World briefs

CHINA Police in northeastern China said two people were killed and one injured yesterday in a pair of apparently related shooting incidents. The shootings in Lanxi county took place about three hours apart and were under investigation, police spokesman Wang Yan’an said by telephone. Media reports said the shootings may have been tied to a dispute over illegal loans.

CHINA A leading pro-government Muslim cleric in the volatile northwestern territory of Xinjiang was murdered and police killed two suspects and captured another. The state media report late yesterday was the first official confirmation of the murder of Jume Tahir at dawn on Wednesday. Tahir had led the Id Kah mosque in the city of Kashgar and was a strong supporter of government policy on Islam that critics say imposes harsh restrictions.

Japan Nuclear TEPCOJAPAN A Japanese judicial panel has recommended that three former executives of the utility that operates the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant face criminal charges over their role in the disaster. A document released by the panel yesterday showed it voted in favor of indicting Tsunehisa Katsumata, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Co. at the time of the crisis, along with two vice presidents Sakae Muto and Ichiro Takekuro.

NEPAL Thousands of Tibetan exiles recite prayers and offer white and orange scarves during the cremation ceremony for a revered Tibetan monk, whose funeral in Nepal nearly fell victim to regional politics. Nepal had initially given permission to let the remains of Shamar Rinpoche enter the country, but immediately withdrew amid concerns that Tibetan exiles would protest China’s rule over their homeland during the rites. Nepal strictly prohibits any activities considered to be anti-China.

Heiner BielefeldtVIETNAM A U.N. official who went to Vietnam to assess religious freedom there says security agents closely monitored his visit and people he wanted to meet were harassed and intimidated. Heiner Bielefeldt, the U.N. special rapporteur, told journalists he concluded that serious violations of religious freedom existed, while noting some improvements.

PHILIPPINES-LIBYA The Philippines’ top diplomat says he is on his way to arrange the evacuation from Libya of thousands of Filipino workers, one of whom was beheaded and a nurse gang-raped amid the worsening turmoil. Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said he would fly to Tunisia’s Djerba Island near the Libyan border to help arrange the departure of about 13,000 Filipino workers from the Libyan cities of Benghazi and Misarata and the capital, Tripoli.

UKRAINE An international team of investigators in eastern Ukraine reaches the crash site of the Malaysia Airline Flight 17 for the first time. Fighting along the route to the wreckage site between government troops and pro-Russian separatist rebels had for several days kept the delegation from reaching the area.

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