World Digest

WORLD DIGEST

June 12, 2006

Russian investing in utilities discussed

WASHINGTON -- Russian, American, European and Japanese officials are negotiating over whether Russia should be allowed greater latitude to invest in utilities, pipelines, natural gas facilities and other infrastructure in the United States and Europe. In a draft declaration for endorsement at a Group of 8 summit meeting next month in St. Petersburg, Russia, broadened access for Russia is paired with something the West wants: endorsement of market principles and greater access for foreign investment in the energy industry of Russia, one of the biggest oil and natural gas producers in the world.

Report faults sales of China's weapons

BEIJING --China's sales of military vehicles and weapons to Sudan, Nepal and Myanmar have aggravated conflicts and abetted violence and repressive rule in those countries, Amnesty International said in a report released yesterday. The London-based rights group's report sheds light on an area of Chinese foreign policy its government does not disclose: assistance to regimes embroiled in internal conflicts and often shunned by the West. A spokesman who refused to give his name said yesterday that China's Foreign Ministry would look into the assertion but had no immediate comment.

Nepal strips king of veto power

KATMANDU, Nepal --Nepal's Parliament stripped King Gyanendra of his power to veto legislation, the latest step to curtail his authority and turn him into a figurehead. The new law endorsed by legislators late Saturday scraps the king's right to reject bills and laws passed by Parliament, Speaker Subash Nemwang said yesterday. Lawmakers also will no longer need to seek the king's approval before signing a bill into law, he said.

Earthquake shakes Japan, injures 5

TOKYO --A strong earthquake rattled southern Japan early today followed by a milder temblor in the north, but there was no danger of a tsunami from either, the nation's meteorological agency said. At least five people were injured from the magnitude-6.2 quake in the south, but no one died, the Kyodo News agency reported. No injuries or damage were reported from the second quake.

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