World briefs: Japan to buy desolate isles
Share with others:
TOKYO -- Japan has decided to purchase the uninhabited Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture and has already begun negotiations with the islands' owner, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told reporters Saturday.
The government has informed Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, who has been proceeding with an independent plan for the Tokyo metropolitan government to buy the islands, of the state's intention to nationalize the Senkakus, Mr. Noda said.
China and Taiwan are expected to express strong opposition to the move. Though the group of islands is part of Japan's integrated territory, China and Taiwan have claimed sovereignty over them because of the existence of underwater natural resources nearby.
MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's president-elect will broaden the nation's campaign against drug trafficking-related violence and would discuss the legalization of drugs, he said Saturday in an interview on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS."
"Our new strategy is to adjust what's been done up until now," said Enrique Pena Nieto, who won election July 1, according to an emailed transcript of the interview, scheduled for broadcast today. "Personally, I'm not in favor of legalizing drugs. However, let's open up a new debate, a review, in which the U.S. plays a fundamental role in conducting this review."
More than 47,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon began an offensive against cartels in December 2006. Mr. Pena Nieto named Gen. Oscar Naranjo, the former head of Colombia's national police, as his security adviser last month.
OSLO, Norway -- Striking Norwegian oil workers and their employers are still far from reaching an agreement to resolve a strike that threatens to halt all oil and gas from western Europe's largest crude exporter, a mediator said Saturday.
The two sides are in "deadlock" and continue to be "far apart," Carl Petter Martinsen, a mediator at the National Mediator's Office, told reporters. "We've only just started so it's too early to say things have changed."
The strike is disrupting as much as 250,000 barrels of oil output a day, according to Statoil ASA, Norway's largest energy company.
ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan -- The authoritarian president of Turkmenistan has shaken up his government after a disappointing grain harvest and has sought to forestall discontent by announcing salary hikes after a spike in bread prices.
President Gurbanbuly Berdymukhamedov fired the agriculture minister for poor performance and rebuked four provincial governors for various shortcomings, state newspaper Neutral Turkmenistan reported Saturday.
Merdan Bayramov, who served as the former Soviet Central Asian nation's agriculture minister from January 2011, was replaced by his deputy, Rejep Bazarov. Other officials in the sector were also replaced.
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The offshore Taiwanese island chain of Matsu appears set to join Macau in the China gambling sweepstakes.
Matsu voters approved a referendum Saturday permitting casino gambling on the islands, located 11 miles from the Chinese coast.
The measure must still be approved by the legislature in Taipei, but with President Ma Ying-leou's government strongly in favor, that is considered likely.
First Published July 8, 2012 12:37 am