World and Nation

Shorts (left)

New Message ReportedFrom Bin Laden

A new audiotape, reportedly from Osama bin Laden, says that President Barack Obama is no different from his predecessor and warns that anti-American attacks will not stop unless the United States ends the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 11-minute, 20-second message, distributed online on Sunday, two days after the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, also said U.S. support for Israel was the main underlying reason for anger in the Muslim world.

The tape appeared on As-Sahab, the Arabic-language Web site used by al-Qaida to deliver its messages. The recording was reported and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group and IntelCenter, two groups in the United States that monitor jihadist Web sites.

“The time has come for you to liberate yourselves from fear and the ideological terrorism of neoconservatives and the Israeli lobby,” the voice attributed to bin Laden said. “The reason for our dispute with you is your support for your ally Israel, occupying our land in Palestine.”

China Moves to Retaliate Against U.S. Tire Tariff

China unexpectedly ratcheted up pressure Sunday on the United States in a widening trade dispute, taking the first steps toward imposing tariffs on American exports of automotive products and chicken meat in retaliation for President Barack Obama’s decision late Friday to levy tariffs on tires from China.

The impact of the dispute extends well beyond tires, chickens and cars. Both governments are facing domestic pressure to take a tougher stand against the other on economic issues. But the trade battle increases political tensions between the two nations even as they try to work together to revive the global economy and combat mutual security threats, like the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea.

Obama’s decision to impose a tariff of up to 35 percent on Chinese tires is a signal that he plans to deliver on his promise to labor unions that he would more strictly enforce trade laws, especially against China, which has become the world’s factory while the United States has lost millions of manufacturing jobs.

New York City Seeks To Ban Smoking at Parks and Beaches

New York City’s workplace smoking ban six years ago drove cigarette and cigar puffers outdoors. But soon some of the outdoors may be off limits too: The city’s health commissioner, Dr. Thomas A. Farley, said Monday that he would seek to ban smoking in city parks and beaches.

Farley said the ban was part of a broader strategy to further curb smoking rates, which have fallen in recent years. The proposal, however, seemed to catch Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg off guard.

On Monday night, the mayor, who has championed anti-smoking programs but also is running for re-election, issued a statement that did not disavow the proposal but appeared to qualify it, saying he wanted “to see if smoking in parks has a negative impact on people’s health.”

The New York City proposal would affect more than 1,700 parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities, as well as the city’s seven beaches, which span 14 miles of shoreline. The proposal drew praise from public health advocates and criticism from one of the nation’s biggest tobacco manufacturers.