessors, would face criminal charges.

The plant has 800 to 900 people and is America’s largest producer of meat that is glatt kosher, widely regarded as the highest standard of cleanliness.

The plant shut temporarily.

The agents set up a perimeter around the 60-acre plant, in northeastern Iowa, and entered on the morning shift, carrying out two search warrants, federal authorities said.

For HSBC, Asia Offsets Loan Problems in U.S.

HSBC Holdings, Europe’s biggest bank, said on Monday that a recession in the United States was “increasingly likely” because the housing market would continue to deteriorate into next year.

The London-based bank put aside $3.2 billion for bad loans in the United States in the first quarter, in line with its expectations, and said that the consumer finance business in America “remains challenging” because the “trend of rising delinquency ratios will continue.”

HSBC reported higher profit in the first quarter from the same period a year ago as its Asian business more than offset declining earnings in the United States.

“Emerging markets have held up for them but inflation is a risk, putting pressure on margins, and the thing we’re paying most attention to is them not calling an end to the U.S. situation,” an analyst at Panmure Gordon in London, Sandy Chen, said.