Free-trade talks between the US and South Korea began Monday in Washington. Negotiations could last a year and possibly result in the biggest deal since the North American Free Trade Agreement was signed in 1992. Before the talks opened, a group of about 100 South Korean and American activists rallied near the White House opposing any pact that might lead to job losses in vulnerable industries on both sides of the Pacific. South Korea, which ranks as the seventh-largest US trade partner, has been able to protect its market with tariffs of 11 to 52 percent on industrial, consumer, and farming products, but those are in jeopardy.
The State Department urged China's government to "provide a full accounting" of its role in suppressing pro-democracy demonstrators at Tiananmen Square on the crackdown's 17th anniversary. Thousands of protesters were killed or detained, but discussion of the massacre remains taboo in China. The US called Sunday for a list of all those still in prison and for China to address "the rights of the victims and their families."
Nearly 1 in 5 students surveyed at Cornell and Princeton universities said they engaged in acts of self-abuse, including cutting and burning themselves, according to a mental-health study released Monday by the journal Pediatrics. Counselors say such behavior, which is glorified by as many as 400 websites, is happening at colleges, high schools, and middle schools across the country. Researchers believe those who've experienced sexual, emotional, and physical abuse may use self-inflicted harm as a coping mechanism.
Al Gore, the losing Democratic candidate in the 2000 presidential election, told ABC's "This Week" he "can't imagine any circumstances" in which he'd run in 2008. He said he's focused on educating people about global warming, including via "An Inconvenient Truth," a new documentary in which he stars.
General Motors convenes its annual meeting Tuesday in Wilmington, Del., amid heightened shareholder interest and concern. The automaker has been making aggressive efforts to raise cash and streamline operations by announcing it will lay off thousands of employees at a dozen plants by 2008. One shareholder proposal calls for voting on a new board of directors. GM earned $445 million in the first quarter of this year after losing $1.3 billion during the same period last year.