- - Monday, October 18, 2010

CHINA

Officials tolerate anti-Japanese marches

BEIJING | Chinese authorities have allowed rowdy anti-Japanese demonstrations in several cities to defuse simmering public anger over a territorial dispute with Japan and to prevent the frustrations from being turned against the Chinese regime itself, analysts said Monday.

On Monday, dozens of young men scuffled with police who were trying to contain protesters in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, news photographs showed. Hundreds of youth — mostly young men — marched with flags and signs, some of which called for a boycott of Japanese goods.

AFGHANISTAN

Iran joins high-level talks

ROME | Iran took part in a high-level meeting on Afghanistan on Monday after the United States said it has no problem with its participation.

The international “contact group” met in Rome amid a renewed push to end the 9-year-old war in Afghanistan, including bringing Taliban into peace talks. The group gathers the Afghan government, NATO, the EU, U.N. and other key players — including Iran this time — to assess progress in Afghanistan.

TURKEY

About 150 Kurds go on trial

ANKARA | At least 150 Kurds, including a dozen elected mayors, went on trial Monday for alleged links with a Kurdish guerrilla group at a time when the Turkish government is engaged in efforts to reconcile with the members of this ethnic minority.

Kurdish politicians demand the acquittal of all defendants, who face between five years to life in prison for alleged membership in a “terrorist organization” and attempts to divide the state. The trial will run through Nov. 12 in Diyarbakir, the largest city in the Kurdish-dominated southeast.

SOMALIA

New troop offensive kills 11 militants

NAIROBI, Kenya | An offensive launched by Somali government troops has killed 11 al-Shabab militants as the weak, U.N.-backed government attempts to win back control of areas held by militants, officials said Monday.

The government said the offensive, which began Sunday, recorded some early successes, with militants fleeing from at least one town near the border with Kenya.

GEORGIA

Russia dismantles last outpost

TBILISI | Russian forces withdrew Monday from the last outpost they had occupied outside Georgia’s rebel regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia since the two countries’ 2008 war.

After an announcement hailed by international mediators, Russian border guards dismantled a checkpoint, withdrew from the town of Perevi and moved inside the de facto borders of South Ossetia, Georgian and European Union officials said.

Georgia welcomed the move but said it was a “miniscule step” and called on Russia to fully comply with the EU-brokered cease-fire that ended the 2008 conflict.

UNITED KINGDOM

WikiLeaks claims financial warfare

LONDON | An e-commerce website said Wikileaks has been placed on some form of a blacklist in the United States and Australia.

E-commerce firm Moneybookers.com, which had been handling online donations to Wikileaks, wrote an e-mail to the website saying its account had been closed because of the blacklisting. Wikileaks made the e-mail public over the weekend.

U.S. and Australian officials said Monday they hadn’t banned businesses from dealing with WikiLeaks. It is possible, however, that firms that assess clients for banks have advised them that dealing with Wikileaks is potentially risky.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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