China's crackdown on prostitution effective: ministry
China's Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has announced that the special campaign to crackdown on prostitution has been effective, with cases of prostitution and obscene performances in entertainment venues in October dropping 18.4 percent on a month-on month basis.
The campaign in the latter half of the year attached increased importance to the investigation and punishment of the organizers of prostitution.
The campaign also targeted business operators and the "protective umbrellas" - sometimes local government officials - that allow prostitution to happen, according to a document released at a ministry work conference in Suzhou Saturday.
The document says more effort must be made to educate and rehabilitate women involved in the prostitution and obscene performance cases.
Fireworks blast kills eight in east China
A fireworks blast in Yangxin county, east China's Shandong Province, has killed eight people and injured six others as of Sunday .
The blast occurred Saturday afterfoon in a room stored with fireworks on a busy street in the county.
The wife of the room owner was killed on the spot.
The room owner was blamed for illegally storing the fireworks, which triggered the blast.
Chinese gov'tt continues efforts to protect intangible cultural heritage
The Chinese government continues its efforts to protect the intangible cultural heritage by training the professional staff in the country's culture departments.
More than 50 people participated in a training program Saturday in Guiyang, southwest China's Guizhou Province.
The one-week training program was co-organized by China's Ministry of Culture and the national intangible heritage protection center. It included courses regarding the present status and development of intangible cultural heritage, project application and construction of heritage protection areas.
China has listed more than 70,000 intangible cultural heritage items so far and built more than 520 thematic museums for their protection.
78,000 tonnes of garbage collected from Three Gorges Dam after water level raised
Environmental sanitation workers from southwest China's Chongqing Municipality have collected 78,000 tonnes of garbage from the Yangtze River near the Three Gorges Dam, ensuring the dam's safe and effective operation after its water level was raised.
More than 68,000 workers in nearly 21,000 boats retrieved the garbage.
Raising the dam's water level increased the surface area of water in the dam. It also increased garbage collectors' workload, with about 60 percent more garbage appearing.
The cleanup operation helped ensure the water quality of the dam and its navigability.
Cooperative approach can facilitate negotiations between Iran, G5+1: MP
Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani says a cooperative approach can facilitate the negotiations between Iran and the G5+1.
He's stressed during a press conference the world powers should never expect nuclear concessions from Tehran because the Iranian government will never give up the country's nuclear rights, saying "they should not expect anyone to retreat from the Iranian nation' s rights in future struggles."
Referring to the recent Geneva talks between Iran and the world powers on Monday and Tuesday, the speaker reiterated acquisition and use of the civilian nuclear technology is part of the "country's national interests."
The two-day talks between Iran and the six major powers ended on Tuesday with both sides agreeing to hold a new round of talks in January in Istanbul.
Palestines react to Clinton's comment on Mideast peace
A senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says Palestinians would go back to the negotiating table with Israel if the building of settlements stopped completely.
Speaking in response to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's speech in Washington on Friday, Nabil Shaath said that if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu couldn't comply on interim issues, he questioned the credibility of future peace agreements.
Son of Bernard Madoff dies
Mark Madoff, the older son of convicted swindler Bernard Madoff, has been found hanged in his New York City apartment in an apparent suicide.
The suicide of Mark Madoff occurred on the two-year anniversary of the arrest of his father.
Seventy-two-year-old Bernard Madoff is serving a 150-year prison sentence for operating a decades-long Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of billions.
Somali pirates release Liberian-flagged ship
Somali pirates have released the Liberian-flagged MV Eleni P, seven months after its was seized about 250 nautical miles off the Omani coast.
A brief statement from the EU Naval Force Somalia says the Greek-owned bulk carrier was pirated on May 12 with 23 crew mostly Filipinos.
The latest development came as Somali pirates intensified its attacks on foreign vessels resulting in the increase in the cost of import of goods and services in Kenya and the East Africa region.
Most hijackings end without casualties when a ransom has been paid, but often after several months of negotiations.
OPEC meeting leaves oil output unchanged
OPEC ministers have announced the oil output would remain unchanged, while Saudi Arabia said it favors a price between 70 to 80 dollars per barrel.
The annoucement came as a relief for oil consumers, who were worrying that the rising oil price would soon break the psychological barrier of 100 dollars, thus hampering the global economic recovery.
The ministers said the developed nations are still burdened with "lower industrial output, lagging private consumption as well as persistently high unemployment,"..