America

Obama Hails 'Mutual Respect'; Hu Pushes For 'Mutual Trust'

Good morning.

The latest news about Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' recovery from the severe injuries she received in the Jan. 8 shooting rampage in Tucson, as we just reported, is that she's going to be flown to Houston tomorrow for treatment at one of the nation's best rehabilitation centers — another good sign.

As for other stories making headlines this morning, they include:

— State Dinner: At the White House last night, President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hosted a "jazzy" state dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao.

In their toasts, Obama said he and Hu were meeting "in a spirit of mutual respect" and spoke of "the values that our people share: A reverence for family; the belief that, with education and hard work and with sacrifice, the future is what we make it; and most of all, the desire to give our children a better life."

Hu said the "purpose of my visit is to increase mutual trust, enhance friendship, deepen cooperation and advance the positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-U.S. relationship for the 21st century."

Yesterday, Hu conceded that "a lot still needs to be done in China in terms of human rights." Today, as The Washington Post says, Hu will "face critics on Capitol Hill."

President Obama (right) Chinese President Hu Jintao (center) and first lady Michelle Obama arrive for the State Dinner at the White House in Washington, DC, on Wednesday (Jan. 19, 2011). i i

hide captionPresident Obama (right) Chinese President Hu Jintao (center) and first lady Michelle Obama arrive for the State Dinner at the White House in Washington, DC, on Wednesday (Jan. 19, 2011).

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
President Obama (right) Chinese President Hu Jintao (center) and first lady Michelle Obama arrive for the State Dinner at the White House in Washington, DC, on Wednesday (Jan. 19, 2011).

President Obama (right) Chinese President Hu Jintao (center) and first lady Michelle Obama arrive for the State Dinner at the White House in Washington, DC, on Wednesday (Jan. 19, 2011).

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

— Health Care: The Republican-led House voted yesterday to repeal last year's health care overhaul legislation. Now, in part because the Democratic-led Senate isn't expected to do the same (and President Obama would veto any such effort), the focus on Capitol Hill shifts to part two of the Republicans' promise — to come up with an alternative on health care policy.

NPR's David Welna filed this report about the battle over health care policy for the network's newscast:

David Welna on the health care vote

— Tunisia: As Tunisia struggles "to put together a functioning interim government nearly a week after President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown, ... life in the streets seems to be returning to normal," Eleanor Beardsley reported on Morning Edition. There is one exception, though, she adds. "There's a lot more talking going on. Cafes in the capital, Tunis, are packed with chattering coffee drinkers. Clusters of people engaged in animated discussions block the sidewalks. But unlike in the old days, no subject is taboo."

— Guantanamo Detainees: "The Obama administration is preparing to increase the use of military commissions to prosecute Guantánamo detainees, an acknowledgment that the prison in Cuba remains open for business after Congress imposed steep new impediments to closing the facility," The New York Times reports.

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