Charles Whelan

China unlikely to bow to critics on Darfur

China has signalled during a week of high-level diplomatic wrangling over the Darfur crisis that it is unlikely to bend to global pressure and change its much-criticised policies on Sudan. Beijing has been showered with condemnation over its support for the Khartoum government, accused of shielding Sudan from sanctions and abetting genocide in Darfur.

Phelps aims for eight at Olympic Games

United States swimming sensation Michael Phelps said in Beijing on Monday he hopes to race for eight gold medals at next year's Beijing Olympics and out-do Mark Spitz's Games record of seven titles. The US champion won seven golds in eight events and set five world records at the recent World Championships in Melbourne.

Beijing eyes ‘green’ Olympics

Almost five years to the day after Beijing won the right to host the Olympics Games, workers downed tools for the last time at the Beijing Coking and Chemical Works. The flagship enterprise once supplied gas to heat the private rooms of Mao Zedong and other top Chinese officials and was ''much appreciated'' by the Communist Party leadership.

North Korea embraces IT, shackles the internet

Chun In-Hyo was just eight years old when North Korea's peerless leader Kim Jong-Il declared the 21st century the era of the information technology revolution. Now aged 12, Chun is at the tip of the spear in the Stalinist state's charge down the information superhighway.

‘Just bring your spoon’ to Diamond Mountain

Young, clean-cut North Korean guards keep alert as South Koreans scramble up Mount Kumgang, a craggy tourist enclave inside the Stalinist state. They seem happy to welcome their richer brothers and sisters from capitalist South Korea to North Korea's only tourist resort, known as Diamond Mountain in English.

‘Tabloid fever’ rising and there’s no antidote

Reports of the imminent death of the print media may be premature, or even dead wrong, as ''tabloid fever'' has gripped the industry in a trend that is gaining speed, a media conference was told on Tuesday. One of the pioneers, Le Matin, a modest Swiss Francophone daily, went tabloid in September 2001. The heavyweights soon began lining up to follow.

What will North Korea do next?

The future of a stalled diplomatic drive to end North Korea's nuclear weapons programme depends largely on how it views United States President George Bush's State of the Union address, analysts say. Three years ago, Bush grouped North Korea along with Iran and Iraq in an ''axis of evil'', but this time he used more neutral language.

No end in sight in North Korean nuclear crisis

One year after the North Korea nuclear crisis erupted, analysts expecting an early end to north-east Asia's latest geo-political nightmare are thin on the ground. North Korea's latest claims this week that it was making atomic bombs after reprocessing 8 000 spent nuclear fuel rods met with considerable scepticism.

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