- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 29, 2003


Some foreign convicts likely to be sent home

TOKYO — Foreign prisoners in Japan often complain that they suffer unfairly in jail as they cannot speak the language nor adapt to the strict discipline, but starting June 1 some of them will be able to ask to serve out their sentences at home.

Initially, only 142 of about 4,000 convicted foreigners will be eligible to apply, but Japanese authorities hope to help reduce overcrowding in their prisons once more nations sign the 1983 Convention for the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, intended to promote inmate rehabilitation.


Mahathir refuses to stop criticizing U.S.

KUALA LUMPUR — Despite a warning from U.S. Ambassador Marie T. Huhtala at a forum last week that his sharp criticism of U.S. policy could harm bilateral ties, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, 77, said yesterday that he would continue to speak his mind.

“We will voice our opinion according to what we really think. We would not hide things, because that will not do any service to anybody,” Bernama news agency quoted Mr. Mahathir as saying.


75 hospitalized for food poisoning

BEIJING — Seventy-five Chinese were hospitalized in two separate food-poisoning cases, one of them involving an attempted cover-up, state media disclosed.

The reports Wednesday by state-run Xinhua news agency came amid government pledges to stop hiding uncomfortable facts concerning public health amid the continuing epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome.

Thirty-six students at Fujian Provincial Electrical Machinery Technical School in Fuzhou city were hospitalized with headaches, dizziness and signs of food poisoning after eating in the cafeteria.

After members of the public reported the incident, an inspection team was sent to the school kitchen uncovering abysmal conditions, including mildewed walls and floors crawling with cockroaches, Xinhua said.

Weekly notes

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun said yesterday that special care is needed to prevent incursions by North Korean fishing boats from provoking a sea battle in a disputed crab-fishing border zone. Fishing boats from the North crossed the Yellow Sea maritime border, called the Northern Limit Line (NLL), into the South on Monday and Tuesday before being driven back by South Korean navy patrol boats. Pyongyang does not recognize the NLL, drawn unilaterally by U.S.-led forces from the United Nations at the truce halting the Korean War of 1950-53. … An Islamic school said to be linked to terrorist groups shut its doors yesterday as foreign teachers packed their bags after being ordered out of Cambodia, and 600 students were sent home. Hassan Mohammed, 46, of Sudan, who taught at the school for eight months, said the accusations were untrue, and that the school’s closure and his deportation were crimes. Police said the school was operated by a nongovernmental organization known as Om Al-Qoura with money funneled via a Pakistani middleman.

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