- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 13, 2008

CHINA

Pilot alcohol ban upgrades air safety

BEIJING | China has banned its air force pilots from drinking alcohol at lunchtime to help the service’s image, state media reported Tuesday.

Air force officers and other personnel could be dismissed, demoted or handed demerits for drinking alcohol at lunchtime under new rules that took effect this week, the Beijing News newspaper reported.

The move is the first time the air force has ordered its staff to stay away from alcohol, the newspaper said. Digital breathalyzers were being installed in sentry posts and parking lots to enforce the rules, Xinhua news agency cited an unnamed military source as saying.

IRAQ

Governor escapes suicide attacker

BAGHDAD | A female suicide bomber blasted an Iraqi convoy north of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing two people but narrowly missing a provincial governor in the second suicide attack by a woman in Diyala province in as many days.

Gov. Raad Rashid al-Tamimi ordered an indefinite curfew in Diyala’s provincial capital of Baqouba, where the attack occurred. He and the commander of Iraqi ground forces, Gen. Ali Ghaidan, were traveling to a meeting of the provincial council in Baqouba when the woman detonated her explosives as the vehicles approached, U.S. and Iraqi officials said. Neither the governor nor the general was injured.

Also Tuesday, the U.S. military announced that an American Marine was killed by small arms fire in Anbar province. Two other Marines were wounded in the Sunday attack.

INDIA

Police kill 13 Kashmir protesters

SRINAGAR | Indian forces shot and killed at least 13 Muslim protesters Tuesday as tens of thousands of people defied a blanket curfew in Indian Kashmir, the bloodiest day in nearly two months of unrest that has rocked this long-troubled Himalayan region.

Angry Muslims took to the streets of cities and towns across Kashmir in spite of the first total curfew imposed on the region in 18 years to protest Monday’s killing of prominent separatist leader, Sheik Abdul Aziz, and four others.

Violence has roiled the region since June 23 when Muslims and Hindus began tit-for-tat protests over a government proposal to transfer land to a Hindu shrine in India’s only Muslim-majority state.

CHINA

Assailants attack checkpoint, kill 3

KUQA | Knife-wielding assailants attacked a road checkpoint in China’s troubled far west Tuesday, killing three guards and raising the death toll to 31 from a surge in violence coinciding with the Beijing Olympics, officials said.

The state-run Xinhua news agency said an unknown number of attackers jumped from a vehicle at the checkpoint in Yamanya town in Muslim-dominated Xinjiang territory and stabbed four guards, three of whom died.

It was the third attack on government guards this month in Xinjiang, which borders Pakistan and Afghanistan and where an Islamic militant separatist group operates.

JAPAN

WWII leader resisted surrender

TOKYO | Japanese World War II leader Hideki Tojo wanted to keep fighting even after U.S. atomic bombs destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, accusing surrender proponents of being “frightened,” a newly released diary reveals.

Excerpts from the approximately 20 pages written by Tojo in the final days of the war and held by the National Archives of Japan were published for the first time in several newspapers Tuesday.

Tojo, executed in 1948 after being convicted of war crimes by the Allies, was prime minister during much of the war. The notes buttress other evidence that Tojo was fiercely opposed to surrender despite the hopelessness of Japan’s war effort.

CAMBODIA

Genocide tribunal indicts jailer

PHNOM PENH | Cambodia’s genocide tribunal formally indicted a former prison chief of the country’s notorious Khmer Rouge on Tuesday, paving the way for a historic trial.

Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, whose Phnom Penh prison was used as a torture center, is the first suspect to be indicted by the tribunal. He and four other former senior members of the Khmer Rouge, who held power in the late 1970s, were taken into custody last year.

UNITED NATIONS

Aid to offset high food prices

ROME | The United Nations will provide $214 million in food assistance to 16 impoverished areas to help ease the effects of high food and oil prices, its food agency said Tuesday.

Nearly 1 billion people worldwide - particularly in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean - are struggling to survive the rise in food and oil prices, the World Food Program said.

The aid mainly will go to pregnant women, undernourished children and people living in urban areas hardest-hit by the food crisis. The Rome-based agency said it also will purchase food assistance locally in some countries, which will help farmers.

FRANCE

Chinese to buy Le Pen party building

PARIS | A cash-strapped far-right party known for its hard-line anti-immigrant stance has agreed to sell its headquarters in a chic Paris suburb to a Chinese buyer, news reports said Tuesday.

Le Parisien and Le Figaro dailies said the National Front, which has long made its xenophobic stance the keystone of its platform, signed an agreement to sell the property to a Chinese university earlier this month.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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