- The Washington Times - Friday, April 30, 2010

CHINA

Law requires telecoms to inform on leakers

BEIJING | China on Thursday strengthened a law to require telecommunications and Internet companies to inform on customers who discuss state secrets, an area so broadly defined that companies and Chinese citizens have struggled to know just what a state secret is.

The amendments to the Law on Guarding State Secrets, approved by China’s top legislature, represent the country’s latest move to tighten controls on communications services for the world’s largest Internet population. They take effect Oct. 1.

Internet and telecom companies now are required to block the transmission of leaks of state secrets, make a record of the activity and tell police and state security departments, and they must delete the information if those authorities request.

In China, state secrets have been so broadly defined that virtually anything - maps, GPS coordinates and economic statistics - could fall under the category, and officials sometimes use the classification as a way to avoid disclosing information.

INDIA

Scrap dealer killed by radioactive material

NEW DELHI | Police in New Delhi say radiation poisoning has killed a scrap dealer, and the incident has raised concerns about India’s ability to safely dispose of hazardous waste.

The scrap dealer died after dismantling a machine once used by the chemistry class of a major Indian university. He was among workers who sawed open a gamma cell that Delhi University had auctioned off in February. Police say seven other workers are being treated for radiation exposure.

Police traced the cell to Delhi University’s chemistry laboratory, where it had been sitting unused for more than 25 years.

MYANMAR

Suu Kyi asks court to stop party dissolution

YANGON | Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi filed a lawsuit with Myanmar’s high court Thursday in an attempt to prevent the dissolution of her party under a new election law.

The detained icon’s attorney said two lawsuits were submitted against junta leader Senior Gen. Than Shwe, one on behalf of Ms. Suu Kyi and the other by her party, the National League for Democracy.

The Nobel peace laureate asked the court to annul the part of the election law that would have forced the party to oust her in order to participate in the first elections to be held in two decades.

PHILIPPINES

Aquino increases lead in presidential poll

MANILA | Opposition lawmaker Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino held a 19-point lead over his nearest rival in next month’s presidential election, the biggest margin since December, a poll showed on Thursday.

Support for Mr. Aquino, the son of the country’s late democracy leader Corazon “Cory” Aquino, hit 39 percent. He increased his lead over main rival Manuel “Manny” Villar, whose approval rating slipped to 20 percent, pollster Pulse Asia said.

VIETNAM

Court upholds sentence for dissident soldier

HANOI | An appeals court on Thursday upheld a 5 1/2-year prison sentence for a military officer turned democracy campaigner convicted of attempted subversion, official media reported.

Tran Anh Kim was among five people convicted late last year and early this year in high-profile cases for trying to overthrow the communist regime.

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