- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 27, 2003

CHINA

Satellite station closed in Kiribati

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — China dismantled its mid-Pacific satellite tracking base in Kiribati this week after the tiny Pacific atoll switched its diplomatic recognition to Taiwan, an eyewitness said.

Technicians were burning files at the high-security compound on Tarawa Atoll, the witness said.

Recently elected President Anote Tong decided this month to switch Tarawa’s diplomatic recognition from Beijing to rival Taiwan. During elections last year, the Chinese ambassador acknowledged giving money to politicians linked to then-President Teburoro Tito.

CAMBODIA

2 adult tourists seized with minors

PHNOM PENH — Cambodian authorities have arrested a visiting German and a Japanese on charges they had sex with underage Vietnamese girls in a brothel on the outskirts of the capital, police said Wednesday.

Bernhard Elmar Marid, 61, and Kanae Masato, 54, were arrested Monday after police raided a brothel in Svay Pak, an area notorious for child trafficking and prostitution, Meng Say, director of the police department that handles human trafficking, told Agence France-Presse. Both men entered the country as tourists this month.

PHILIPPINES

WHO says denial helps spread AIDS

MANILA — Ignorance, denial and intolerance have created an environment that allows HIV/AIDS to spread easily in Asia, the Western Pacific regional director of the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

“Blaming people and making moral judgments do not help stop the disease from spreading,” Shigeru Omi said in a statement issued this week from the regional headquarters in the Philippine capital.

Weekly notes

Japan expressed anger this week at the killing in Colombia of industrialist Chikao Muramatsu, who was abducted in February 2001. His bullet-ridden body was found in mountains west of Bogota on Monday, his 55th birthday and the same day that a German and a Spanish tourist were released by guerrilla kidnappers. Colombia has about 3,000 abductions a year; at least 22 foreigners have been kidnapped this year. … Action film star Fernando Poe Jr. has announced he will run for president of the Philippines in May’s election, setting up a campaign certain to draw parallels to two other movie idols, including former Philippine President Joseph Estrada and Arnold Schwarzenegger in California. Mr. Poe, a political newcomer and close friend of Mr. Estrada’s, said he was yielding to public pressure, including the signatures of 2 million voters gathered by supporters.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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