10,000 troops sent to fight fires

Indonesia said on Friday it will send more than 10,000 troops to fight seasonal fires in southern Sumatra, as smoke makes thousands sick, delays flights and pushes air quality to unhealthy levels in neighboring Singapore and Malaysia. Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said that Indonesia has accepted Singapore’s help to combat the haze.


12 convicted in Mumbai blasts

An Indian court convicted 12 men on Friday of planning several blasts on crowded commuter trains in the financial capital of Mumbai in 2006, an attack that killed more than 180 people and wounded hundreds. Seven bombs exploded during the evening rush hour on a network that carries about 7 million passengers each day. The convicted men could face death by hanging or life in prison, with sentencing set to begin on Monday.

United Nations

Palestinians get OK to raise flag

The UN General Assembly voted on Thursday to allow the Palestinians to raise their flag at its headquarters in a diplomatic victory in their campaign for statehood. A resolution was adopted by member states by a vote of 119-8 with 45 abstentions. The text allows the flags of Palestine and the Holy See – both of which have nonmember observer status – to be hoisted alongside those of the member states.


Embezzlement charges filed

Prosecutors said on Friday that they have charged the head of collapsed Bitcoin exchange MtGox with embezzlement, amid fraud allegations over the disappearance of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of the virtual currency. The indictment of France-born Mark Karpeles, 30, comes after he was taken into police custody in Tokyo last month over the affair. He remained in custody on Friday but has the option of petitioning the court for release pending trial.

United Kingdom

N. Ireland talks to continue

British Prime Minister David Cameron expects talks to avert the collapse of Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government to continue on Monday with all political parties taking part, his spokesman said on Friday. Earlier that day, Cameron had said he was extremely concerned about the situation in the British province, which is heading for its most serious crisis since a 1998 peace deal ended years of sectarian violence.

South Korea

Man gets 12 years for envoy attack

A South Korean man who slashed the US ambassador in the face with a fruit knife was sentenced on Friday to 12 years in prison after being found guilty of attempted murder. Kim Ki-jong, 55, who attacked Ambassador Mark Lippert in March at a forum discussing Korean reunification, was also found guilty of assault of a foreign envoy. He was acquitted of violating the National Security Act.

Reuters – Xinhua – AFP

(China Daily 09/12/2015 page9)