- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 14, 2006

BRAZIL

Gang attacks police, 30 persons killed

SAO PAULO — One of Brazil’s most notorious gangs staged dozens of attacks on police before dawn yesterday, setting off gunbattles in three cities that killed at least 30 persons, officials said. Twenty-four prison uprisings also were reported across Sao Paulo state.

It was the worst assault on authority since gangsters armed with machine guns, bombs and other weapons attacked police stations in Sao Paulo city during 10 days in November 2003. Both sprees were blamed on the gang First Capital Command, known by its Portuguese initials, PCC.

SOUTH KOREA

Thousands rally against U.S. troops

SEOUL — Thousands rallied on a downtown Seoul boulevard yesterday to protest a plan to relocate American military bases, the largest anti-U.S. demonstration in the South Korean capital this year.

According to police estimates, about 6,000 people rallied to protest moving the Seoul-based American military headquarters and some other bases to Pyeongtaek, about 40 miles south of the capital.

The relocation has been a main target of anti-U.S. activists here. They claim the project is part of a U.S. scheme to position its troops where they can be deployed quickly to possible conflicts outside the Korean Peninsula.

CHINA

Journalist on trial for Web publishing

BEIJING — A Chinese journalist who posted essays about political issues on overseas Web sites was tried last week on subversion charges but insisted he is innocent, his lawyer said yesterday.

Li Yuanlong, a 45-year-old writer for the newspaper Bijie Daily in the poor southern province of Guizhou, was indicted on Feb. 9, five months after he was detained.

Mr. Li pleaded not guilty Thursday at his trial, which lasted 2 hours, in the southern city of Bijie, lawyer Li Jianqiang said. A verdict was expected within about 15 days.

AUSTRIA

Brazil, Bolivia mend relations

VIENNA, Austria — The leaders of Brazil and Bolivia yesterday toned down a dispute over Bolivia’s nationalization of its energy sector. The dispute has exposed deep rifts in Latin America, where the radical left is on the rise.

“There was a lot of smoke and not very much fire,” Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said after a breakfast meeting with Bolivia’s new left-wing leader, Evo Morales, at a Vienna hotel. The meeting was intended to patch relations after the May 1 nationalization.

The presence of radical left-wing leaders Mr. Morales and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez dominated a summit of the region’s leaders and their European Union counterparts in Vienna last week.

SOMALIA

Militias continue battle for capital

MOGADISHU — Rival Somali militias pounded each other with heavy artillery and mortar fire yesterday as the death toll rose to 142 in seven days of fighting for control of a northern neighborhood in the capital.

Hundreds of people fled their homes in southern Mogadishu after secular militias warned their battle with radical Islamic fighters could spread to areas not yet hit by the latest round of fighting, Jamiilo Isaq Roble said as she left with her three children.

At least seven persons were killed and 14 wounded early yesterday in sporadic fighting between the Islamic Court Union and the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counterterrorism in the now-deserted Sii-Sii neighborhood of northern Mogadishu.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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