Fri, Jun 27, 2014 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

JAPAN

Ishihara names new party

Former Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara and several of his loyal lieutenants in their 70s yesterday announced their new political grouping will be called “Next Generation Party.” The 81-year-old has been in search of a new name for his party of mostly elderly male lawmakers since falling out with his previous ally, with whom he jointly led the Japan Restoration Party. “The situation that faces young people today is different from what we experienced. It is our responsibility to lead the people of the next generation,” Ishihara told a news conference.

VIETNAM

Dissident’s term upheld

A court in Danang has upheld a two-year jail sentence against a well-known dissident blogger for posting online criticism of the government. Truong Duy Nhat was convicted of “abusing democratic freedoms” to infringe upon the interests of the state in March. Lawyer Tran Vu Hai said Nhat maintained his innocence during the nearly two-hour-long appeal hearing yesterday.

PHILIPPINES

Aquino met rebel in Tokyo

President Benigno Aquino II held a surprise meeting in Japan with Moro Islamic Liberation Front chairman Murad Ebrahim to address growing concerns over delays in implementing a peace deal, their aides said yesterday. The 15-minute meeting took place Tuesday on the sidelines of a peace conference in Hiroshima where Aquino and Ebrahim were guests, a presidential spokesman said. A rebel spokesman said the group sought the meeting to raise concerns over delays in implementing an accord signed in March, after a draft law that is crucial for a final peace was not passed by Congress this month as planned. Meanwhile, one of three senators accused of plunder refused to enter a plea yesterday during arraignment by the anti-graft court. The court instead entered a not guilty plea for Senator Ramon Revilla Jr, an action movie star accused of receiving 224 million pesos (US$5.1 million) in kickbacks from a scam that allegedly diverted millions of dollars from anti-poverty and development funds allotted to lawmakers’ pet projects. Revilla has denied taking kickbacks or stealing money from state funds, but his lawyer Joel Bodegon said he advised the senator not to enter a plea so that several pending motions they filed with the Supreme Court and the anti-graft court questioning the validity of the charges will not be dismissed.

NIGER

Baby trafficking ring broken

The wives of two prominent politicians have been arrested following the dismantling of an alleged baby trafficking ring this week, a police source said on Wednesday. More than 20 suspects were arrested on Monday as part of an international investigation that also involved police from Nigeria and Benin. Those arrested were “mostly women,” and included one of the wives of former prime minister and current parliament speaker Hama Amadou. The wife of Agriculture Minister Abdou Labo was also detained.

CHINA

Dissident released

A leading figure of the Southern Street Movement was released on bail on Wednesday, nearly one month after he was taken into custody. Wang Aizhong (王愛忠) was detained on May 29. Attorney Zhang Xuezhong (張雪忠) said authorities may have failed to find enough evidence to prosecute Wang on criminal charges. He said Wang’s release should not be seen as a sign that Beijing is relaxing prosecution against activists.

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