**China Predicted to Overtake US as Economic Power by 2030 **
A new U.S. intelligence assessment says China is expected to surpass the United States as the leading economic power by 2030, but the U.S. will remain a top world leader.
The assessment was released Monday by the National Intelligence Council of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
It predicts that Asia will surpass North America and Europe combined in terms of indices of overall power -- in gross domestic product, population size, military spending and technological investment.
The report says the world will see an expanding middle class by 2030, and for the first time a majority of the world's population will not be impoverished.
It notes an expected higher demand on resources, as the global population expands by about a billion to 8 billion people. It says nearly half of the world's population will live in areas with severe water stress.
It says China and India are vulnerable to shortages of key resources, while limited resources such as water and arable land could increase the risks of intrastate conflict in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and parts of the Middle East.
It says the United States will likely be energy independent, while Russia, Europe and Japan are predicated to see slow economic declines.
The assessment anticipates that the Middle East will remain the world's most volatile region, and any future wars in Asia and the Middle East could include a nuclear component, making conflicts hard to contain and with global impact.
It also warns that countries including Afghanistan, Burundi, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen face a high risk of state failure.
The National Intelligence Council publishes a global trends report every four years. The report is an analysis of information from the U.S. intelligence community and experts in the U.S. and abroad.
**Mali's Prime Minister Resigns **
Mali's interim Prime Minister Cheikh Modibo Diarra has resigned, just hours after he was arrested by soldiers as he prepared to leave the country.
Mr. Diarra made a statement on national television early Tuesday, announcing he was stepping down, along with his entire government.
A reporter in the region told VOA the prime minister was emotional as he apologized to Malians and said he had been trying to work for the country. In his brief statement, Mr. Diarra said there were some problems.
Officials say soldiers loyal to Captain Amadou Sanogo, who led Mali's coup earlier this year, arrested the prime minister at his home late Monday as he prepared to leave for France. The French News Agency says he was planning to travel to Paris for a medical check-up.
Tensions had been mounting in recent weeks in the unity government comprised of Mr. Diarra, Sanogo and interim President Diouncounda Traore. In August, the country formed the power-sharing government under the leadership of Mr. Diarra.
Islamist militants seized control of northern Mali in April, a few days after a coup toppled President Amadou Toumani Toure.