Hundreds of Puerto Ricans march for statehood

Updated 04 March 2013
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Hundreds of Puerto Ricans march for statehood

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico: Hundreds of people in Puerto Rico and the US are marching to demand that the territory become the 51st state.
Supporters gathered Saturday in the capital of San Juan to request that President Barack Obama honor the results of a November referendum regarding the island’s political status. Other groups gathered in Orlando, Florida, and Washington D.C.
The demonstration came on the 96th anniversary of a law that granted US citizenship to Puerto Ricans.
In the referendum’s first question, 54 percent of voters said they were not content with commonwealth status.
The second question asked what status was preferred. Of the about 1.3 million voters who made a choice, nearly 800,000 supported statehood, some 437,000 favored sovereign free association and 72,560 chose independence. But nearly 500,000 left the question blank.
Meanwhile, a man has been killed and two other people injured in a shooting at a restaurant in a popular tourist spot in Puerto Rico.
Police spokeswoman Karen Lee Torres says the slain man had an argument with unknown people before he was shot to death around 7 a.m. on Saturday in the Isla Verde neighborhood of the capital of San Juan.
Those injured were taken to the hospital but their condition was not immediately available.
No one has been arrested.
Isla Verde is located near the island’s main international airport and is known for its upscale hotels and multiple bars and restaurants.


China reassures Pakistan on ties ahead of Xi’s meeting with India’s Modi

Updated 12 min 37 sec ago
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China reassures Pakistan on ties ahead of Xi’s meeting with India’s Modi

  • China will continue to firmly support Pakistan, its top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, told Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif at a meeting in Beijing
  • We are ready to work together with our "Pakistani brothers" to undertake the mission of national rejuvenation, Wang said.

BEIJING: China on Monday reassured Pakistan that relations between the two countries were as firm as ever and would “never rust,” ahead of a meeting this week between President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that could unnerve Islamabad.
China and Pakistan like to call each other “all weather friends” and their traditional close ties have long been viewed with suspicion by Pakistan’s neighbor and traditional enemy, India.
But Modi has tried to reset relations with Beijing after a years of disagreements over everything from their border to exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, and will hold an informal summit with Xi on Friday and Saturday in China.
China will continue to firmly support Pakistan, its top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, told Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif at a meeting in Beijing.
“We are ready to work together with our Pakistani brothers to undertake the historical mission of national rejuvenation and achieve the great dream of national prosperity and development,” Wang said.
“In this way, our iron friendship with Pakistan will never rust and be tempered into steel.”
There was no mention of the Xi-Modi meeting in comments made in front of reporters.