- - Monday, January 30, 2012


Police presence increased in restless Xinjiang

BEIJING — Thousands of additional police officers are being dispatched to combat religious extremism and other security concerns in China’s volatile, heavily Muslim northwestern region of Xinjiang, state media reported Monday.

Officials plan to recruit 8,000 officers to ensure every village in Xinjiang has at least one on patrol, the Xinhua News Agency said.

Their primary tasks will be “security patrols, management of the migrant population and cracking down on illegal religious activities,” it said. The officers will be joined in their tasks by security guards and local militia, who are typically unarmed, Xinhua said.

The beefing up of the police force is a sign of Beijing’s concern over unrest in Xinjiang, where long-simmering resentment against Chinese rule boiled over in 2009, when nearly 200 people were killed in fighting between native Uighurs and Han Chinese in the regional capital, Urumqi, according to the government.


India won’t cut Iranian oil imports

MUMBAI — India will not cut back on oil imports from Iran, its finance minister said, despite stiff new U.S. and European sanctions designed to pressure Tehran over its nuclear program.

“It is not possible for India to take any decision to reduce the import from Iran drastically because, after all, the countries which can provide the requirement of the emerging economy, Iran is an important country amongst them,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters Sunday in Chicago.

Iran exports 2.5 million barrels of oil per day, about 3 percent of world supplies. About 500,000 barrels go to Europe and most of the rest goes to China, India, Japan and South Korea.


Two convicted of plotting terrorist attack

OSLO — Two men accused of plotting to attack a Danish newspaper that caricatured the Prophet Muhammad were found guilty Monday of terrorism charges in Norway, the first convictions under the country’s anti-terrorism laws.

The Oslo district court sentenced ringleader Mikael Davud to seven years in prison and co-defendant Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak to 3 1/2 years.

Judge Oddmund Svarteberg said the court found that Davud “planned the attack together with al Qaeda.”

A third defendant, David Jakobsen, was cleared of terrorism charges, but convicted of helping the others acquire explosives. Jakobsen, who assisted police in the investigation, was sentenced to four months.


Iran offers to extend U.N. nuclear inspection

TEHRAN — Iran’s top diplomat offered Monday to extend the current visit of U.N. nuclear inspectors and expressed optimism their findings would help ease tensions despite international claims that Iran is trying to build atomic weapons.

The comments by Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, reported by Iran’s official news agency, underscored efforts to display cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team and downplay the expectations of a confrontational atmosphere during the three-day visit that began Sunday.

The IAEA mission is the first to Iran since a report in November that suggested some of the Islamic Republic’s reputed experiments - cited in intelligence documents - can have no other purpose than developing nuclear weapons.

The current inspection team includes two senior weapons experts, hinting that Iran may be prepared to discuss specific points on the claims it seeks to develop warheads after three years of rebuffing U.N. calls for answers.


Judge: Try Duvalier on corruption charges

PORT-AU-PRINCE — A Haitian judge said Monday that former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier should face trial for corruption, but not the more serious charges of human rights violations committed during his rule.

Investigative Magistrate Carves Jean said the statute of limitations had run out on the human rights charges, but not on the accusations of misappropriation of public funds.

He did not explain his reasoning, but the once-feared ruler known as “Baby Doc” is widely thought to have used money from the Haitian treasury to finance his life in exile.

Magistrate Jean did not release the verdict, based on a yearlong investigation, saying it must first be reviewed by the attorney general as well as by Mr. Duvalier and the victims of his regime who filed complaints against him.


Ex-envoy to U.S. wins court victory

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s top court Monday lifted a travel ban imposed on the country’s former ambassador to the U.S. during an investigation into a memo sent to Washington that had enraged the army, in a sign that a scandal that once looked capable of bringing down the government may be losing steam.

Husain Haqqani resigned in November and returned to Islamabad to answer allegations that he masterminded the note, which asked for Washington’s help in curbing the powers of the Pakistani army in exchange for security policies favorable to the U.S.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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