OSLO, Norway — China is pressuring European governments to avoid the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for imprisoned democracy activist Liu Xiaobo and not make any statements in support of him, several diplomats said Thursday.
The Chinese Embassy in Oslo has sent official letters to a number of European embassies in the Norwegian capital asking them not to attend the Dec. 10 ceremony, two Western diplomats said.
According to one of the diplomats in Beijing who said he has seen the letter, China cited its repeated position that Liu is a criminal for his advocacy of widespread political reforms and called the prize an interference in China's internal affairs.
Mudslide kills at least 20 in Costa Rica
SAN ANTONIO DE ESCAZU, Costa Rica — A rain-sodden hillside collapsed on homes in a suburb of Costa Rica's capital early Thursday, killing at least 20 people, many as they slept. At least 14 people were missing.
Dozens of rescuers, some using dogs, searched throughout the day for survivors and the missing. But they found only corpses, including the body of a child, said Hector Blanco, a Red Cross spokesman.
Britain tightens screening on air cargo
LONDON — Britain on Thursday began requiring tighter screenings for some air cargo passing through the U.K. because of the recent mail bomb plot, an official said.
Cargo originating from some cities in India, Qatar, Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh, Thailand, the Maldives, Sudan and Libya will have to be re-screened after arriving in Britain before being loaded onto onward flights, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said.