- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 22, 2007

CHINA

Thousands riot at government office

BEIJING — Thousands of farmers in southwest China rioted at a government office after authorities imposed heavy fines on families that had more children than allowed under the country’s family planning policy, a newspaper and a villager said yesterday.

Anti-riot police were called in after villagers set fires and smashed cars Saturday at the Shabi township government office in the Guangxi region, Hong Kong’s Ming Pao Daily News said.

BRITAIN

Cutty Sark burns; arson suspected

LONDON — The Cutty Sark, the world’s last remaining tea clipper and a major London tourist attraction, was seriously damaged by fire yesterday — but restorers insisted they can salvage the historic ship.

A British national treasure and one of the world’s most famous ships, the 138-year-old vessel was engulfed in flames at dawn.

Police are treating the fire as suspicious.

The Cutty Sark has been in a dry dock at southeast London’s Greenwich, once the heart of British maritime power, since 1954. The legendary ship is now a museum.

CHINA

Dalai Lama accused of conspiring

BEIJING — A senior Chinese official has accused the Dalai Lama of conspiring with a host of perceived enemies, from Islamic separatists to the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement, to weaken Beijing’s hold over his homeland in Tibet, state media reported yesterday.

In a speech, Tibet’s Communist Party secretary, Zhang Qingli, warned that the Dalai Lama was “ganging up with Taiwan independence forces, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, democracy movements, and the Falun Gong in an attempt to establish an alliance aimed at splitting the motherland,” the official Xinhua News Agency reported on its Web site.

GERMANY

Greenpeace displays dead whales

BERLIN — Greenpeace activists laid the carcasses of 17 small whales and dolphins in front of the landmark Brandenburg Gate yesterday in a dramatic protest to urge countries to resist increasing pressure for a resumption of commercial whaling.

Some of the animals died after getting trapped in fish nets, while others showed the scars of being hit by ships’ propellers, the activists said.

The gruesome collection, kept in a trough of ice under the hot sun, represented the number of whales and dolphins that die every half-hour or so through human impact, protest organizers said.

BELARUS

Iranian president visits Minsk

MINSK — Iran’s president held talks yesterday with Belarus’ authoritarian leader, who has been courting other vehement opponents of the United States.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was greeted by an honor guard at President Alexander Lukashenko’s administration building.

“We have huge potential [for cooperation] in the long-term perspective,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said in televised comments, speaking through an interpreter. “The strengthening of relations between Belarus and Iran fosters support for regional and global security.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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