- - Wednesday, August 17, 2011

CHINA

Crackdown launched in restive west

BEIJING — Chinese security forces have launched a two-month “strike hard” crackdown against violence, terrorism and radical Islam after renewed ethnic violence in the restive western region of Xinjiang, the regional government said.

The campaign began Aug. 11 and will last through Oct. 15, and includes around-the-clock patrols of trouble spots, identity checks and street searches of people and vehicles, according to a notice posted Tuesday on the regional government’s website.


Authorities will step up investigations of suspicious activity and deal with defendants even more harshly through accelerated trials, the notice said.

The region’s police department conceded that the number of rising violent incidents is on the rise and pledged to “uncover the masterminds and organizers behind such activities.”

COLOMBIA

Authorities: 5 Colombian police killed in ambush

BOGOTA — Colombian authorities say FARC rebels are believed responsible for an ambush that killed five police officers and wounded two in the southwestern coastal town of Tumaco.

Gen. Orlando Pineda is the region’s top police official. He tells the Associated Press the officers were part of a 10-man patrol that was on its way to set up a road checkpoint when it was attacked Wednesday morning.

Hospital officials say the slain police had multiple bullet wounds.

Southwestern Colombia has seen a recent uptick in attacks by FARC, a leftist insurgency fighting the state for a half century.

NEW ZEALAND

Rugby, sheep and sex don’t mix

WELLINGTON — First came the idea to have bikini models on motorbikes drive 1,000 sheep through New Zealand’s most cosmopolitan city. Then, the idea to urge rugby fans to abstain from sex and save their passion for the country’s team.

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