Suu Kyi warned over ‘Burma’
Government officials have told opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi that she must refer to the nation by its official name and not “Burma.” The country’s former military rulers changed the country’s English name from Burma to Myanmar in 1989, but opponents and exile groups have persisted in referring to the country as Burma as a sign of protest and defiance. The national election commission issued the complaint yesterday in the state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper, saying Aung San Suu Kyi had referred to the country as Burma during her landmark trips to Thailand and Europe.
Blogger’s name cleared
A blogger sentenced to one year in a labor camp says a court has cleared his name in a case linked to the nation’s biggest political scandal in years. Fang Hong (方洪) said the Chongqing Third Intermediate Court overturned his conviction because of a lack of evidence and ruled his time served an illegal detention. He said he would seek compensation and an apology from government and media outlets that made the accusations again him. The retired civil servant was arrested after posting a brief poem mocking now-disgraced politician Bo Xilai (薄熙來).
Tanker explosion kills 20
A tanker truck filled with gasoline has collided with a truck in the south of the country, setting off an explosion and a massive fire that left 20 people dead and 14 others hurt. Xinhua News Agency said the tanker truck was carrying 40 tonnes of gasoline when it crashed into the other vehicle early yesterday morning on an expressway in Guangzhou City. Xinhua said oil leaked from the tanker truck and triggered an explosion that set a timber mill under the expressway bridge on fire. Xinhua said one of the 14 injured was severely hurt. Most of those hurt were workers from the factory. The agency cited Guangzhou City’s Internet information office.
Rebels killed in shootout
At least 17 Maoist rebels were killed during a gunbattle yesterday with security forces in the central state of Chhattisgarh, a hotbed of left-wing extremism, police said. The gunfight erupted in the early hours of the morning in a thickly forested area of Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region, about 295km south of the state capital Raipur. Six Maoists and six members of the security forces were wounded, district police superintendent Prashant Agrawal said by telephone. Security forces are combing the area in search of more fighters, after the rebels ambushed a police patrol and shot dead six officers and a civilian in the state last month.
Colorado wildfire kills one
A body has been found in the debris from a wildfire that tore into the outskirts of Colorado Springs this week, marking the first casualty from the blaze in the western city. Colorado Springs Police Chief Peter Carey told reporters late on Thursday night that a body was found in the rubble of the Waldo Canyon fire and that one other person was missing who lived at the same address. The fire — which destroyed 300 homes and forced about 36,000 people to evacuate — is just 15 percent contained.
Filipino made citizen at 102
A 102-year-old Filipino man who came to the US as a youth to pick lettuce has become a citizen. Only 27 people older than 100 have become citizens there over the past 50 years. Joaquin Arciago Guzman was helped out of a wheelchair by his niece so he could stand during the Pledge of Allegiance at Wednesday’s naturalization ceremony in Los Angeles.