- Associated Press - Thursday, August 19, 2010

BURMA

Junta lays down tough election rules

RANGOON | Burma on Thursday published stringent rules for November’s general election that demand candidates seek permission a week in advance to campaign, do not make speeches that “tarnish” the ruling military or shout slogans at processions.

The disbanded party of detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, dissolved for declining to register with the authorities, meanwhile officially declared its boycott of the upcoming polls.

The 13-point list of campaigning regulations decreed by the state Election Commission would guarantee a “free and fair” vote, according to the state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper, which published the rules a week after the Nov. 7 election date was set.

The vote will be the first in impoverished Burma in two decades. Mrs. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, which won the last election in 1990 but was barred from taking power, says the junta unfairly imposed rules for this year’s vote that restrict campaigning and bar the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and other political prisoners from participating.

SOUTH KOREA

China’s top nuclear envoy visited N. Korea

SEOUL | China’s top nuclear envoy traveled to North Korea this week to discuss the resumption of six-party talks on the North’s nuclear weapons program, Beijing said Thursday.

North Korea walked away from six-nation nuclear talks last year in protest at an international condemnation of a long-range rocket launch. Prospects for restarting the talks were put into doubt after an international investigation in May blamed North Korea for torpedoing the South Korean warship Cheonan and killing 46 sailors. North Korea denies attacking the ship.

CHINA

Chinese struggle to cope with storms

BEIJING | China struggled to cope with widespread storms that left dozens missing and presumed dead Thursday as rescuers cleaned up a mudslide-stricken town, while two passenger-train cars plunged into a river after crossing a flood-damaged bridge.

Rescue workers found four bodies in Puladi township of southwestern China’s Yunnan province a day after a wall of mud crashed through the mountain community, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Rains expected over the next few days likely would hamper efforts to find 88 people still listed as missing.

It was just the latest landslide to strike China in a summer that has been plagued by deadly rains and flooding. The worst recent landslide was on Aug. 8 in Zhouqu of Gansu province, where more than 1,300 were killed and about 400 people remain missing.

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