Officials to run Tibet center
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and government officials have been appointed to manage one of the world’s largest centers of Tibetan Buddhist learning, raising concerns over strengthened ideological control over religion. The appointments in southwestern Larung Gar are the latest sign of Beijing’s distrust of Tibetan Buddhist institutions. The postings by the personnel department of the CCP in Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture were carried by the Web site of the People’s Daily this week. Over the past year, authorities have carried out demolitions and evictions at Larung Gar in an attempt to cut the number of monks, nuns and students living there by half to 5,000. Overseas Tibetan groups have said authorities want to stop the spread of Tibetan Buddhism, which has grown popular among Chinese beyond traditional Tibetan areas.
Second missing sailor found
A second victim of the collision between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker was identified by the US Navy yesterday. The Seventh Fleet said navy and US Marine Corps divers on Thursday night recovered and identified the remains of 26-year-old Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon of Connecticut. More divers and equipment arrived overnight to continue the search inside flooded compartments of the ship for eight others still missing. The navy had on Thursday called off a search at sea. Divers earlier recovered the remains of 22-year-old Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith of New Jersey.
King dissolves legislature
King Tupou VI has taken the extraordinary step of dissolving the nation’s legislature and ordering new elections. He ordered that an election be held by Nov. 16 in a dissolution notice that was posted on the attorney general’s Web site yesterday. Although the government has been facing difficulties, the action took many by surprise. It came after the legislature had closed for the week and was not accompanied by any announcement or explanation by the king. The action means the end of the government led by Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva. His term was due to end next year. The former schoolteacher is a long-time democracy activist and was first elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1987. Since becoming leader in 2014, his effectiveness has been questioned and he survived a no-confidence vote earlier this year. Pohiva announced in May that Tonga would no longer host the Pacific Games in 2019 because the nation could not afford the expense. Some questioned why the government continued to collect money from levies and taxes intended to raise funds for the Games.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong (FCC) yesterday said that reporters in the territory were experiencing “highly unusual” visas problems, and called on the US and China to stop using the media as a political weapon. Journalists have been caught up in US-China tensions, with both sides placing limits or expelling reporters from their territories in the past few months. Now the spat is filtering into Hong Kong, a regional press hub nominally in charge of its own immigration policies. The FCC said in a statement that multiple media firms had reported delays getting visas in recent months. “The delays have affected journalists