Anti-IMF activists rally
Protesters calling for an end to the IMF hit the streets of Tokyo yesterday as the last-resort lender held meetings in the Japanese capital.
About 200 demonstrators marched through the city’s upscale Ginza shopping district near the Tokyo International Forum, which is playing host to the IMF and World Bank’s annual meetings which wrap up today. Some protesters also called on Japan to abandon nuclear power in the wake of last year’s Fukushima crisis, the worst atomic accident in a generation.
Man detained for tattling
Authorities have detained a man for seven days for posting on the Internet details of the investigation related to ex-police chief Wang Lijun (王立軍), official media said yesterday, in a case that led to China’s biggest political scandal in two decades.
Wang, the former police chief of Chongqing municipality in southwest China, was jailed last month for 15 years for trying to cover up a murder carried out by the wife of his politician boss, Bo Xilai (薄熙來). In early February, Wang had fled to the US consulate in the nearby city of Chengdu, apparently seeking asylum after confronting Bo with evidence implicating Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai (谷開來), in the death of Briton Neil Heywood. The man, surnamed Mao, has been placed under “administrative detention” in Chengdu, the capital of southwestern Sichuan Province. An airline worker, surnamed Wang, had given information about Wang Lijun to Mao, who then posted it online.
Killer back in Malaysia
A man who killed one of Australia’s top heart surgeons more than two decades ago has been deported back to Malaysia after being released from jail early, an official said yesterday. Chiew Seng Liew, one of two men jailed over the fatal 1991 shooting of Victor Chang during a failed extortion attempt, arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport early on Saturday, a senior immigration official said. Liew, 69, was released from a Sydney jail on Friday after serving 21 years of his 26-year sentence, ahead of his daughter’s wedding, which is reportedly due to take place next Saturday. Last month the parole board in the state of New South Wales agreed to free Liew, who has advanced Parkinson’s disease, after his lawyers argued that he would soon be unfit to travel and unable to be deported back to Malaysia. His release came after the state’s Attorney-General Greg Smith said the government would drop its appeal against Liew’s release.
Deal blow to terrorists
Hunted by US-backed Filipino troops in 2005, Abu Sayyaf chieftain Khadaffy Janjalani and other al-Qaeda-linked militants sought refuge in the mountainous stronghold of the largest Muslim rebel group in the southern Philippines. However, the rebels turned them away. They were afraid that harboring extremists would scuttle their peace talks with the government. The following year, Janjalani was killed by troops in another jungle area. The rebels’ rejection of Janjalani shows the potential of harnessing the main Moro insurgents in preventing their strongholds from serving as one of the last remaining refuges of al-Qaeda-affiliated militants. Philippine officials hope the tentative peace deal to be signed with the rebels tomorrow will turn the 11,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front into a formidable force against the Abu Sayyaf and other radicals.
Mom says strike a success
After six days, mother-of-three Jessica Stilwell has declared victory in her “mommy strike,” gaining worldwide attention for her comical blog detailing the struggle which involved letting crusty dinner plates pile up in the kitchen and allowing stinky laundry to remain scattered on the floor. In addition to multiple TV appearances her story has appeared in newspapers from New York to London. Her blog has attracted comments from other mothers as far away as France and Finland. “I think we all learned that despite us being a really busy family, we can’t let it slip. My girls have responsibilities,” she said. Stilwell said she had to summon super-mom strength to fight the urge to clean up. She turned to getting her nails done, sipping red wine and venting on her blog. Her youngest girl cracked on Day 4. “My little love broke down in the kitchen tonight as she was trying to rinse a glass to use and began to cry. Through her sobs she said, ‘I don’t wanna eat out of pooh bags anymore. I don’t want paper plates or beer cups for breakfast. Can you please help me clean up?’” Stilwell said she refused to fall for the tears or cute dimples. She tried to negotiate, but it took two more days before all three girls realized they had created the mess and apologized.
China currency report held
The administration of President Barack Obama is delaying a decision that had been due tomorrow on whether China is manipulating its currency to gain trade advantages. The Treasury Department says the decision is now to come after global finance officials meet early next month. The delay means the decision will not likely come until after the Nov. 6 presidential election. Republican challenger Mitt Romney has attacked the administration for not targeting China for unfair trade practices.
No bail for armed passenger
A judge refused bail on Friday for a man found wearing body armor and transporting body bags and an arsenal of weapons, including a smoke grenade, on a flight from Asia to Los Angeles. Yongda Huang Harris, a naturalized US citizen of Chinese descent, was charged with transporting hazardous materials after he was detained on Oct. 5 at Los Angeles International airport. Citing the 28-year-old’s history of foreign travel, overseas employment and no significant ties to the LA area, judge Paul Abrams said Harris was a flight risk and therefore refused him bail. Prosecutor Melissa Mills said evidence indicating a “strong interest in sexual violence” against girls was found on a computer Harris owned. He was detained “wearing a bulletproof vest and flame retardant pants underneath his trench coat,” the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said.
Major term for abusive mom
A Dallas woman has been sentenced to 99 years in prison for beating her toddler and gluing the child’s hands to a wall. Elizabeth Escalona faced from probation to life in prison. Prosecutors sought 45 years behind bars. A state district judge decided her sentence on Friday. Police say Escalona attacked two-year-old Jocelyn Cedillo because of potty training problems. The 23-year-old pleaded guilty to abusing the child. Police records show Escalona’s other children told authorities she kicked Jocelyn in the stomach and hit her with a jug in September last year. They said Escalona glued Jocelyn’s hands to the wall with a type of strong adhesive known as Super Glue. Jocelyn suffered bleeding in her brain and multiple bruises.