Sat, Nov 01, 2003 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

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■ China

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.

■ China

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.

■ Japan

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

27 people.

■ China

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.

■ Italy

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.

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