Sat, May 17, 2014 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



Rights lawyer detained

A human rights lawyer has been detained amid a clampdown on lawyers, journalists and academics ahead of the June 4 anniversary of the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protests on Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Tang Jingling’s (唐荊陵) wife, Wang Yanfang (汪豔芳), said police took him away yesterday from their home in the southern city of Guangzhou and said he was suspected of picking quarrels and provoking trouble. Tang has represented clients complaining of corruption, land seizures and other grievances. A man who answered the phone at the district police office that issued the detention notice said he knew nothing about the case. He refused to give his name.


Ferry owner’s arrest sought

Prosecutors yesterday said they were seeking a warrant for the arrest of Yoo Byung-un, the head of the family that owns the operator of a ferry that capsized last month. Prosecutors accused Yoo of embezzling funds from ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine, which they see as one of the factors that hampered its safety management, and led to the sinking that killed hundreds of schoolchildren. Prosecutors are hunting for Yoo and his children, visiting the home of his elder son and a religious compound where Yoo is believed to have holed up. They have already sought the arrest of Yoo’s second son and a daughter who stay overseas, but no one has been found yet.


Ships raise sanctions doubts

Satellite images have picked out two new North Korean warships — the largest it has constructed in 25 years and an important “wake-up call” on the effectiveness of sanctions, a US think tank said yesterday. Recent commercial satellite pictures showed two new helicopter-carrying frigates separately berthed at shipyards in Nampo in the west and Najin in the far northeast. While it might still take several years to fully integrate the frigates, launched between 2011 and 2012, into fleet operations, their introduction suggested an “evolutionary step” in the North’s naval strategy to include helicopter anti-submarine operations, the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said in an analysis on its Web site 38 North. It added that the construction of the two warships and other new naval classes had been achieved during a period of prolonged international economic sanctions, and may be an important wakeup call about the overall effectiveness of sanctions.


President skips Chibok visit

President Goodluck Jonathan has canceled his first visit to the village from which more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted by rebels a month ago due to security fears, a senior government source said yesterday. Jonathan was to fly yesterday from Abuja to Paris for a regional summit to discuss the Boko Haram insurgency and wider insecurity, and will not now make a stop in the village of Chibok, the source said.


Satellite rocket fails

A Russian Proton rocket carrying a European-built satellite fell back to Earth yesterday shortly after liftoff, in the latest accident to hit the country’s space industry. Russian space officials said the rocket’s control engine failed 545 seconds after it took off from the Baikonur space center that Moscow leases in Kazakhstan. State television showed the rocket and its Express-AM4P communication satellite reported to be worth US$29 billion burning up in the upper layers of the atmosphere above the Pacific Ocean. Channel One said the satellite — built for Russia by Airbus Group’s Astrium corporation — was meant to provide Internet access to far-flung Russian territories with poor access to communication.

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