- The Washington Times - Friday, March 14, 2008


Finance minister quits over campaign melee

TAIPEI — Ho Chih-chin, finance minister of the Re-public of China (Tawian), resigned yesterday over a melee that erupted outside the campaign headquarters of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s presidential candidate, Frank Hsieh.

On Wednesday, a group of opposition lawmakers barged into Mr. Hsieh’s offices purporting that the government-controlled First Bank let him use the offices rent-free. The bank owns the building that houses Mr. Hsieh’s campaign headquarters. The lawmakers were besieged by Mr. Hsieh’s supporters. Mr. Ho said he did not want to accompany the lawmakers, but eventually relented under their prodding.

Mr. Hsieh is facing off against Ma Ying-jeou of the opposition Nationalist Party in the March 22 election. Mr. Ma apologized Wednesday night for the improper behavior of the opposition lawmakers.


Second suspect held in death of tourist

PANAJI — A suspect has been arrested and charged with the rape and murder of a British teenager found dead on a southern Indian beach last month, the second suspect charged in the case, police said yesterday.

The bruised and partially clothed body of Scarlett Keeling was found Feb. 18 on Anjuna beach in Goa, a former Portuguese colony with a coastline full of tourist resorts.

Police have charged Placido Carvalho in the death. Samson D’Souza was arrested four days earlier.

Miss Keeling was on vacation in India with her mother, her mother’s boyfriend and her six siblings. The rest of the family was traveling elsewhere in India when she died.


Hu’s allies elected advisers to parliament

BEIJING — Five political allies of Chinese President Hu Jintao were elected senior advisers to parliament yesterday as he moved to further consolidate power.

Mr. Hu, who doubles as Communist Party and military chief, has sought to shake off any lingering influence of his predecessor, Jiang Zemin, during his second five-year term.

The advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, endorsed Mr. Hu’s nominations of the five men.


Fighting in north kills 30 rebels

COLOMBO — A new wave of fighting in northern Sri Lanka has left 30 Tamil rebels dead, the military said yesterday.

Reports of battles have increased in recent months as government promises to capture the rebels’ de facto state in the north and crush the group by the end of the year. Diplomats and other observers say, however, that the army has faced more resistance than it expected.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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