- The Washington Times - Friday, April 25, 2008


Tibet reopens to domestic tourists

BEIJING — China is welcoming domestic tour groups back to riot-hit Tibet, an official news report said yesterday, but there was no word on when foreign tourists will be allowed to return.

Four groups of Chinese visitors are expected to arrive in the Himalayan region through Tuesday, the Xinhua News Agency said.

Tourists have been banned in Tibet since violent anti-government riots broke out in the capital, Lhasa, on March 14.

China earlier said it would allow foreigners back into Tibet starting May 1, but later reversed that decision, citing the need to secure safe passage for the Olympic torch relay to Mount Everest — expected in early May.


Olympic flame skirts protests

CANBERRA — Torchbearers carried the Olympic flame unimpeded through the Australian capital yesterday, skirting pockets of protesters on the ground even as a skywriting plane spelled out “Free Tibet” above them.

Thousands of red flag-waving China supporters cheered on the runners. Some protesters said they were heckled and harassed by the pro-China demonstrators who vastly outnumbered them, and police at least once had to break up angry scenes between the two sides. Seven people were arrested.

Protests of China’s human rights record and its crackdown last month on anti-government activists in Tibet have turned the worldwide Olympic torch relay into a contentious issue. Many countries have changed routes and boosted security along the flame’s six-continent journey to the Aug. 8-24 games in Beijing.


TV station fined for airing gay couple

SINGAPORE — A Singapore TV station has been fined for airing a show that depicted a gay couple and their baby in a way that “promotes a gay lifestyle,” the city-state’s media regulator said yesterday.

The Media Development Authority fined MediaCorp TV Channel 5 $11,000, after it aired an episode of a home and decor series called “Find and Design” that featured a gay couple and their adopted baby.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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