December 21, 2008 in Nation/World

Rioting erupts after memorial

Associated Press photo

Riot police try to avoid a petrol bomb thrown by protesters during clashes in central Athens late Saturday.
(Full-size photo)

Hundreds of rioters battled police in central Athens on Saturday, fire-bombing a credit reporting agency and attacking the city’s Christmas tree two weeks after the police shooting of a teenager set off Greece’s worst unrest in decades.

Saturday’s violence followed a memorial gathering at 9 p.m. where 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos died Dec. 6.

Grigoropoulos’ fatal shooting touched a nerve among Greek youth, who took to the streets to protest what they see as random police violence. The protests have been fanned by perceptions of corruption among politicians and poor job prospects as the economy takes a turn for the worse.

Saturday’s clashes dashed the hopes of the government and police that protest fatigue would set in as Christmas neared.


NY Times Web site access blocked

China has blocked access to the New York Times Web site, the newspaper said Saturday, days after the central government defended its right to censor online content it deems illegal.

Computer users who logged on in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou received a message that the site was not available when they tried to connect on Friday morning, the paper said. Some users were cut off as early as Thursday evening, it said.

The Web site remained inaccessible from Beijing on Saturday.

It was not clear if the move was meant to block specific content on the newspaper’s Web site or if it was a return to stricter censorship of the Internet in general.

Mexico City

Officials report record extraditions

Mexico says it has extradited a record 85 criminal suspects to the United States so far this year.

U.S. officials have praised the increase in extraditions, something Mexico was once loath to do. Mexico still refuses to extradite anyone who might face the death penalty.

The attorney general’s office said 83 suspects were extradited in 2007. Sixty-three were sent north in 2006.

The office announced the latest batch of extraditions on Saturday, including three men accused of homicide in the United States. Two are accused of killings in the state of Illinois, and another faces charges in Washington state.

From wire reports

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