Tuesday, April 7, 2009

News Briefs (April 7)

Wall Street Journal - China on Tuesday repeated its call for calm after North Korea's latest test of a multistage rocket, attempting to defuse anger in the U.S. and elsewhere at a time when its own economic interest in the neighboring state is soaring.

Since North Korea's test of a rocket similar to a long-range missile on Sunday, Chinese diplomats have refused to criticize Pyongyang and forestalled penalties against it in the U.N. Security Council, where China is a permanent member with veto power.

In Tuesday's daily briefing at the China Foreign Ministry in Beijing, spokeswoman Jiang Yu advised calm and caution over the rocket launch. While other countries that tracked the launch say North Korea's rocket fell into the Pacific Ocean, Ms. Yu appeared to suggest that China accepts North Korea's story that it succeeded in its stated goal of putting a satellite in space.


L'AQUILA, Italy (CNN) -- An emergency worker fought back tears amid the rubble of Italy's deadliest earthquake in decades. Helicopters buzzed overhead, and sirens echoed across the region.

"It's my people. It's really hard to deal with," said Dr. Emanuela Troiani Sevi, who has been working around the clock at makeshift hospitals in her hometown of L'Aquila ever since the quake struck.

"There are a lot of dead and seriously wounded."

Across town, parents anxiously awaited any word on their children buried amid a mountain of twisted concrete at a student dormitory.


CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Hugo Chavez railed against Venezuela's Roman Catholic leaders on Tuesday for condemning a law that has weakened his political opponents.

Chavez took issue with the Venezuelan Bishops' Conference for accusing him of sidelining adversaries with a new law that let him take control of airports and seaports previously under the administration of opposition politicians.

"This group of bishops is shameless," Chavez told state television from China, where he is wrapping up a tour that also included visits to Japan, Iran and Qatar. "They side with all those who attack the government."

Quoting the Bible, Chavez added: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

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