- - Thursday, March 3, 2011

CHINA

Foreign press warned not to cover protests

BEIJING | Chinese police are further intensifying pressure on foreign reporters, warning them to stay away from spots designated for protests inspired by the uprisings in the Middle East and threatening them with expulsion or revocation of their credentials.

The warnings show how unnerved the authorities are by the online calls for protests every Sunday.

The appeals, which started two weeks ago, have attracted few outright demonstrators but many onlookers, loads of journalists and swarms of police.

The extreme reaction signals a retreat since restrictions on foreign media were eased in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics.

PHILIPPINES

War planes patrol near disputed islands

MANILA | The Philippine military deployed two war planes near a disputed area in the South China Sea after a ship searching for oil complained it was harassed by two Chinese patrol boats, officials said Thursday.

The Chinese vessels later left without confrontation, said Philippine military commander Lt. Gen. Juancho Sabban.

The incident happened Wednesday at the Reed Bank, near the disputed Spratly Islands, claimed by the Philippines, China and other nations, said Gen. Sabban, who heads the military’s Western Command.

JAPAN

Suicide rate rises for luckless job seekers

The number of Japanese who killed themselves because they could not find jobs jumped 20 percent last year, while the overall suicide rate declined, a government reporter said Thursday.

In all, 31,690 people killed themselves last year, a 3.5 percent decrease from the year before, according to the annual report by the National Police Agency.

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