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China court upholds mining tycoon's death sentence BEIJING: A Chinese court on Thursday upheld the death sentence handed down to a mining billionaire said to have links with disgraced former security tsar Zhou Yongkang.Liu Han, his brother Liu Wei and three accomplices appealed to the high court in the central province of Hubei after they were condemned to death in May for "organising and leading a mafia-style group", murder and other crimes.The court on Thursday rejected the appeal, it said in a posting on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo."The crimes of organising and leading a mafia-style group and murder Liu Han and Liu Wei committed were extremely serious and a punishment should be meted out to several offences combined," it said.The court "upholds... the death sentences handed down to Liu Han and Liu Wei respectively," it continued.Liu Han led private company Hanlong, which is based in the southwestern province of Sichuan and once launched a billion-dollar bid for ...

China ships in disputed waters after Japan warning TOKYO: Chinese coastguard ships sailed into disputed waters off Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea on Wednesday, officials said, after Tokyo's annual defence paper warned over China's "dangerous acts" near the archipelago.The report, published Tuesday, said frequent appearances by Chinese ships in the area could lead to "unintended consequences", as fears grow over a potential military clash between the Asian powers.Three Chinese vessels entered territorial waters that extend 12 nautical miles around one of ...
NZ jobless at 5 year low, central bank seen on hold to year end WELLINGTON: New Zealand unemployment fell more than expected to its lowest in five years on modest job growth in the second quarter, while wage pressures nudged up, although the central bank still has breathing space to stay on hold for the time being. The jobless rate fell to 5.6 percent in the three months to June 30 from a downwardly revised 5.9 percent, as employment grew 0.4 percent or 10,000 jobs, Statistics New Zealand said ...
Japan's nuclear restart may be delayed until 2015 TOKYO: The long-awaited restart of Japan's nuclear power plants is facing yet another setback and may be delayed until 2015, Japanese media said on Wednesday, piling pressure on struggling utilities to push for fresh price hikes. Kyushu Electric Power's two-reactor Sendai plant, located about 1,000 km (600 miles) southwest of Tokyo, is likely to be the first nuclear plant to be allowed to restart under tough new safety regulations after the 2011 Fukushima crisis.The Sendai ...
Australia PM says new terror laws will not invade privacy SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday defended tough new terror laws under which Internet data, including websites browsed, will be retained, denying it is an invasion of privacy.The government plans to overhaul laws to make it easier to arrest and prosecute terrorists and make it an offence to travel to designated hotspots overseas without a valid reason.It has also substantially increased resources to security and intelligence agencies and wants telecommunications companies to retain ...
Volunteers urged to stay away from China quake zone LONGTOUSHAN: China called for volunteers to stay away from an earthquake disaster zone Wednesday as traffic blocked supply routes and "substandard" relief goods flooded into the area.Rescue efforts in the southwestern province of Yunnan, where at least 410 people died in Sunday's 6.1-magnitude quake, have also been hampered by landslides blocking roads.In Longtoushan, the quake's epicentre, workers halted traffic as they set off explosions on the mountainsides to dislodge huge boulders perched precariously over roads.Huge ...
Hiroshima marks anniversary of atomic bombing HIROSHIMA: Tens of thousands were to gather for peace ceremonies in Hiroshima on Wednesday, marking the 69th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the city, as anti-nuclear sentiment runs high in Japan.Ageing survivors, relatives, government officials and foreign delegates, including US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, were to observe a moment of silence at 8:15 am local time (2315 GMT), when the detonation turned the western Japanese city into an inferno.An American B-29 bomber ...

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