Beijing protests to Tokyo
China voiced its dissatisfac-tion with Japan yesterday
for allowing the Dalai Lama to visit despite Beijing's opposition, saying the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader
was a long-time separatist. "We express our strong dissatisfaction to Japan for insisting on allowing the Dalai to visit in spite of China's many solemn repre-sentations and resolute opposition," Foreign Minis-try spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue (章啟月) said on the ministry's Web site. The Tibetan leader arrived in Tokyo yesterday for a 12-day visit at the invitation of Japanese lawmakers.
Huge quarantine unneeded
China unnecessarily quaran-tined thousands of its resi-dents earlier this year in an effort to contain an outbreak of the SARS virus, according to a study released on Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Only about one-third of the esti-mated 30,000 people quaran-tined in Beijing needed to
be isolated, according to the study by the Chinese equi-valent of the CDC. "Focusing only on persons who had contact with an actively ill SARS patient would have reduced the number of persons quarantined by approximately 64 percent without compromising its effectiveness," the authors said. The current US approach to containing SARS recommends quaran-tining only those who develop symptoms of the illness after direct contact with an infected person.
Gas-attack case nears end
Doomsday guru Shoko Asahara sat silently as his team of 12 lawyers made their final arguments in his defense yesterday, wrapping up a seven-and-a-half-year trial in which Asahara faces a possible death sentence for allegedly masterminding the deadly nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subways. Ashara's lawyers argued that he had lost control over his Aum Shin-rikyo disciples and
that they had acted on their own in carrying out the 1995 gassing. Asahara is also accused of ordering more than a dozen other killings, resulting in the deaths of
Eight guilty of subversion
A former Chinese court official has been sentenced to 16 years in prison on subversion charges after setting up an independent labor union, a human rights group says. Li Jianfeng and seven co-defendants say police framed them and tortured them in detention, New York-based Human Rights in China said Thurs-day, citing court documents. The eight were sentenced by a court in Ningde, Fujian Province. The president of the human rights group said several others who were convicted received prison terms of two or three years.
■ Hong Kong
260 more prostitutes netted
Police said yesterday that they had arrested 260 more prostitutes from China, bringing to 480 the number of Chinese prostitutes rounded up this week. The 260 women, aged 16 to 52, were rounded up in raids on 80 locations in the red light districts of Kowloon which ended Thursday night, a police spokesman said. One in every 1,000 Chinese visitors to Hong Kong is now arrested for prostitution.
Court clears former PM
Italy's highest court cleared Giulio Andreotti, the former prime minister, of a murder charge on Thursday, overturning a previous conviction. Andreotti, 84, had been accused of conspiring with the Mafia in the 1979 killing of a journalist who was supposedly investigating him. In 1999, a court in Perugia acquitted him, but prosecutors appealed that verdict. Last November, an appeals court in Perugia convicted Andreotti, who had served as prime minister seven times. Andreotti has always maintained that the charge against him was false and that he was the victim of political enemies and crime figures who were seeking retribution.
Berlusconi releases CD
Three lucky Italian couples will soon have the opportunity to be married to the strain of love songs written by their prime minister. A CD of pieces largely written by Silvio Berlusconi hits the shops yesterday with a special offer: buyers counting the days to their wedding can enter a draw. The winning couples, one each from the south, center and north of Italy, will be serenaded during the ceremony by his "artistic collaborator" Mariano Apicella, singing songs from the CD. Meglio 'ne Canzone (Better a Song) carries 14 tracks with lyrics by the Italian leader, five of them written in collaboration with a professional librettist.
■ United States
No mo' Rumsfeld mojo
US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he does not know whether or not he has lost his mojo, as a leading news magazine suggested, because he doesn't really know what mojo is. "Is Rumsfeld Losing His Mojo?" was the headline in Time magazine above a story about Rumsfeld's recent difficulties concerning Iraq policy and differences with US lawmakers. The Webster's New World Dictionary defines mojo as "a charm or amulet thought to have magic powers," or "power, luck, etc., as of magical or supernatural origin."
■ United States
Phone in toilet causes chaos
Edwin Gallart, 41, of the Edenwald section of the Bronx, was aboard car 8371 of the 6:19pm Harlem Line local train out of Grand Central Terminal when his cell phone fell into the toilet, officials said. When he reached into the bowl to retrieve it, his arm became trapped from hand to elbow. Train operators arranged for rescue crews to meet the train a few stops later, where firefighters used no less than three sets of power tools, including the hydraulic jaws of life, to cut through the toilet, which was ripped from the lavatory before being sliced open. The phone was not found.
Hundreds sick on cruise ship
Hundreds of British tourists on the British-flagged cruise ship Aurora have been hit by a stomach bug and would not be allowed off when it reached Greece's port of Piraeus, Greek officials said on Thursday. "Four hundred and thirty people on board the Aurora are having severe stomach problems," a Merchant Marine Ministry spokeswoman said. The Aurora's owners, P&O Cruises, said the bug was very mild and there had been no need to call in further medical assistance. Greek officials said the ship was carrying 1,900 tourists and 837 crew, and a P&O spokeswoman said: "As far as I am aware all the passengers are British."
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete