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World in brief: Solstice marked at ancient site

Sun., June 21, 2009

Stonehenge, England – Thousands of neo-Druids, New Age followers and the merely curious flocked to Stonehenge on Saturday to await the sunrise over the prehistoric monument and celebrate the longest day of the year.

The ancient stone circle in southern England is the site of an annual night-long party – or religious ceremony, depending on perspective – marking the northern hemisphere’s summer solstice.

Stonehenge was built in three phases between 3,000 B.C. and 1,600 B.C.

Premier rejects resignation calls

Canberra, Australia – Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his treasurer are rejecting opposition calls to resign over their relationship with a car dealer which commentators say has created the 19-month-old government’s biggest political crisis.

Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull said Saturday that Rudd and Treasurer Wayne Swan repeatedly misled Parliament this month when they denied that Rudd’s friend, car dealer John Grant, had been given special attention when he applied for a government loan to cope with the global credit crunch.

Death near hotel sparks protests

Beijing – Hundreds of baton-wielding police dispersed protesters and cordoned off a city hotel in central China today after a young man’s mysterious death sparked unrest, a local official and a witness said.

More than 200 people were injured in the clashes between police and residents outside the hotel in Hubei province’s Shishou city, according to a Hong Kong-based rights group, the Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy.

Hundreds had been angered by the death of 24-year-old Tu Yuangao, who was found dead Wednesday evening in front of the Yonglong hotel.

Tu’s relatives believe he was killed by the hotel boss, who is related to the mayor, the rights group said.


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