News In Brief


US lays down line with China on next Dalai Lama
AFP, Washington
As Tibetans start grappling with the once unthinkable prospect of the octogenarian Dalai Lama’s passing, the United States is looking to lay down a red line against China handpicking his successor.
Through a warning from a senior official and legislation under consideration in Congress, the United States is hoping to make clear in advance that Beijing would face international opprobrium if it tries to take over the reincarnation process.

US envoy to Afghanistan to testify before lawmakers
AFP, Washington
The US envoy who negotiated with the Taliban will testify behind closed doors to Congress on Thursday, 12 days after President Donald Trump abruptly ended talks with the Afghan militants.
The House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee issued a subpoena to force Zalmay Khalilzad to appear after it complained about being kept in the dark over the negotiating process.


Japan court acquits
ex-TEPCO executives over Fukushima disaster
AFP, Tokyo
A Japanese court on Thursday acquitted three former officials from the firm that operated the Fukushima nuclear plant, in the only criminal trial to stem from the 2011 disaster.
The three former executives from Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) had faced up to five years in prison if convicted of professional negligence resulting in death and injury.

Greek police evict over 200 migrants from Athens squats
AFP, Athens
Police in Athens on Thursday removed over 200 migrants, including dozens of children, from two squats in the city centre as part of a clean up drive by the new conservative government.
Some 230 people, including 70 children, were removed and taken to the police headquarters for identification, Athens municipal radio reported. The police declined to give details. State TV ERT showed the migrants boarding buses, some of them clutching plastic bags with their belongings.