Friday, November 23, 2001

China said to shut 17,000 Internet bars

SHANGHAI Chinese authorities have shut down more than 17,000 Internet bars for failing to block Web sites considered subversive or pornographic, a state-run newspaper reported.

The closures came during a nationwide sweep of China’s 94,000 Internet bars, which was begun in April, the Shanghai-based Wen Hui Bao reported Tuesday.

Called “wang ba” in Mandarin Chinese, most Internet bars here are nothing more than dimly lit one-room shops with a dozen personal computers.

Indonesian Muslims say terror camps exist

JAKARTA, Indonesia A radical Indonesian Muslim group claimed Tuesday it had trained dozens of foreign volunteers in handling weapons and explosives in secret camps in Java and the Maluku islands.

However, Indonesian government officials dismissed the claims as empty boasts. They also denied reports by prosecutors in Spain that thousands of Muslim extremists had trained in the camps sponsored by Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda group in the Southeast Asian nation, which has the world’s largest Islamic population.

Journalist in Thailand kills 3 rivals, self

BANGKOK A journalist in Thailand sprayed rival reporters with bullets over accusations of bribe-taking, killing three before ending his own life with a bullet in the forehead, police said Monday.

Three other journalists and a lawyer were wounded in the shooting late Sunday on a floating restaurant in Mukdahan, 400 miles northeast of Bangkok, said police Capt. Sombat Sripon.

He identified the gunman as Paibul Boontod, 58, president of the Mukdahan provincial journalists’ association. A pistol was found by the attacker’s side.

One of the dead men was Suchart Chanchanawiwat, an editor of Chao Mukdahan, a local biweekly newspaper that had published several articles accusing an unidentified group of local journalists of bribe-taking and extortion.

The other dead men were Setha Sareerawat, a reporter for Naew Na newspaper and Channel 3 television, and Somboon Saenwiset, who worked for the Daily News newspaper. Paibul reported for Thai Rath newspaper and Channel 7 television.

Malaysian king, 75, dies in hospital

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia King Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, who was elected under Malaysia’s unusual royal rotation system, died Wednesday after weeks of complications following heart surgery. He was 75.

The king in Malaysia holds mostly ceremonial powers, and King Salahuddin’s death does not affect the functioning of the government.

He assumed the throne in 1999 under a rotation system that chooses the constitutional monarch by secret ballot among the sultans of Malaysia’s nine states. He was also sultan of Malaysia’s Selangor state. Each sultan takes a five-year turn as monarch of this Southeast Asian nation.

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