World and Nation

Shorts (left)

In Beijing, Clinton to discuss island disputes

BEIJING — As tensions between China and its neighbors over islands in nearby strategic waterways, China has scored some subtle victories, making the United States and its friends increasingly uneasy about the potential for violent confrontations.

China’s dispute with Japan over potentially energy-rich islands in the East China Sea, and with the Philippines over an island that China has effectively blocked to Filipino vessels, will be central in talks between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chinese leaders in Beijing on Tuesday evening and on Wednesday, U.S. and Chinese officials said.

“We will need the nations of the region to work collaboratively together to resolve disputes — without coercion, without intimidating, without threats and, certainly, without the use of force,” Clinton said Monday evening after arriving in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta.

—Jane Perlez and Steven Lee Myers, The New York Times

After verdict, South Korea assesses Samsung strategy

SEOUL, South Korea — When a jury in San Jose, Calif., ordered Samsung Electronics to pay $1.05 billion in damages for violating Apple’s patents for the iPhone and iPad, it did more than decide who had infringed upon whose intellectual property. To South Koreans, the legal battle highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of both Samsung and their economy in general.

“The ruling makes us reconsider the brand value of Samsung because it depicts Samsung as a copycat,” said James Song, who monitors Samsung for KDB Daewoo Securities in Seoul. “But a copycat or not, what Samsung has done with its smartphones was a brilliant move.”

“Look what has happened to companies like Nokia, Motorola and BlackBerry, which didn’t do as Samsung did,” Song added, referring to competitors whose failures to adapt quickly to the smartphone boom driven by iPhones have drastically reduced their market shares. “Samsung may lack in innovation, but right now, no one can beat Samsung in playing catch-up.”

For months, the South Korean media have watched avidly as Samsung, the world’s largest technology company by sales, clashes with Apple, the world’s No. 1 company by market value, over patent lawsuits in various countries.

—Choe Sang-hun, The New York Times

Murder charges dropped against South African miners

JOHANNESBURG — Prosecutors provisionally dropped murder charges against the 270 jailed miners who had been accused under an obscure legal doctrine of killing 34 of their own colleagues when the police opened fire on them while engaged in a wildcat strike.

The police fired live ammunition into a crowd of about 3,000 platinum miners armed with clubs and machetes while trying to disperse the illegal strike on Aug. 16. When the firing stopped, 34 miners were dead and South Africa was outraged by the bloodiest confrontation between police and civilians since the end of apartheid. The police have claimed they acted in self-defense.

The outrage grew when prosecutors announced last week that under a legal doctrine known as “common purpose,” the miners themselves would be charged with murdering their colleagues. Under the doctrine, which was frequently used in the waning days of apartheid to charge members of protesting crowds with serious crimes committed by a few individuals, people in a mob can be charged as accomplices.

—Lydia Polgreen, The New York Times