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President Barack Obama traveled to California to meet with his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping on Friday.
At a private estate on the edge of the Mojave Desert, the two will discuss hot button issues including cybersecurity and North Korea.
"The very fact that they're going to be in relative seclusion and isolation in California actually is a pretty good thing," former U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman said in an interview with CNN. "It's a first for the relationship in recent years, in the sense that there will be no outside noise. It's going to be strictly dedicated to trust-building a relationship."
Huntsman was the ambassador to China from 2009-2011. He is also a former Republican presidential candidate, and former governor of Utah.
The California visit, Xi's first to the United States as president, comes at a time of rising tensions over allegations of cyber hacking and cyber attacks; both countries accuse the other of engaging in such activities.
"The target set that China defines under the national security rubric, it goes well beyond what we wanted consider to be national security targets. And it includes private individuals, NGOs, civil society and private business. And that strays well beyond the red lines that otherwise are established under the whole cyber domain and therefore becomes very injurious to the United States," said Huntsman.
Revelations that the National Security Agency has been indiscriminately collecting data on Verizon telephones, followed by reports that the NSA may also be monitoring websites, have sparked a debate about what the United States does in the name of security, and how much that infringes upon liberty.
President Barack Obama defended it all Friday afternoon.
"In the abstract you can complain about 'Big Brother,' and how this is a potential program run amok. But when you actually look at the details, then I think we have struck the right balance," said Obama.
It may be the biggest breakup in Moscow since the dissolution of all those Soviet socialist republics - the nearly 30-year marriage between President Vladimir Putin and his wife is as dead as Anna Karenina.
But there may be more to the story.
Today the Kremlin – which is used to controlling the message – pushed back against rumors that Putin has been having an affair, and says he has no plans to re-marry.
(CNN) - At least three people were wounded and a suspect reportedly was in custody Friday after a shooting at Santa Monica College in Southern California, according to officials and media reports.
Authorities were "checking reports for an additional shooter," Sgt. Denise Joslin, a California Highway Patrol spokeswoman, told CNN.
The school was under lockdown.
For our hashtag game Thursday, we asked you to come up with a personal ad for newly-single Russian President Vladimir Putin. Thanks to all tweeps who played, and a shout out to the two who made air: @DRogerCasey tweeted "Sometimes I can be in charge, sometimes you can appear to be in charge. From Russia with Love." And @BrianPinDC, who sent in, "You like manliness? I have. You want security? I have. You wish for me to show you crossbow? I have."
Watch "The Lead" Friday, June 7, for our story on the new woman in Putin's life. On CNN at 4 p.m. ET