In Brief


December 08, 2008|By FROM SUN NEWS SERVICES

Elections officials begin ballot count in Ghana

ACCRA, Ghana : Elections officials began counting ballots late yesterday in one of Africa's rare democracies, where voters are painfully aware of the example they are setting on a continent better known for coups, rigged elections and one-man rule. In courtyards throughout the capital, elections officials put police tape around the plywood tables where they began sorting ballots. Hundreds of voters slept on the pavement outside their polling stations in an effort to be first yesterday to cast their ballot. Voters spoke of carrying the burden of the continent's numerous failures as they waited to vote. "We will never disgrace our country. We know that the whole world is watching us," said Beatrice Mantey, a retired school teacher who spent the night outside her polling station.

Sarkozy-Dalai Lama meeting angers China

BEIJING: China protested strongly to France yesterday over President Nicolas Sarkozy's meeting with the Dalai Lama, calling it a "rude intervention" into Chinese affairs. Sarkozy met the Tibetan spiritual leader Saturday privately in Gdansk, Poland, during celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of former Polish President Lech Walesa's Nobel Peace Prize. Although China routinely lodges protests when world leaders meet with the Dalai Lama, yesterday's comes as China hardens its line toward the Himalayan region. Several times in the past week, China demanded Sarkozy cancel the meeting and called off a major China-European Union summit this month in protest. Sarkozy played down the furor, saying, "There's no need to dramatize things."

British Net watchdog blocks Wikipedia article

LONDON: British Internet users have been blocked from accessing an article on the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia because of child pornography concerns, the country's Internet watchdog and Wikipedia said Saturday. Britain's Internet Watch Foundation added a Wikipedia article on a heavy metal music group to its list of banned Web sites because it contained a picture of a nude girl judged to be pornographic, foundation spokeswoman Sarah Robertson said.But the move appears to have blocked thousands of Wikipedia users across Britain from editing any of the site's articles, according to Jay Walsh, a spokesman for the Wikimedia Foundation, which manages the encyclopedia. Wikipedia volunteer David Gerard said he and fellow users are angry that an encyclopedia article - including text - had been blocked. "Blocking text is a whole new thing - it's the first time they've done this on such a visible site," Gerard said.

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