Three militants killed
US troops killed three Taliban militants and detained another during a raid, a military statement said yesterday. The troops were targeting a militant leader coordinating Taliban activities in Ghazni Province on Tuesday when insurgents fired on them, the statement said. Three insurgents were killed in the ensuing firefight in Ghazni’s Andar district, the statement said. The US military has said it will continue its offensives against insurgents throughout the winter months.
China offers aid and loans
China is to give Cambodia aid and loans worth US$215 million for road construction and the two countries have also agreed to step up trade between them, officials said yesterday. They expected trade flows to reach US$1 billion by 2010 from US$933 million last year, the officials said. Beijing, which gave Cambodia US$600 million in assistance last year, is looking to expand cooperation in oil and mineral exploration, Cambodian Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said. The announcements came as a Chinese delegation visited to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between them.
Fire strikes nursery home
A fire in a nursing home yesterday killed seven elderly residents who were too frail to escape the early-morning blaze, Xinhua news service reported. All seven of the fatalities, five men and two women who occupied the same apartment, were seniors with disabilities, it quoted a fire official as saying. The fire broke out around 1:35am at the Kuanxin Apartment Building for Aged People, a privately owned 32-room facility in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province. None of the home’s other roughly 60 residents was harmed. The report gave no information on how the fire started.
Foreign tourism down
The number of foreign tourists visiting the country fell in the first 10 months of the year and the global economic crisis was expected to make things worse next year, authorities said in comments published yesterday. The number of overseas visitors staying overnight between January and October fell 1.9 percent year-on-year, the official China Daily said. The report, citing the National Tourism Administration, said the trend was expected to continue next year. The domestic tourism market remained strong, the China Daily said. The report did not give any reasons for the fall in foreign tourist numbers, but unrest in Tibet and the earthquake in Sichuan in May may have contributed to the drop.
SarkObama poster a puzzle
Mysterious posters of French President Nicolas Sarkozy inspired by an iconic election image of US president-elect Barack Obama have sprung up across Paris, sparking a media guessing game about the origin of the campaign. Modeled closely on a pop-art design by the US street artist Shepard Fairey in support of the Democrat’s presidential bid, the dozens of posters pasted up in Paris last week show Sarkozy against a red, white and blue backdrop. Each spells out a progressive policy goal — “Making polluters pay?” or “Producing clean and sustainable energy for Europe?” — above Obama’s slogan “Yes, We can.” Suspecting a pro-Sarkozy publicity stunt, French news Web site L’Express has launched a reader appeal to try to identify the poster gang, who responded with a trail of online clues. They have posted photo galleries of themselves — faces masked behind the “SarkObama” images — plastering the posters at emblematic sites across Paris, on the file sharing Web sites FlickR and Dailymotion.