Elderly man convicted
A court has jailed an elderly man for a murder committed during the Cultural Revolution, officials said yesterday. Qiu Riren, who is in his 80s, was condemned on Friday to three-and-a-half years in jail for the 1967 killing, a court official surnamed Chen said in Ruian, Zhejiang Province, declining to give further details. Media reports said Qiu had been arrested last July. Qiu had belonged to an “armed group” and strangled his victim — a doctor thought to be a spy — before cutting off his legs and burying him, the state-run China News Service reported earlier. Social media users decried the trial when it was announced in February, pointing out that senior officials who stirred up the social and political upheaval had never been held accountable.
Researcher spied, allegedly
A researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin is charged with espionage after prosecutors say he stole details of a cancer-fighting compound that he wanted to share with China. Prosecutors in Milwaukee say Huajun Zhao stole the compound, C-25, and data that led to its development. A federal criminal complaint says investigators found several hundred items related to research into C-25 on Zhao’s computer. Authorities found a grant application from Zhao, written in Mandarin, claiming he discovered the compound and seeking Chinese funding to continue research. The 42-year-old Zhao is facing one count of economic espionage. A conviction carries a maximum 15 years in prison and a US$500,000 fine.
Most youths prefer Shariah
A survey by the British Council shows a larger number of young people believe the country should be governed by Islamic law than democracy. The report issued yesterday by the council found that 38 percent of Pakistanis between the ages of 18 and 29 thought Shariah law was the best political system for their country. Thirty-two percent chose military rule, and democracy came in last with 29 percent. Less than a quarter of young people believe democracy has benefited themselves or their families. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.5 percent.
Taliban attacks court
Taliban attackers stormed a court and surrounding buildings in the far-western town of Farah yesterday, sparking a firefight with security forces, officials said. Two of the attackers died when they detonated a car bomb at the gate of the provincial court building, two were shot by security forces and another man was still alive, according to police. Agha Noor Kentos, police chief of Farah, said five police had been wounded, but no details were available on any civilian casualties.
Warplanes target Gaza
Warplanes struck targets early yesterday in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire toward the southern of the country, the first air strikes launched since an informal ceasefire ended eight days of cross-border fighting with the Hamas-ruled Gaza. A military statement issued yesterday said planes targeted “two extensive terror sites” with “accurate hits.” Palestinian officials said no one was hurt in the air strikes and no damage was reported in northern Gaza. The air raids followed the third successful rocket attack from Gaza since the November ceasefire. The military reported that Gaza militants on Tuesday fired at least one rocket.