- - Monday, September 10, 2012


Election results released Monday gave an edge to the pro-China faction in Hong Kong’s legislature, where power is split between those aligned with Beijing and those who favor further democratic reforms.

The pro-democratic parties, however, retained enough of a majority to veto any proposed changes to the former British colony’s constitution.

Many expected that Hong Kong’s array of pro-democracy parties would make big gains with support from people increasingly frustrated with the semiautonomous Chinese city’s new Beijing-backed leader over a range of issues.

But the gains failed to materialize because the pro-democracy camp, which has been divided by feuds and rivalries, failed to mount a unified strategy against their pro-Beijing rivals.

In Sunday’s election, 40 of the 70 seats on the Hong Kong Legislative Council were decided by voters, and those were split fairly evenly between the two sides, according to results released by election officials.


Ninth prisoner dies at Guantanamo Bay

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A prisoner has died at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the U.S. military said Monday, two days after the man was found unconscious in his cell at the isolated, high-security prison.

The prisoner, whose name and nationality were not released, was found by guards Saturday and taken to a base hospital, where he was declared dead “after extensive lifesaving measures had been performed,” the U.S. military’s Southern Command said in a brief statement.

He was the ninth prisoner to die at the facility since it was opened in January 2002 to hold men suspected of terrorism or links to al Qaeda and the Taliban. The military has said two of those deaths were by natural causes and six were declared suicides.


Vice president rejects verdict in terror trial

BAGHDAD — From self-exile in Turkey, Iraq’s fugitive vice president scoffed Monday at a Baghdad court that sentenced him to the gallows for masterminding death squads against rivals, describing it as a puppet of the prime minister and saying he will not return to appeal the verdict.

The conviction of Tariq al-Hashemi, the nation’s highest-ranking Sunni official, rids Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of a top political foe while threatening to deepen the rift between Iraq’s main Muslim sects as the nation struggles to achieve stability nine months after U.S. troops withdrew.

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