- - Thursday, September 1, 2011


Anti-graft crusader wanted for other causes

NEW DELHI | Fresh from a 12-day hunger strike that roiled the public against graft, Indian crusader Anna Hazare is in hot demand to promote other causes as activists seek to harness his acclaim and ability to seize 24-hour media attention.

The 74-year-old former army truck driver returned Thursday to a hero’s welcome in his village outside Mumbai, after a New Delhi hospital said his health was good following his fast to demand the creation of a powerful watchdog against corruption.

The hunger strike - inspired by national freedom fighter Mohandas K. Gandhi - drew tens of thousands of adoring supporters and was praised for forcing a seemingly remote Parliament into confronting official graft.

Some complained that the nonstop breaking-news coverage was alarmist and excessive and gave a false impression of national unity.

Others coveting the same publicity for their own causes have started reaching out to Mr. Hazare for help.


Official says attacks thwarted in Xinjiang

BEIJING | A Chinese official said security forces defused several plots to sabotage an international trade fair in the turbulent region of Xinjiang, though he provided few details.

The first China-Eurasia Expo opened in the regional capital Urumqi on Thursday, and attendees include Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Kyrgyz caretaker President Roza Otunbayeva.

The expo is aimed at cementing Urumqi’s place as Central Asia’s business center for trade and industry, despite a sometimes violent insurgency among its native Muslim population.

Urumqi’s Communist Party boss Zhu Hailun, the city’s most powerful official, said police had defused several threats to public safety in recent weeks, though he mentioned only one case.

He said a man tried to take a knife on board a flight departing from Urumqi airport and was being held on suspicion of planning to carry out an attack during the flight, according to a report by the official Xinhua News Agency appearing in Thursday’s China Daily newspaper.


Researchers ID bones of robber/folk hero Ned Kelly

SYDNEY | The headless remains of Australia’s most storied criminal, Ned Kelly, have been identified, officials said Thursday, ending a decades-long mystery surrounding the final resting place of a man now seen by many as a folk hero.

Kelly, who led a gang of bank robbers in Australia’s southern Victoria state in the 19th century, was hanged in 1880. His corpse’s fate was unknown, though it was long suspected that his body lay alongside 33 other executed inmates in a mass grave at a prison.

Officials pinpointed the location of the grave in 2008 and later exhumed the bodies for analysis. A DNA sample from one of Kelly’s descendants confirmed that one of the skeletons - which was missing most of its skull - was that of the notorious Kelly, said Victoria Attorney General Robert Clark.

“To think a group of scientists could identify the body of a man who was executed more than 130 years ago, moved and buried in a haphazard fashion among 33 other prisoners, most of whom are not identified, is amazing,” Mr. Clark said.

Kelly, whose father was an Irish convict, led a gang that robbed banks and killed policemen from 1878 to 1880. These days, many Australians consider him to be something of a Robin Hood or Jesse James-like character, fighting the British colonial authorities and championing the rural Irish underclass.


World War II bomb kills 7 in west Myanmar

YANGON | An official said seven people were killed when a World War II bomb they found in a river exploded in western Myanmar.

A security official told the Associated Press on Thursday that the dead included two children. He asked not be identified because he did not have clearance to speak to the media.

The seven found the bomb floating in a river in Rakhine state Wednesday, and it exploded when they retrieved it from the water.

Occupying Japanese forces and colonial British troops fought in the area during World War II. Bombs from the era are still found in Myanmar, but this is the most deadly in recent decades.

Myanmar was known as Burma at the time.

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