- - Tuesday, October 12, 2010

CHINA

Nobel winner’s wife hopes to collect award

BEIJING | The wife of the imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo said Tuesday she hopes to travel to Norway to collect the Nobel Peace Prize on his behalf, though for now she can only leave her Beijing home under police escort.

China, meanwhile, claimed the award was an attack on the country and an attempt to change its political system, and it retaliated by canceling another set of meetings with the Norwegian government.

In brief interviews by phone, Liu Xia said her husband has started receiving better food since the Oslo-based Nobel committee announced the award on Friday — honoring his more than two decades of advocacy of human rights and peaceful democratic change, which started with the demonstrations at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989.

VATICAN CITY

Pope outlines effort to revive Christianity

Pope Benedict XVI formally created a new Vatican office Tuesday to revive Christianity in Europe, his latest attempt to counter secular trends in traditionally Christian countries.

In a decree, Benedict said the new office would promote church doctrine, use the media to get out the church’s message and mobilize missionary-type activities.

Yet even on its first day of existence, the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization ran into an all-too-typical Vatican snag: The four-page decree instituting the office was issued in only Latin and Italian.

PHILIPPINES

Aquino defends actions in bus-hijacking fiasco

MANILA | President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday defended his decision to spare from harsh punishment officials involved in a bus-hijacking fiasco that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead.

Mr. Aquino said he was following the law and brushed aside accusations that he favored friends when he called only for minor charges against police and government officials for mishandling the hostage crisis.

He called Monday for minor criminal charges such as “neglect of duty” to be filed against four police officers for their role in the debacle, which embarrassed the country and soured relations with China and Hong Kong.

NIGERIA

Rioters burn police station

GAMBORU | Suspected members of a radical Islamic sect set a police station ablaze in northern Nigeria, razing it, as the group did during rioting last year that left more than 700 dead after a violent crackdown, police officials said Tuesday.

There were no other immediate attacks or threats by the Boko Haram sect, but officials immediately began pat-down searches of everyone passing through major roads in Maiduguri, the city where followers once had their main mosque.

NORTH KOREA

Kim’s playboy son raps succession plan

BEIJING | The casino-loving eldest son of North Korea’s Kim Jong-il — once tipped to succeed him before trying to sneak into Japan to go to Disneyland — says he opposes a hereditary transfer of power to his youngest half-brother.

It’s the first public sign of discord in the tightly choreographed succession process, though analysts said Kim Jong-nam spends so much time outside his native land that his opinion carries little weight.

The chubby 39-year-old Kim Jong-nam, the oldest of three brothers who were in the running to take over secretive North Korea, is the closest thing the country has to a playboy.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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