Accident sets off protest by thousands in China

China

Accident sets off protest by Thousands

Thousands of residents protested in the southeastern Chinese city of Fuan after a traffic accident, smashing police cars and overturning three police vans, police and residents said. The reason for the protest was unclear. Police said it was instigated by "a handful of lawless people." One resident said people became angry because police and paramedics took nearly an hour to arrive to help the injured. The Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy, a Hong Kong-based human rights group, said it was to do with corruption. Such protests have become increasingly common in China, and Saturday's violence is another reminder that the country's new leadership has to deal with underlying social discontent that often boils over. People are fed up with corruption and high-handed officialdom, pensions that have not kept pace with inflation, and families being forced from their homes to make way for developments.

Kazakhstan

Astronauts return from space station

Three astronauts touched down today in the dark, chilly expanses of central Kazakhstan onboard a Soyuz capsule after a 125-day stay at the International Space Station. NASA's Sunita Williams, Russian Yury Malenchenko and Aki Hoshide of Japan's JAXA space agency landed northeast of the town of Arkalyk. Three astronauts remain onboard the station and are to be joined by an incoming trio late next month.

GERMANY

Greece needs more aid, banker says

Greece will need yet more international financial assistance beyond the agreed bailout programs through 2014, a European Central Bank board member said Sunday. The government in Athens probably won't be able to return to finance its debt on financial markets in 2015 and 2016, thus requiring another assistance program, Joerg Asmussen of Germany told German public broadcaster ZDF. Many of Greece's partners in the 17-nation eurozone oppose granting it more funds.

NEW ORLEANS

Missing worker from oil rig sought

The owner of an oil platform that caught fire after an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico last week said Sunday that it has expanded its search for a missing worker. Three dive boats are working around the burned platform and Plaquemines Parish sheriff's deputies are checking beaches, Black Elk Energy of Houston said. Doctors said one man burned in Friday's fire is in fair condition, one is in serious condition and two are in critical condition.

Elsewhere

Egypt: The new pope of the Orthodox Coptic church was enthroned on Sunday in an elaborate ceremony lasting nearly four hours.

Jordan: The military prosecutor has charged 89 activists with inciting revolt after protests last week, an official said Sunday.

Times wires

Accident sets off protest by thousands in China 11/18/12 [Last modified: Sunday, November 18, 2012 11:07pm]

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