In brief: Greece is focus of EU meeting
BRUSSELS – Greece’s financial meltdown is set to overshadow yet another summit of European Union leaders, who today will discuss new ways to get the country back on its feet.
Eurozone governments earlier this week delayed any final decisions on new aid for Greece until July 3.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will urge leaders to help Greece access billions of euros in EU development funds to create jobs and make its businesses more competitive.
Japan shaken by 6.7 earthquake
NEW YORK – A magnitude-6.7 earthquake rattled northeast Japan today, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
It was the same area of the Pacific where a massive magnitude-9 quake hit on March 11, triggering a deadly tsunami. At least 23,000 people were killed or left missing in those disasters.
China frees historian held for decade
BEIJING – A Hong Kong-based historian jailed on state secrets charges in China was released today after his heavy sentence was reduced in a show of clemency that a rights group says has been increasingly rare for political prisoners.
Xu Zerong, an Oxford-trained political scientist, said in a phone interview that he was released Thursday morning from Guangzhou Prison in southern Guangdong province’s capital city.
The scholar, now 57, was convicted a decade ago of leaking secret military materials. His case came amid a series of arrests of Chinese academics with foreign connections and his heavy sentence alarmed fellow academics and drew the attention of human rights groups.