- - Thursday, November 1, 2012


YANGON — Authorities have ordered people in strife-torn western Myanmar to surrender guns, swords and other weapons to the police within three days or face legal action.

The announcement Thursday in the state-run Myanma Ahlin newspaper said some groups of people in Rakhine state had used swords and firearms during recent deadly confrontations between the Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya communities.

On Wednesday, the government said it had evidence that certain individuals and organizations had instigated the violence between the two ethnic groups.

It said 89 people were killed, 136 injured and more than 32,000 left homeless when more than 5,000 houses were burned down from Oct. 21 through Tuesday. It did not report any new clashes.

Tensions have simmered in western Myanmar since clashes broke out in June after a Rakhine woman was allegedly raped and murdered by three Muslim men.


Second stealth fighter gets test flight

BEIJING — China has test flown a second model of a prototype stealth fighter, aviation specialists said Thursday, a sign of the aircraft industry’s growing sophistication.

Photos posted to the Internet on Thursday showed the radar-avoiding aircraft airborne near the northeastern city of Shenyang with its landing gear still down. Two Chinese-made J-11 fighters accompanied it on the flight, which Chinese military enthusiast websites said took place Wednesday and lasted about 10 minutes.

Ross Babbage of Australia’s Kokoda Foundation and Greg Waldron of Flightglobal magazine in Singapore said the plane known as the J-31 appeared to be a smaller version of the J-20 prototype that was tested last year.


Soldier awarded medal for bravery in Afghanistan

SYDNEY — An Australian soldier who repeatedly braved enemy fire in Afghanistan to save his colleagues during an ambush was awarded a rare Victoria Cross for his actions.

On Thursday, Cpl. Daniel Keighran, 29, was bestowed with the medal for breaking cover on multiple occasions to draw intense enemy fire during a ferocious 31/2-hour battle.


Two musicians jailed for anti-government songs

HANOI — Two musicians in Vietnam whose topical songs are popular among overseas Vietnamese were sentence to prison this week, prompting criticism from the United States and international rights groups.

Vo Minh Tri and Tran Vu Anh Binh were imprisoned for four and six years, respectively, on charges of spreading propaganda against the state, said Mr. Tri’s lawyer, Tran Vu Hai.

They faced possible sentences of up to 20 years.

In a half-day trial, a court in Ho Chi Minh City accused the musicians of posting songs on a website operated by an overseas Vietnamese opposition group, Patriotic Youth, according to Mr. Hai. Communist Vietnam does not tolerate challenges to its one-party rule.

Mr. Tri, 34, known as Viet Khang, has composed songs criticizing the government for not taking a more aggressive position against China in the potentially resource-rich South China Sea, where Vietnam, China and other Asian nations have competing territorial claims. A video of his song “Where is My Vietnam?” has been viewed more than 700,000 times on YouTube.

Mr. Binh, 37, is credited with writing the music for “Courage in the Dark Prison,” a song that encourages nonviolent protest and expresses support for imprisoned blogger Nguyen Van Hai.


Ex-governor leads geriatric political party

TOKYO — Firebrand Japanese conservative Shintaro Ishihara, who resigned as governor of Tokyo, has become the leader of a small right-leaning party whose lawmakers have an average age of 73.5.

Mr. Ishihara, a champion of nationalist views whose plan to buy disputed islands reignited a smoldering row with China last month, was named by the Sunrise Party of Japan as its new leader earlier this week.

The party, formed in 2010 by defectors from the once-dominant Liberal Democratic Party, has a total of just five seats in both houses of parliament.

It will rename itself in early November with Mr. Ishihara, the oldest of the group at 80, as its new leader.

At a party meeting Tuesday, Mr. Ishihara said he would forge new alliances with other small parties to try to loosen the stranglehold of the Liberal Democratic Party and its governing rival, the Democratic Party of Japan.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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