Hundreds of Afghans staged a protest against the US yesterday, saying American troops destroyed a copy of the Koran during a military operation in the southeast.
A US-led coalition spokesman said he has no knowledge of the reported desecration in Paktika province, but added investigators found no truth to a similar allegation against soldiers in eastern Kunar province last week.
The protests come as anti-US sentiments are running high in parts of Afghanistan following the deaths of more than 370 civilians this year during operations by Western troops stationed in the country.
China: Growth rate at 11.5%
The International Monetary Fund yesterday raised its growth forecast for China's sizzling economy this year to 11.5 percent from 11.2 percent and said Beijing's efforts to cool the economy would be more effective if currency controls were eased.
The IMF said it raised its forecast after the economy expanded by 11.9 percent in the second quarter, driven by an export boom. It said growth was expected to slow to 10 percent in 2008.
However, the Washington-based institution said that easing "may not materialize unless the authorities tighten monetary policy more decisively and allow a faster appreciation of the exchange rate".
United States: Suspects extradited
Two men facing US terrorism charges for supplying Colombian rebels with weapons were extradited from Romania to the United States on Tuesday,
It is the first time Romania has extradited anyone charged with terrorism to the United States.
The two suspects faced charges of helping supply millions of dollars in weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which the US considers a terrorist group.
China: Clean restaurants
Ninety-five percent of China's catering establishments will have a certified hygiene grade by the end of this year as part of a nationwide effort to improve food safety, a senior health official said yesterday.
Health departments will issue four grades, from A for the best restaurants, to D for the worst in accordance with their basic hygiene facilities, said Vice-Minister of Health Chen Xiaohong at a conference on catering consumption safety in Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province.
Health departments will strengthen supervision of restaurants with low grades and advise the public against eating in them, Chen said.
China: Porkers on the run
Traffic came to a standstill when more than 50 pigs escaped from a lorry on the Guangzhou-Huizhou Expressway in Guangdong Province, after it overturned on Sunday.
More than 10 traffic police were dispatched to direct traffic and catch the runaway pigs, some weighing more than 150 kg.
Traffic returned to normal more than three hours later when the pigs were captured and loaded onto another truck. No deaths or injuries, human or porcine, were reported.
（英语点津 Linda 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Marc Checkley is a freelance journalist and media producer from Auckland, New Zealand. Marc has an eclectic career in the media/arts, most recently working as a radio journalist for NewstalkZB, New Zealand’s leading news radio network, as a feature writer for Travel Inc, New Nutrition Business (UK) and contributor for Mana Magazine and the Sunday Star Times. Marc is also a passionate arts educator and is involved in various media/theatre projects in his native New Zealand and Singapore where he is currently based. Marc joins the China Daily with support from the Asia New Zealand Foundation.
Bernice Chan is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Bernice has written for newspapers and magazines in Hong Kong and most recently worked as a broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, producing current affairs shows and documentaries