The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 34.0°F | A Few Clouds

News Briefs I

Bomb Kills Catholic Lawyer In Northern Ireland


A prominent Roman Catholic human rights lawyer was killed by a car bomb outside her home Monday afternoon as sectarian tension in Northern Ireland erupted into fresh violence.

Rosemary Nelson, 40, died in the hospital of injuries suffered when a device exploded under her car in Lurgan, 30 miles southwest of Belfast.

The dissident Protestant Red Hand Defenders, a group outlawed only this month for a series of bomb and grenade attacks, claimed responsibility for the killing in a call to the BBC.

Officials noted that the key question now is whether the murder will prompt retaliation from nationalist paramilitary forces. A series of tit-for-tat actions could take the British province back toward the state of sectarian warfare that prevailed for 30 years until last year’s historic Good Friday peace agreement.

In London, British Prime Minister Tony Blair vowed that the bombing would not be allowed to harm the province’s shaky peace.

China Begins Demolition Of Popular Muslim Enclave

Los Angeles Times -- BEIJING

City officials began demolishing a popular Muslim enclave on Monday, aggravating already-tense relations with ethnic minorities in their effort to spruce up the capital for celebrations marking a half-century of Communist rule.

The demolition of “Xinjiang village” also is part of a wider effort to expel over a third of the city’s more than 3 million migrant workers and raze their neighborhoods within the next few years.

The area is known for its population of ethnic Uighurs from China’s northwestern Xinjiang province. Its popular restaurants had long been in the way of planners who want to widen roads.

At night, Xinjiang village attracts droves of foreign students and tourists with its festive atmosphere. Smoke from shish-kebabs envelopes street-side diners feasting on home-made pasta, flat-baked breads and beer. Peddlers sell Xinjiang’s famous melons, raisins and -- somewhat more furtively -- hashish and heroin.

Until Monday, officials had spared the district for fear of sparking conflict between the majority Han Chinese and the Turkic-speaking Uighurs, many of whose brethren in Xinjiang want independence.

Nullsoft Sued by MP3 Developer


PlayMedia Systems Inc. has filed a federal copyright infringement lawsuit seeking more than $20 million in damages against a leading MP3 software maker, Nullsoft Inc.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court here last week, claims that Nullsoft founder Justin Frankel did not pay to use program code developed by Los Angeles-based PlayMedia and incorporated in Nullsoft’s popular MP3 software player, WinAmp.

Sedona, Ariz.-based Nullsoft denied the charges, and said it will file a countersuit.

MP3 is a new format for downloading music from the Internet. The lawsuit serves as an ironic twist over the controversial digital format, which the recording industry has fought while trying to protect its copyrights from Internet music pirates.

“For the past six months, the MP3 community has been unified by pitting itself against the (Recording Industry Association of America),” the trade group that has been the most vocal critic of the digital format, said Lawrence Iser, a Los Angeles-based music and intellectual property lawyer.