Archive | May, 2011

NASA’s Swift Finds Most Distant Gamma-ray Burst Yet

Posted on 31 May 2011 by GGS News

NASA,(GGS NEWS) 31 May 2011 :On April 29, 2009, a five-second-long burst of gamma rays from the constellation Canes Venatici triggered the Burst Alert Telescope on NASA’s Swift satellite. As with most gamma-ray bursts, this one — now designated GRB 090429B — heralded the death of a star some 30 times the sun’s mass and the likely birth of a new black hole.

“What’s important about this event isn’t so much the ‘what’ but the ‘where,'” said Neil Gehrels, lead scientist for Swift at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “GRB 090429B exploded at the cosmic frontier, among some of the earliest stars to form in our universe.”Because light moves at finite speed, looking farther into the universe means looking back in time. GRB 090429B gives astronomers a glimpse of the cosmos as it appeared some 520 million years after the universe began.

Now, after two years of painstaking analysis, astronomers studying the afterglow of the explosion say they’re confident that the blast was the farthest explosion yet identified — and at a distance of 13.14 billion light-years, a contender for the most distant object now known.

Swift’s discoveries continue to push the cosmic frontier deeper back in time. A gamma-ray burst detected on Sept. 4, 2005, was shown to be 12.77 billion light-years away. Until the new study dethroned it, GRB 090423, which was detected just six days before the current record-holder, reigned with a distance of about 13.04 billion light-years.Gamma-ray bursts are the universe’s most luminous explosions, emitting more energy in a few seconds than our sun will during its energy-producing lifetime. Most occur when massive stars run out of nuclear fuel. When such a star runs out of fuel, its core collapses and likely forms a black hole surrounded by a dense hot disk of gas. Somehow, the black hole diverts part of the infalling matter into a pair of high-energy particle jets that tear through the collapsing star.

The jets move so fast — upwards of 99.9 percent the speed of light — that collisions within them produce gamma rays. When the jets breach the star’s surface, a gamma-ray burst is born. The jet continues on, later striking gas beyond the star to produce afterglows.”Catching these afterglows before they fade out is the key to determining distances for the bursts,” Gehrels said. “Swift is designed to detect the bursts, rapidly locate them, and communicate the position to astronomers around the world.” Once word gets out, the race is on to record as much information from the fading afterglow as possible.

In certain colors, the brightness of a distant object shows a characteristic drop caused by intervening gas clouds. The farther away the object is, the longer the wavelength where this sudden fade-out begins. Exploiting this effect gives astronomers a quick estimate of the blast’s “redshift” — a color shift toward the less energetic red end of the electromagnetic spectrum that indicates distance.

The Gemini-North Telescope in Hawaii captured optical and infrared images of GRB 090429B’s quickly fading afterglow within about three hours of Swift’s detection. “Gemini was the right telescope, in the right place, at the right time,” said lead researcher Antonino Cucchiara at the University of California, Berkeley. “The data from Gemini was instrumental in allowing us to reach the conclusion that the object is likely the most distant GRB ever seen.”

The team combined the Gemini images with wider-field images from the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope, which is also located on Mauna Kea in Hawaii, to narrow estimates of the object’s redshift.

Announcing the finding at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Boston on Wednesday, May 25, the team reported a redshift of 9.4 for GRB 090429B. Other researchers have made claims for galaxies at comparable or even larger redshifts, with uncertain distance estimates, and the burst joins them as a candidate for the most distant object known.

Studies by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the Very Large Telescope in Chile were unable to locate any other object at the burst location once its afterglow had faded away, which means that the burst’s host galaxy is so distant that it couldn’t be seen with the best existing telescopes. “Because of this, and the information provided by the Swift satellite, our confidence is extremely high that this event happened very, very early in the history of our universe,” Cucchiara said.

Swift, launched in November 2004, is managed by Goddard. It was built and is being operated in collaboration with Penn State University, University Park, Pa., the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, and General Dynamics of Gilbert, Ariz., in the U.S. International collaborators include the University of Leicester and Mullard Space Sciences Laboratory in the United Kingdom, Brera Observatory and the Italian Space Agency in Italy, and additional partners in Germany and Japan.

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SGPC to approach UNHRC to save Bhullar

Posted on 31 May 2011 by GGS News

Chandigarh/New Delhi,(GGS NEWS) 31 May 2011 : Politics seems to be brewing over the death sentence of Punjab militant Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar. After Bhullar’s plea for clemency was rejected last week by President Pratibha Patil, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today rushed to his rescue, seeking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s “intervention on humanitarian grounds” to save him from the gallows.

SAD, a part of the ruling combine in Punjab, urged the Prime Minister to take a sympathetic view on the matter.

“We want it to be reviewed again…if the issue pertains to some community or emotions of the people related to them, these sentiments should not be ignored, they should move forward by looking at its practicality”, said Prem Singh Chandumajra, General Secretary, SAD.

But, SAD’s ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) didn’t quite echo the same sentiment. Skirting the Bhullar issue, the party instead, again called for Parliament attack accused Afzal Guru’s hanging.

“Afzal Guru has been tried and convicted for attacking Parliament, the seat of our sovereignty, where our elected representatives sit. Can anyone change the position on that? Our position on Afzal Guru is very clear and there cannot be a second thought”, said BJP spokesperson Nirmala Seetharaman.

But, the SAD found support form an unusual quarter. The Congress unit in the state also supported clemeny for Bhullar.

“I don’t know what the Akalis have said. I can only tell you what I feel. I feel killing a man is not going to solve the problem. By killing a man you can’t solve the problem…He has spent 10 years in jail. Give him life imprisonment. Let him stay there forever”, former Punjab Chief Minister and President of Punjab Congress Amarinder Singh said.

Refusing to be drawn into the debate, the central leadership of the Congress gave a guarded response.

“As a political party, the Congress doesn’t believe in interfering in or commenting upon the constitutional process of clemency, whether in favour or against it,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.

The flurry of political statements comes in the backdrop of the President turning down on May 26, the mercy petition of Bhullar, who was associated with the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF).

Bhullar was sentenced to death by a trial court on August 25, 2001, for plotting terror attacks on Punjab SSP Sumedh Singh Saini in 1991 and the then Youth Congress president M S Bitta in 1993, which led to several deaths in Delhi. He was associated with the Khalistan Liberation Force.

A couple of days ago, Bhullar’s advocate K T S Tulsi had urged in the Supreme Court that either his mercy petition should be decided expeditiously or alternatively his death sentence be commuted.

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Zail Singh, Sanjay Gandhi Responsible For Punjab Mess In 80s: Book

Posted on 31 May 2011 by GGS News

New Delhi,(GGS NEWS) 31 May 2011 :Former President Giani Zail Singh in his tenure as Punjab Chief Minister and Sanjay Gandhi have been blamed for the Punjab crisis of the 80s in a book on Congress.The fifth volume of the series ‘A Centenary History of the Indian National Congress’ makes critical observations on “dirty politics” in the name of religion in Punjab that it concluded was one of the factors for terrorism and the Khalistan agitation in Punjab.

“Dirty politics and the use of religion for political ends clearly boomeranged on the Akali and Congress leadership with disastrous consequences for the Sikh community and the Indian state” the book says commenting on the situation in the aftermath of the Operation Blue Star.

Noting that Congress emerged as the single largest party in the state assembly in the 1972 elections and formed a government headed by Zail Singh, the book says, “by introducing a religious tone to Punjab politics, Giani succeeded to a great extent in weakening the Akalis. But the result–growing communalisation of provincial politics—was disastrous.”

The book notes that Zail Singh organised one of the biggest religious processions “in order to secure Sikh votes for Congress”.

In the chapter “Indira Gandhi: An Overview” the book says that Zail Singh, who was Congress Chief Minister of Punjab in the 1970s – and first Home Minister in Indira’s 1980 cabinet and later still the country’s President – had “unwisely” but ostensibly “tried to steal Akalis’s clothes” by pandering heavily to religious sentiments of Sikhs.”

“Zail Singh, in complete collaboration with Sanjay, picked up a relatively obscure young and fundamentalist lay preacher named Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale with a view to building him up as a rival to the Akali leadership. It is inconceivable that they could have done so without Indira Gandhi’s consent. Sanjay and Zail Singh believed that by advocating extremist causes, the young preacher could embarrass the Akali Dal. Precisely the reverse happened. Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale originally planted by Giani Zail Singh to weaken the Akalis, had outgrown his shoes,” the book said.

Congress has, however, distanced itself from the views expressed in the book, saying there is no official book about the party’s history.

Party spokesman Manish Tewari has stressed that the book, brought out by a group of editors, headed by senior party leader Pranab Mukherjee, has two disclaimers. “In no circumstances, Congress subscribes to these views,” Tewari said. The volume brought out to commemorate 125 years of the organisation narrates and analyses a wide variety of issues, which affected the Congress and in turn impinged on the national issues.

In the preface to the book, Mukherjee noted that Congress desired the volume to be edited and contributed by experts in order to generate an “objective and scholarly perspective for the period under review” and “not necessarily have a party perspective”.

The book further notes “the tragedy of Punjab politics is that, in competition for votes both the Congress and the Akalis have started making emotional appeals to the Sikh electorate by taking communal issues as was done by Giani Zail Singh. This politics of vote bank is fast eroding the secular space for political arena in Punjab, which is a dangerous signal.”

Referring to the coming back to power of Indira Gandhi in 1980 post the Janata Party government experiment after Emergency, the book notes that Indira Gandhi “nursed a grudge” against Prakash Singh  Badal  who was then leading the Akali government in Punjab, which she later dismissed.

It said that Badal had earlier let it be known that if left undisturbed he would extend full cooperation to the Congress government at the Centre. “Indira Gandhi nursed a grudge against Badal for his having joined hands with the Opposition and launching Akali Morcha against the Emergency. And this the Akalis did in spite of the fact that while banning RSS and other communal organizations, Akali Dal remained untouched.

“Repeating Janata government’s experiments of dismissing properly-elected governments in the states, Indira Gandhi also dismissed some state governments including the Akali government in Punjab….Out of power, the Akalis quickly retrieved their grievances and did not hestitate in making a common cause with pro-Khalistani elements abroad,” the book said.

The book notes “The attack on the Golden temple (and later, the massacre of innocent Sikhs in the aftermath of the killing of Indira Gandhi) did great damage to the psyche of the Sikhs.”

Referring to the chaotic communal situation in the state before the Operation Blue Star, the book held that the the “rivalry” between the then Union Home Minister Zail Singh and Punjab’s Chief Minister Darbara Singh, stood in the way of prompt action.

 

It has also accused former Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal of “adding insult to injury” of Sikhs by issuing instructions to the state police to “frisk all Sikhs passing through Haryana on the eve of 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi.

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Disclose details about Anderson extradition: CIC to MEA

Posted on 31 May 2011 by GGS News

New Delhi,(GGS NEWS)  The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the Ministry of External Affairs to disclose the communication between it and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the extradition of former Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson in the Bhopal gas tragedy case.

The CIC issued the order, while overruling the ministry’s objections that it could not give this information as the matter was sub-judice. The Commission said that this could not be sufficient ground to deny information to the public.

The Ministry had said that disclosure of correspondence between it and the CBI could adversely affect the Anderson extradition case. It also said that it had not spent any money in the case, PTI reports.

Information Commissioner Annapurna Dixit said that the matter was of significance to the general public and particularly to the families of the victims who have been awaiting justice for 26 years.

The CIC’s direction was issued on an RTI application that sought these details. “It is also a matter of general awareness that the case related to the extradition of Mr Warren Anderson has been heard and judgment reserved by the Supreme Court recently. Therefore, no question of impeding the process of extradition arises,” Ms Dixit said in the order.

“The Commission directs the public authority to provide all the information as available with them in their official records relating to the matter, and as sought by the complainant, by or within 10 June 2011,” she said.

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Martin Dempsey named new joint chiefs head

Posted on 31 May 2011 by GGS News

WASHINGTON,(GGS NEWS) 31 May 2011 :— President Barack Obama moved Monday to complete an overhaul of his national security team, selecting Army Gen. Martin Dempsey as the next Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman amid protracted battle in Afghanistan, U.S. involvement in the NATO-led effort against Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi and a winding down of the war in Iraq.

Obama announced a new lineup of his top military leadership group in the Rose Garden of the White House just before venturing across the Potomac to pay tribute to America’s war dead at Arlington National Cemetery. The Memorial Day announcements had been expected, although there was no immediate indication what the military leadership moves might imply for possible changes in military strategy.

Already, the president had turned, in late April, to CIA Director Leon Panetta to succeed Robert Gates as secretary of defense and chose to move Army Gen. David Petraeus from his command of the Afghanistan war effort to the United States to replace Panetta at the CIA.

Marine Gen. James Cartwright had long been rumored to be Obama’s favorite, and the president singled him out for praise at the announcement. But he turned instead to Dempsey, an accomplished veteran of the Iraq war, to succeed Adm. Mike Mullen as his top military adviser, calling Dempsey “one of our nation’s most respected and combat-tested generals.”

The president also announced he has chosen Navy Adm. James Winnefeld to succeed Cartwright as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Army Gen. Ray Odierno as his candidate to replace Dempsey as Army chief of staff.

The nominees have to be approved by the Senate, and Obama voiced hope that could happen in a timely fashion.

Gates said that Dempsey, Winnefeld and Odierno are excellent choices.

Mullen said the trio will give “not only their best military advice, but also the great benefit of their decades of military experience and their command in combat operations.” He called Odierno a “combat-proven officer who made a real difference in Iraq.”

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Afghan President Warns NATO Against Airstrikes

Posted on 31 May 2011 by GGS News

KABUL,(GGS NEWS) 31 May 2011 : Afghanistan —President Hamid Karzai warned NATO on Tuesday that Afghans will no longer tolerate airstrikes that result in civilian casualties. If they continue, he said, “we will be forced to take unilateral action in this regard.” The Afghan president, speaking at a news conference at the presidential palace in Kabul, declined to offer specifics on what actions the government would take, saying only that Afghanistan “has a lot of ways of stopping it.” In an admonishment that carried an air of threat, he said NATO forces were on the verge of being considered occupiers rather than allies. “If they continue their attacks on our houses, then their presence will change from a force that is fighting against terrorism to a force that is fighting against the people of Afghanistan,” he said, “And in that case, history shows what Afghans do with trespassers and with occupiers.” Mr. Karzai has used similar language before, but taken with other recent statements, Mr. Karzai’s comments could further threaten a relationship with his Western backers that has been strained over issues like night raids, corruption and the continuing scandal surrounding questionable loans and huge losses at Kabul Bank. NATO officials responded diplomatically, saying they would continue to work with the Afghan government to reduce civilian casualties. “General Petraeus has repeatedly noted that every liberation force has to be very conscious that it can, over time, become seen as an occupation force,” Rear Admiral Vic Beck, a spokesman for the NATO-led military coalition, said in a statement, referring to Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top coalition commander in Afghanistan. He added that “We are in agreement with President Karzai on the importance of constantly examining our actions in light of that reality — and we are doing just that.” The American Embassy referred comment to NATO. Civilian casualties, as well as the night raids and airstrikes that often lead to them, have been a bitter source of contention between NATO forces and the Afghan president for years. Mr. Karzai has repeatedly called for an end to night raids unless they are planned and led by Afghan forces. But his latest statements, coming both before and after an airstrike on Saturday that killed at least nine civilians in Helmand Province, most of them women and children, have been laced with more definitive terms. On Saturday, Mr. Karzai ordered his Defense Ministry to take charge of the nighttime raids from the coalition forces in his most aggressive attempt yet to stem the use of such operations, which have angered Afghans for years for their intrusiveness and the civilian casualties they frequently cause. Then after an airstrike Saturday night that killed several civilians in the Now Zad district of Helmand Province, the president issued a “last” warning to NATO forces that airstrikes that end in civilian casualties must stop. NATO, in an apologetic statement after the attack, acknowledged that nine civilians had been killed. The strike was aimed at a group of five insurgents who had ambushed a Marine foot patrol, killing one of them, and then continued to fire on the patrol from inside a compound. “Unfortunately, the compound the insurgents purposefully occupied was later discovered to house innocent civilians,” the official, Maj. Gen. John Toolan, commander of NATO forces in the Southwest region, said in the statement. Images of grieving friends and relatives carrying the bruised and bloodied bodies of dead children were broadcast on television the morning after the attack, inflaming passions. Mr. Karzai called the deaths “shocking” and said in a statement that “NATO and American forces have been warned repeatedly that their arbitrary and improper operations are the causes of killing of innocent people.” He added that he was warning “NATO, American forces and American officials for the last time on behalf of Afghanistan’s people.” Talking to reporters Tuesday, he said the dead in the Helmand strike included 11 children, ages 2 to 7. The Afghan people were suffering, he said, from both the “terrorists and in the war against terrorism.”

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UN says 50 killed in Taiz since Sunday Yemen

Posted on 31 May 2011 by GGS News

Yemen,(GGS NEWS) 31 May 2011 :More than 50 people have been killed in demonstrations in the southern Yemeni city of Taiz since Sunday, the UN says.

Reports, which “remain to be fully verified”, also suggested hundreds had been injured in the city, the UN human rights office said.

At least three more people died after Taiz security forces opened fire when rallies resumed on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, fresh fighting in Sanaa ended a truce between tribesmen and forces of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Mr Saleh, who has ruled since 1978, has refused to step down despite months of protests against his rule and concerns about the war slipping into civil war.

The UN said reports indicated that those in Taiz had been killed by “Yemeni army, Republican Guards and other government-affiliated elements who forcibly destroyed the protest camp in Horriya Square using water cannons, bulldozers and live ammunition”.

Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has urged all parties to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, saying that the “bloodshed must stop”.

“Such reprehensible acts of violence and indiscriminate attacks on unarmed civilians by armed security officers must stop immediately. Further violence will only yield more insecurity and move the country further away from a resolution to this political crisis,” she said.

At least 100 people are also believed to have been arrested over the weekend, while dozens of others remain unaccounted for.

EU policy chief Catherine Ashton said she was “shocked” by the use of force and live ammunition, and described attacks on medical centres as “appalling”.

In Sanaa, battles have again erupted in part of the capital that is home to Sadiq al-Ahmar, the leader of the powerful Hashed tribe, breaking a truce agreed on Sunday after five days of fighting. At least one person has been killed.

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Spanish Judge Indicts 20 Salvadoran Soldiers for 1989 Killings

Posted on 31 May 2011 by GGS News

Madrid (GGS NEWS) 31 Maty 2011 : — Spain’s National Court issued an arrest warrant Monday for 20 Salvadoran military officials in connection with the slayings of six priests, their housekeeper and her daughter more than two decades ago.

The event, known as the “Jesuit Massacre,” became one of the most notorious episodes of El Salvador’s bloody 12-year civil war, which pitted leftist guerrillas against the U.S.-backed conservative government.

In an indictment issued Monday, Judge Eloy Velasco Nunez accused the officials — including El Salvador’s former defense minister — of murder, terrorism and crimes against humanity. He said a trial in El Salvador was flawed and failed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“That judicial process was a defective and widely criticized process that ended with two forced convictions and acquittals even of confessed killers,” Velasco wrote.

Two military officers were convicted of murder in 1991, but were pardoned in 1993 under an amnesty law approved by El Salvador’s National Assembly.

The eight victims of the November 1989 killings “were one of at least 75,000 unarmed civilians who died in this war, which was much more violent than the better known conflicts in Chile and Argentina,” Velasco wrote. “It is estimated that 85% of the deaths can be attributed to the army and security forces.”

Five of the slain Jesuits were born in Spain. They were killed at their residence at prestigious Central American University in El Salvador’s capital, San Salvador.

The case was taken to Spain’s National Court because of its involvement in other high-profile human rights cases.

The same Spanish court issued an arrest warrant for former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998, while he was in a London hospital. The former dictator was held in England for 18 months while officials considered Spain’s extradition request. British authorities ultimately decided Pinochet was too frail to stand trial, and allowed him to go home to Chile.

The Spanish court has also taken on human rights cases from other countries, testing an international legal principle known as universal jurisdiction that allows some serious crimes to be tried anywhere, regardless of where the alleged offenses occurred.

Spain and El Salvador have an extradition treaty, opening up the possibility that the Central American country could send the former officials to Madrid to stand trial.

For years, the extreme right in El Salvador had accused the Jesuits of siding with the leftist guerrillas. Uniformed troops were seen searching the living quarters of the priests at Central American University two days before the killings.

One of the slain Jesuits spoke  shortly before he was killed about the chilling effect of the long-running Salvadoran civil war.

“We have become used to violence,” Ignacio Martin Baro said. “We have become used to living in a very dangerous world. We have learned to live, accepting death, extraordinary abnormal death, into our lives.”

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Mikhail Khodorkovsky case: European Court faults Russia

Posted on 31 May 2011 by GGS News

Eu,(GGS NEWS)  31 May 2011 :The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Russia dishonored the rights of the jailed oil tycoon and outspoken Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

In their unanimous ruling the judges in Strasbourg ordered Russia to give him 24,543 euros (£21,426) in compensation.

The ruling, which is not final, said there had been disobediences in Khodorkovsky’s conditions of detention after his arrest in October 2003.

His eight-year prison term has since been extended by a further five years.

The court’s judgment concerns Khodorkovsky’s first conviction, in 2005 for tax fraud. That was due to end this year, having been backdated to his arrest in 2003.

However, he was convict in a second case in December, of stealing oil from his personal company. His 13-year sentence (reduced, on appeal, from 14 years) is running concurrently with his first and will stay him in jail until 2016.

The seven European judges also found responsibility with the length of time he was held pending investigation and trial, and with the court procedures. The court security plannings had “humiliated him”, they said.

But the judges did not back Khodorkovsky’s claims that the prosecution against him had been politically motivated.

“Claims of political motivation behind prosecution required incontestable proof, which had not been presented,” the judgment said.

On Friday Khodorkovsky lodged an plea for parole

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China says foreigners stir Inner Mongolia unrest

Posted on 31 May 2011 by GGS News

BEIJING (GGS NEWS) 31 May 2011 :— Ethnic demonstrations in Inner Mongolia will be handled according to the law and the government will respond to “reasonable demands” from protesters, a Chinese government spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The Foreign Ministry’s Jiang Yu said the government would take necessary measures to protect the interests of all groups, but would also act against troublemakers.

“As far as I understand, the local government pays great attention to this incident and will solemnly handle it according to law, and the local government will positively respond to those reasonable demands of the people,” Jiang told reporters at a regularly scheduled news conference.

Jiang’s remarks were the central government’s first direct response to the region’s largest demonstrations in 20 years. The protests broke out in cities and towns across the sprawling northern pastureland following the deaths of two Mongols in clashes with Chinese in mid-May. Demonstrators are calling for greater protections for Mongol culture and the traditional pastoral lifestyle.

The government has responded with a broad clampdown, pouring police into the streets, disrupting Internet service and confining students to campus. Seeking to mollify Mongol anger, authorities also swiftly arrested three people over the killings and pledged to better regulate the booming coal industry that herders blame for spreading pollution and degrading the delicate steppe on which they depend.

Jiang said the government would “earnestly handle the relationship between environmental protection and economic development and take necessary measures to protect the fundamental interests of all ethnic groups.”

She said those who have committed crimes would be dealt with in accordance with law.

It was not clear whether Jiang was referring to protesters or those arrested over the killings. Witnesses reported several people were detained following a standoff between protesters and police on Monday in the city of Hohhot.

There were no reports of protests on Tuesday and people reached by telephone at travel agencies, hotels, fast food restaurants and shops in Hohhot said they knew of no demonstrations.

Staff at government offices, three local universities, and government-controlled Muslim and Buddhist religious institutions refused to comment in a likely sign that a media blackout has been ordered.

Hohhot’s main downtown square has been cordoned off with crime scene tape and paramilitary policemen stationed along its outer edge, according to photos taken Sunday and posted on the website of the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center. Riot police vehicles were parked along side streets, while officers also guarded the gates of local universities to prevent students from leaving or outsiders from entering.

Prevented from marching, students have instead staged small demonstrations and acts of defiance on campus, including throwing Chinese-language textbooks out of dormitory windows, the center said. Teachers were also being confined to campuses, it said.

The protests have been mostly peaceful so far, unlike recent anti-government riots in Tibet and the far western region of Xinjiang where Chinese migrants and businesses have been targeted.

China accused groups outside China of orchestrating the violence, and Jiang again pointed to unidentified forces abroad as stirring up trouble in Inner Mongolia.

“As for those overseas trying to play up this incident for ulterior motives, we feel that it would be impossible for them to succeed,” Jiang said.

Squeezed between the Great Wall and the independent nation of Mongolia, Inner Mongolia has seen a flood of Chinese migrates in recent decades that has reduced native Mongols to less than 20 percent of the population. Many Mongols speak little of their native language as a result of years of Chinese education and the mining sector is quickly supplanting herding as the backbone of the local economy


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