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China jails Uighur scholar for life for 'separatism': lawyer BEIJING: A Chinese court on Tuesday sentenced a prominent scholar from China's Uighur minority to life in prison for "separatism," his lawyer said, in a case which critics say could add to tensions in the restive Xinjiang region.Ilham Tohti, a former university professor and outspoken critic of Beijing's policies in the vast western region, "will certainly appeal", the sentence handed down by a court in Xinjiang's capital Urumqi, Li Fangping, one of his lawyers, told AFP.The United States, the European Union, and several human rights groups have called for the release of Tohti, whose prosecution risks silencing moderate Uighur voices and cutting off the possibility of dialogue, critics say.Tohti, 44, was detained in January after he criticised the government's response to a suicide car attack in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, which the government blamed on separatists from Xinjiang.The Xinjiang region is home to about 10 million members of the Uighur minority, ...

Indonesia's Widodo unveils energy action plan, to halt Petral oil trading JAKARTA: Indonesian president-elect Joko Widodo plans to halt operations at Pertamina's energy trading unit Petral to allow for an audit of its operations as part of efforts to fight alleged fuel smuggling and corruption, a senior adviser to Widodo said. In his first energy action plan since being confirmed as president-elect by the Constitutional Court last month, Widodo will also impose major changes at state-owned Pertamina and cut coal exports to ensure ample domestic supplies ...
Hong Kong students take democracy strike to government HQ HONG KONG: Hong Kong students took their anti-Beijing strike to the government headquarters Tuesday, with hundreds gathering at the harbourside complex to protest against China's refusal to grant full democracy to the city.Organisers said 13,000 university students massed at a northern campus on Monday to launch a week-long boycott of classes, a strong showing that breathed new life into the democracy campaign which had been stunned by Beijing's hardline stance.Activists have said the student protest ...
Abe drops plan for Putin visit to Japan this year: media TOKYO: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has dropped plans to host Russian President Vladimir Putin in Japan this year due to friction after Tokyo imposed sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis, reports said Tuesday.The two countries had agreed on the Russian leader's visit "this autumn" but Washington had asked Tokyo to postpone it, Kyodo News reported, quoting Japanese government sources.Tokyo also sees it as important to keep in step with the West as it has ...
Thousands of Hong Kong students on strike for democracy HONG KONG: Hong Kong students on Monday began a week-long boycott of classes, gathering in their thousands for what democracy activists say will be a wider campaign of civil disobedience against China's refusal to grant the city unfettered democracy.Student activists crowded onto a campus on the northern outskirts of the city, many sheltering from the hot summer sun under umbrellas and waving their faculty flags, as their leaders vowed to ratchet up their campaign if ...
Taiwan begins clear-up in aftermath of tropical storm TAIPEI: Taiwanese authorities on Monday started clearing the damage from tropical storm Fung-Wong that pounded the island with torrential downpours and powerful winds over the weekend leaving one dead and four injured.Fung-Wong scraped the north and south of Taiwan but did not make landfall as had previously been forecast, sparing the island from the full force of the storm.The torrential rains that left residents knee deep in water Sunday had mostly subsided by Monday, leaving ...
Hong Kong students kick off class boycott HONG KONG: Hong Kong students Monday began a week-long boycott of classes, the start of what democracy activists say will be a wider campaign of civil disobedience against China's refusal to grant the city full universal suffrage.Democracy leaders are currently locked in a showdown with the mainland authorities after the former British colony's hopes for full and unfettered democracy were dashed by Beijing's plans to vet nominees who want to stand as its next leader.A ...

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