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The global community must “help the Sudan government improve the humanitarian and security situation in the Darfur region and push the issue toward resolution,” he said in talks with visiting Sudanese Vice President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

CHINA

Pollution levels high in green town

BEIJING — A Chinese town that has won more than 30 awards for its clean environment over the past decade has become a heavily polluted cesspool with abnormally high cancer rates, state press said yesterday.

The town of Dawang in eastern Shandong province has won accolades including “China’s Most Livable New Township,” but a recent spurt in development has made a mockery of those awards, the Beijing News reported.

An investigation by the newspaper found that the town was choked by smog and water pollution due to years of “illegal operations” by industrial companies based there.

NORTH KOREA

Defector appeals for brother’s life

SEOUL — A defector from North Korea appealed yesterday for international help to stop the execution of his brother, saying he faces death in the hard-line communist state because of his Christian faith.

Son Jung-nam, 49, was arrested in January 2006, said his brother Son Jung-hoon. Son Jung-nam was later sentenced to public execution.

“All he did wrong was accepting the Christian faith and reading the Bible,” he told journalists in South Korea where he lives.

Son Jung-nam, a former elite soldier, fled the North to China in 1998 after his wife was arrested and tortured for criticizing the communist regime to her pupils, according to Son Jung-hoon. He was arrested in China in 2001, where he became a Christian, before being returned to the North for imprisonment.

VIETNAM

Police break up peasant protest

HANOI — Vietnamese security forces have broken up a protest by hundreds of peasants who have been rallying in southern Ho Chi Minh City against land seizures for nearly a month, demonstrators said yesterday.

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