- - Thursday, March 24, 2011

CHINA

Nobel jury concerned about Chinese winner

OSLO, Norway | The spokesman for the Norwegian Nobel Committee says the panel is very concerned by the lack of information about Liu Xiaobo, the imprisoned Chinese dissident awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year.

Permanent Secretary Geir Lundestad says the committee hasn’t received any updates about Mr. Liu’s whereabouts or well-being since October, when the prize was announced and Mr. Liu’s wife went to visit him in prison.

While several previous Nobel laureates have been prevented by their governments from collecting the prize, Mr. Lundestad called the total silence surrounding Mr. Liu “unprecedented.”

Mr. Liu won the prize for his nonviolent struggle for human rights in his homeland. The award infuriated Beijing, which accused the Nobel committee of honoring a criminal.

AFGHANISTAN

NATO airstrike kills two civilians

KABUL | A NATO helicopter gunship inadvertently killed two civilians while attacking suspected insurgents in the eastern province of Khost, NATO announced Thursday.

The attack killed a suspected Haqqani Network leader and two other insurgents in Tere Zayi district on Wednesday, NATO said.

“At the time of the strike, two civilians were walking near the moving targeted vehicle,” NATO said. “They were previously unseen by coalition forces prior to the initiation of the airstrike. Unfortunately both were killed as an unintended result of the strike.”

MYANMAR

6.8-magnitude quake strikes border region

YANGON | A strong earthquake struck northeastern Myanmar on Thursday night, shaking buildings as far away as Bangkok. No tsunami was generated.

The quake struck along Myanmar’s borders with Thailand and Laos, about 70 miles from Chiang Rai.

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