Xinjiang mulls anti-terror laws
Xinjiang is considering drafting anti-terror laws for the first time, following a string of deadly incidents, the China Daily newspaper said yesterday. Authorities are keen to clamp down on unrest that has killed more than 100 people during the past year. Work on the anti-terror law is planned to start this year, although finalizing a draft may take several years, legislative official Bo Xiao told the Daily.
Arson suspect identified
Authorities said yesterday that they have identified a person suspected of setting a fire aboard a bus that killed six people and injured 35 this week in Guiyang. Police did not say whether the suspect was on the bus at the time of the fire, or anything about a possible motive. The bus caught fire near an elementary school on Thursday. Media reports said about 50 people were inside the vehicle. “After some sparks gleamed in the middle of the bus, it all of a sudden got engulfed in a sea of flames,” a witness, Zeng Xi, said. “It only took a few minutes for the inferno to destroy the whole bus.”
Zhou Yongkang ally resigns
A former vice minister of public security and ally of retired security chief Zhou Yongkang (周永康) has resigned from his position as a member of parliament for Sichuan Province, state media said, possibly opening the way for criminal charges against him. Li Dongsheng (李東生) was formally sacked this week after being suspended in December last year for suspected “serious discipline violations,” a term normally used to refer to corruption. The move removes Li’s immunity from prosecution as a member of the largely rubber-stamp body.
Injured journalist improving
Kevin Lau (劉進圖), former editor of the liberal Ming Pao, is improving and has regained consciousness, officials said yesterday. Lau was attacked on Wednesday by a man wielding a cleaver. “His situation has improved from critical to serious this morning,” government spokesman said. The news came as a new group of journalist and news organizations said it would stage a rally tomorrow to condemn violence against the media.
Bus crash kills 15
A double-decker tour bus carrying students on a school trip to the beach yesterday crashed into a truck, killing 15 people and injuring more than 30, police said. The fatalities included 13 children, between the ages of 10 and 15, and two teachers, police Lieutenant Colonel Anukarn Thammavijarn said. The bus was carrying about 60 girls from a school in Nakhon Ratchasima for a daytrip to the seaside town of Pattaya. Police were searching for the driver, who fled the scene, and were investigating whether the brakes had failed or if the driver had dozed off at the wheel.
Trafficking rings broken
Police have detained 1,094 people and rescued 382 infants in a nationwide crackdown on four online baby trafficking rings, Xinhua news agency said yesterday. The traffickers used Web sites with names such as “China’s Orphan Network” and “Dream Adoption Home,” highlighting a trend of online deals that make it harder to hunt down the criminals, Xinhua added.
World Bank delays loan
The World Bank on Thursday postponed a US$90 million loan to the nation’s health system over a law that toughened punishment for gays, an unusual move for an institution that typically avoids wading into politics. “We have postponed the project for further review to ensure that the development objectives would not be adversely affected by the enactment of this new law,” World Bank spokesman David Theis said in an e-mail. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed an anti-gay bill earlier this week that strengthens already strict laws against homosexuals by imposing a life sentence for certain violations and making it a crime to not report anyone who breaks the law.