VATICAN CITY — An Italian industrialist tried to curry favor by donating $100,000 worth of truffles. A Mercedes-Benz executive hoped for an audience to suggest improvements to the Popemobile. But in the final years of the papacy of Benedict XVI, others sent very different messages, desperate for the pope’s ear.
DHAKA, Bangladesh — Violent clashes between angry mobs and security forces erupted across Bangladesh on Thursday, leaving at least 35 people dead, after a special war crimes tribunal handed down a death sentence to a fundamentalist Islamic leader for crimes against humanity committed 42 years ago, during the country’s 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.
ISHWARDI, Bangladesh — The air thickened with tear gas as police and paramilitary officers jogged into the Ishwardi Export Processing Zone firing rubber bullets and swinging cane poles. Dozens of people were bloodied and hospitalized.
NEW DELHI — Few leaders are more respected globally than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India. President Barack Obama has described him as a historic figure, close friend and valued adviser. (So, for that matter, did President George W. Bush.) When Newsweek ranked world leaders, Singh ranked first, winning praise for his modesty and incorruptibility.
MUMBAI, India — The newest and most exclusive residential tower for this city’s super rich is a cantilevered sheath of steel and glass soaring 27 floors into the sky. The parking garage fills six levels. Three helipads are on the roof. There are terraces upon terraces, airborne swimming pools and hanging gardens in a Blade Runner-meets-Babylon edifice overlooking India’s most dynamic city.
The elaborate closing ceremony that ended the Beijing games on Sunday also ended nearly a decade in which the ruling Communist Party had made the Olympics an organizing principle in national life. Almost nothing has superseded the Olympics as a political priority in China.
With a month remaining before the Beijing Olympics, the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday praised the city’s preparations but also cited two “open issues” that remain: whether the city can deliver good air quality and fulfill promises to allow television networks to broadcast from non-Olympic sites.
Chinese security forces were reportedly surrounding three monasteries outside Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, on Thursday after hundreds of monks took to the streets this week in what are believed to be the largest Tibetan protests against Chinese rule in two decades.
Chinese leaders have blamed “splittists” led by the exiled Dalai Lama for spurring violent protests in Tibet and orchestrating a public relations sneak attack on the Communist Party as it gears up to host the Olympics Games this summer.
When state security agents burst into his apartment on Dec. 27, Hu Jia was chatting on Skype, the Internet-based telephone system. Hu’s computer was his most potent tool. He disseminated information about human rights cases, peasant protests, and other politically touchy topics even though he often lived under de facto house arrest.
China's national legislature began deliberating on Thursday a landmark law that would provide legal protections for private property as well as a law that would gradually equalize corporate taxes on foreign and domestic corporations.