Anti-IMF activists rally
Protesters calling for an end to the IMF hit the streets of Tokyo yesterday as the last-resort lender held meetings in the Japanese capital.
About 200 demonstrators marched through the city’s upscale Ginza shopping district near the Tokyo International Forum, which is playing host to the IMF and World Bank’s annual meetings which wrap up today. Some protesters also called on Japan to abandon nuclear power in the wake of last year’s Fukushima crisis, the worst atomic accident in a generation.
Man detained for tattling
Authorities have detained a man for seven days for posting on the Internet details of the investigation related to ex-police chief Wang Lijun (王立軍), official media said yesterday, in a case that led to China’s biggest political scandal in two decades.
Wang, the former police chief of Chongqing municipality in southwest China, was jailed last month for 15 years for trying to cover up a murder carried out by the wife of his politician boss, Bo Xilai (薄熙來). In early February, Wang had fled to the US consulate in the nearby city of Chengdu, apparently seeking asylum after confronting Bo with evidence implicating Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai (谷開來), in the death of Briton Neil Heywood. The man, surnamed Mao, has been placed under “administrative detention” in Chengdu, the capital of southwestern Sichuan Province. An airline worker, surnamed Wang, had given information about Wang Lijun to Mao, who then posted it online.
Killer back in Malaysia
A man who killed one of Australia’s top heart surgeons more than two decades ago has been deported back to Malaysia after being released from jail early, an official said yesterday. Chiew Seng Liew, one of two men jailed over the fatal 1991 shooting of Victor Chang during a failed extortion attempt, arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport early on Saturday, a senior immigration official said. Liew, 69, was released from a Sydney jail on Friday after serving 21 years of his 26-year sentence, ahead of his daughter’s wedding, which is reportedly due to take place next Saturday. Last month the parole board in the state of New South Wales agreed to free Liew, who has advanced Parkinson’s disease, after his lawyers argued that he would soon be unfit to travel and unable to be deported back to Malaysia. His release came after the state’s Attorney-General Greg Smith said the government would drop its appeal against Liew’s release.
Deal blow to terrorists
Hunted by US-backed Filipino troops in 2005, Abu Sayyaf chieftain Khadaffy Janjalani and other al-Qaeda-linked militants sought refuge in the mountainous stronghold of the largest Muslim rebel group in the southern Philippines. However, the rebels turned them away. They were afraid that harboring extremists would scuttle their peace talks with the government. The following year, Janjalani was killed by troops in another jungle area. The rebels’ rejection of Janjalani shows the potential of harnessing the main Moro insurgents in preventing their strongholds from serving as one of the last remaining refuges of al-Qaeda-affiliated militants. Philippine officials hope the tentative peace deal to be signed with the rebels tomorrow will turn the 11,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front into a formidable force against the Abu Sayyaf and other radicals.