Quake shakes Italy leaves 4 dead

New quake rattles Italy after earlier tremor kills 7

From Barbie Nadeau, For CNN
A rescuer walks near the town hall in Sant'Agostino village after a powerful earthquake shook Italy's industrial and densely populated Northeast early on Sunday, May 20.
A rescuer walks near the town hall in Sant’Agostino village after a powerful earthquake shook Italy’s industrial and densely populated Northeast early on Sunday, May 20.

 Quake rocks northern Italy

 Finale Emilia, Italy (CNN) — Northern Italy was shaken by an aftershock Monday morning, a day after a magnitude-6.0 quake killed at least seven people and left thousands of survivors huddling in tents or cars overnight.

Monday morning’s aftershock caused buildings to sway in the town of Finale Emilia, in Italy’s industrial heartland. The tremor had a magnitude of 3.2 and hit near the site of the original quake, according to the Italian Seismic Service.

The head of Italy’s Civil Protection Department, Franco Gabrielli, said 11,000 people had been displaced by the first quake around 4 a.m. (10 p.m. Saturday ET) on Sunday morning.

The government put 3,000 people up in tents or hotels, but could not shelter everyone who was displaced.

Earthquake in Italy: Before and afterEarthquake in Italy: Before and after

At least 7 dead after quake rocks Italy

In Finale Emilia, about 35 kilometers (21 miles) north of Bologna, 75 people were sleeping in cars in a public park. One of them was Filomenna Gatti, who planned to cram into a Fiat Punto with her husband and three children under 6.

“I close my eyes and I see stones falling and I feel the ground shaking when it’s still,” Gatti said as she walked her dog. “I don’t want to be in any building.”

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti was expected to return from the NATO summit in Chicago on Monday.

Monti said Sunday he was leaving the conference early, vowing, “All that is necessary will be done as soon as possible” to help the survivors.

The quake was centered about 4 kilometers outside Camposanto, northwest of Bologna, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. In addition to the seven reported fatalities, 50 people were injured in the quake, Gabrielli said.

iReport: Watch the earthquake aftermath unfold

The stricken region is part of Italy’s industrial heartland, and the dead included two people killed in a ceramics factory in Sant’Agostino di Ferrara, about 30 kilometers from the epicenter, civil protection agency spokeswoman Elisabetta Maffani said.

Workers were still digging through rubble in hopes of finding survivors in Sant’Agostino, where the quake knocked down a church bell and a magnitude-4.8 aftershock brought down part of its city hall Sunday evening.

“We have just lost our history. Four generations of my family lived here, and now it’s gone,” 72-year-old Luciano Frendo said as he walked through Finale Emila. “Our history has collapsed.”

The civil protection agency said it expects to get more reports of injuries as rescue workers make their way to remote villages in the mountainous area. Heavy rain was expected to continue into Tuesday after hampering rescue efforts and efforts to spot survivors from the air.

Other deaths included one person killed when a work shed collapsed in nearby Ponte Rodoni di Bondeno, Maffani said. In addition, a woman in Bologna died of a heart attack during an evacuation, a Moroccan national died when the factory he was working in collapsed and a sixth victim was found dead under rubble in Sant’Agostino, she said.

The body of a seventh victim was located under a collapsed house, according to Alessio Bellodi of the civil protection branch in Bologna.

The same area was struck by a 5.3-magnitude quake in January. And a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck near the central Italian city of L’Aquila, more than 400 km to the south, in 2009, killing more than 300 and causing widespread destruction.

Planes collide in Canada

Five killed in collision of two small planes over Canada

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) — Five people were killed Saturday when two small planes collided in the air northeast of Saskatoon, Canada, officials said.

Both planes involved were single-engine aircraft.

One was en route to La Ronge from Regina with a man and woman aboard, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.

The other was traveling to St. Brieux, Saskatchewan, where the crash occurred, from Calgary. Two men and a male juvenile were aboard, police said.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating the crash.

49 decapitated bodies found in Mexico

49 decapitated bodies found in Mexico

By the CNN Wire Staff
May 14, 2012 — Updated 1345 GMT (2145 HKT)

Click to play
Gruesome discovery along a Mexican highway
Monterrey, Mexico (CNN) — Mexican authorities found at least 49 decapitated and dismembered bodies along a highway in a northern border state Sunday morning, officials said.

The remains were left along the road in Nuevo Leon state, between the cities of Monterrey and Reynosa.

A message written on a wall nearby appeared to refer to the Zetas drug cartel.

“This continues to be violence between criminal groups. This is not an attack against the civilian population,” said Jorge Domene, Nuevo Leon’s state security spokesman.

He said it appeared as though the victims were killed a day or two ago, somewhere else, and that their bodies were then dropped off.

Officials said they had not ruled out the possibility that the victims could be Central American immigrants or residents of another state, telling reporters Sunday that there had not been many local missing persons reports in recent days.

But the area has become a battleground for a brutal conflict between the Zetas and the Gulf cartel, and reports of forced disappearances have become increasingly common in recent years.

 Police and troops were combing the area and set up checkpoints after authorities received a report of the remains around 3 a.m. Sunday, police said.

The remains were found in the municipality of Cadereyta Jimenez, near the industrial city of Monterrey and about 80 miles southwest of the U.S. border, police said.

The middle-class, industrial community where the remains were found is known for a broom factory, an oil refinery and its historic role as one of the first places baseball was played in Mexico.

Last week, a retired military general arrived to take over the city’s depleted police force.

At least five municipal employees were slain there last month, the state-run Notimex news agency reported.

Federal forces have stepped up security in Nuevo Leon and the neighboring state of Tamaulipas since November 2010.

More than 47,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence throughout Mexico since President Felipe Calderon announced a crackdown on cartels in December 2006.

Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas are among the most violent, according to government statistics.

In Monterrey, Nuevo Leon’s capital, nearly 400 deaths in 2011 were connected to organized crime — more than three times the number of people slain in drug-related violence there in 2010.

Among the most high-profile violence in the region was an attack on a casino in Monterrey last August that left 52 people dead. Authorities have said members of the Zetas cartel were behind that attack.

The Zetas started with deserters from the Mexican Army and quickly gained a reputation for ruthless violence as the armed branch of Mexico’s Gulf cartel. The partnership ended in 2010, and turf battles between the rival cartels are common in northern Mexico.

Obama and religious leaders conflict over gay marriage decision

Obama decision conflicts with Black religious leaders

PHOTO: President Obama and Robin Roberts
President Barack Obama participates in an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” in the Cabinet Room of the White House, May 9, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
After making his historic remarks on same-sex unions last week, President Barack Obama led a conference call with black church pastors to explain his support for gay marriage, the New York Times reports. The call, which was held with “eight or so African-American ministers,” occurred about two hours after the president’s interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts.

Obama explained to them that he struggled with the decision, pastors on the call told the paper, but several voiced their disapproval.

“They were wrestling with their ability to get over his theological position,” the Rev. Delman Coates, a Maryland pastor who was on the call, told the Times.

The conference call was part of a quiet effort by the president to control potential political damage caused by his support of same-sex marriage.

According to the Times, Obama phoned “at least one [the Rev. Joel C. Hunter] of the five spiritual leaders he calls regularly for religious guidance, and his aides contacted other religious figures who have been supportive in the past.”

Hunter, the pastor of a conservative megachurch, said he wasn’t surprised Obama didn’t ask him advice before the ABC interview because “I would have tried to talk him out of it.”

At services on Sunday, black churches were conflicted about President Obama’s support of gay marriage, according to the USA Today:

Some churches were silent on the issue. At others, pastors spoke against the president’s decision Wednesday–but kindly of the man himself. A few blasted the president and his decision. A minority spoke in favor of the decision and expressed understanding of the president’s change of heart.

Bishop Timothy Clark, head of the First Church of God, a large African-American church with a television ministry in Columbus, Ohio, was perhaps most typical. He felt compelled to address the president’s comments at a Wednesday evening service and again Sunday morning. He was responding to an outpouring of calls, e-mails and text messages from members of his congregation after the president’s remarks.

What did he hear from churchgoers? “No church or group is monolithic. Some were powerfully agitated and disappointed. Others were curious. ‘Why now? To what end?’ Others were hurt. And others, to be honest, told me it’s not an issue and they don’t have a problem with it.”

What did the bishop tell his congregation? He opposes gay marriage. It is not just a social issue, he said, but a religious one for those who follow the Bible. “The spiritual issue is ground in the word of God.” That said, “I believe the statement the president made and his decision was made in good faith. I am sure because the president is a good man. I know his decision was made after much thought and consideration and, I’m sure, even prayer

The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office is spreading the wealth

Plumas Eureka State Park
Plumas Eureka State Park (Photo credit: lazytom)

Location in the state of California
Location in the state of California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Feather Publishing
5/9/2012

Voters in the West Almanor Community Services District overwhelmingly passed a tax assessment in a special election May 8.

Out of a total of 210 ballots cast, 173 (82.38 percent) voted in favor of the measure, and 37 (17.62 percent) voted against it.

Feather Publishing
5/9/2012

Saturday, May 19, marks the long-awaited reopening of Plumas-Eureka State Park in Johnsville. After a year of closure, and the threat of permanent shuttering, park staff and volunteers are eager to once again serve the visiting public at northeastern California’s only state park.

Debra Moore
Staff Writer
5/9/2012

When 18-year-old Jennifer Wright steps on stage, her biggest fan will be in the audience.

“My mom is always saying, ‘You’re going to do this. You’re going to do well,’” Wright said.

“This” is the lead role in “Hairspray,” the Feather River College production that runs May 9 – 13 at the Town Hall Theatre in Quincy.

Saturday, May 19, marks the long-awaited reopening of Plumas-Eureka State Park in Johnsville. After a year of closure, and the threat of permanent shuttering, park staff and volunteers are eager to once again serve the visiting public at northeastern California’s only state park.

Supervising Ranger Mike Rominger said, “I’m excited to think that we will once again have Plumas-Eureka State Park open for visitors to experience our outstanding historical and natural resources.”

The museum and the Plumas-Eureka State Park Association store will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with excellent displays of the area’s rich mining history, and literature and clothing supplies for those seeking a remembrance of their visit.

The historic area around the park headquarters features an operating blacksmith shop; the Moriarity House, an early miner’s family home; the assay office where gold ore was tested for richness; and many exhibits of early-day mining equipment.   The nearby Madora Lake Trail is now open as well, offering a gentle 1-1/2-mile loop around the lake, where wildflowers will soon be in bloom and waterfowl will be establishing their new broods.

For information on daily events at the park, call 530-836-2380

County emergency responders get support from sheriff’s office

Dan McDonald
Staff Writer
5/9/2012

The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office is spreading the wealth.

Last week the department doled out more than $80,000 worth of new high-tech equipment to more than a dozen of the county’s emergency responders.

Afghan women use graffiti as a medium as a voice

An Afghan woman’s tryst with graffiti to bring in positive changes in her country…

Inspiration can manifest itself in any form. Sometimes, it might seem too bizarre to relate to whereas at other times it might appear to be quite discernible that people would be just falling in love with it altogether. The other important aspect of this is that it’s not time-bound at all. One can say that it’s always a spontaneous reaction inside a human brain which is considered very opportune.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in war-torn places of the world where people struggling do have the guts to let their lives be an example of some great achievements. They want to make sure that deep beneath the constant shelling and bombing there is at least an element of eternal peace and harmony which can create a harmonious environment. One such volatile region is Afghanistan, still mired into sectarian violence and bedlam but at the same time trying hard to pick up the pieces after what has been a devastating experience almost on all fronts. More often than not, it’s mostly women who dream of getting rid of the inhumanely beleaguered past to start a new life.

Leading the motivating crusade to change the status of the country through her art works is Shamsia Hassani, 24. She teaches sculpture at Kabul University as an associate professor and she loves her profession a lot. Besides, she also heads a modern-day art group ROSDH as its founding member. In the entire country, she is the only female graffiti artist supported by a male graffiti artist Qasem Foushanji who too works on issues that people have to grapple with on a daily basis. He is also one of the members of her association ROSDH. “We are the two trying to shine light on the state of affairs our country is ducked in, “said she.

The capital which used to be a prime target of numerous bomb attacks and assassinations has now emerged as the popular hotspot for showcasing one’s artistic acumen like hers. Amidst the ruins of Kabul’s cultural heritage, she has displayed her own specialty in graffiti by drawing a spray-art work of a female hiding her face behind a sky-blue veil. Likewise, all other spray-paintings of women have been done to convey different messages to society which is still embroiled into mischief of the past. “The images reflect the impenetrable dimensions of women’s survival in Afghanistan. They are anguished about their way of life as it stands. I planned all this secretly at the destroyed Russian Culture Center here in Kabul because it was a safe place to do so, “said she. 

Making sure that its message is decoded well by people while they see it, she has buffed it up with a beautiful verse. “If a river lies in a dried state, it could get filled with water any time but once the creatures living inside it are dead because of this, they can never come back ever again” is her translated version of the poem already embedded into cavernous holes which were created inside the walls due to heavy shelling.  In reply to this anguish bursting through her illuminating face, she said, “The moment I realized what it was about, I could only think of it reflecting the lows and highs of Afghans. More importantly, those who lost their lives can no longer be with us”.  

So what led her to tap into this medium to demonstrate the aspect of ‘Yes, we can’ against the odds? Was it her fondness for graffiti because of its direct connection to people’s consciousness? Her interest in graffiti arose thanks to an artist from Britain named Chu who had visited the country way back in 2010 for the purpose of rendering the know-how of street art to the budding artists here. And that’s how she became a pupil of his training and got a chance to know about this people’s friendly medium at first-hand. Initially, she used to sketch her works and paint them in oil which she still does as part of her teaching at Kabul University.

Since her training session with Chu in the field of graffiti, she had become a well-versed at this in every way, letting the sore feelings or emotions flow on the surface. “It’s easy to persuade a big crowd to come peer at your graffiti-the street magic of art which an exhibition cannot do. Therefore, I prefer to use spray cans and stencils than otherwise to glorify my work as more society-centered in the context of its larger aims.

 

“Art like this is more accessible to people from all walks of life including those who aren’t well-read in society. More or less, each Afghan will be aware of what art is if graffiti is ubiquitously splashed on the walls and fences.” Every second is important for her and she finishes her graffiti accordingly. “Usually I am very fast when it comes to doing graffiti because I may not be so lucky next time to find some other opportunity to continue my work. Therefore, the value of time in my case is quite significant, “said she.

With a sad note, the excitement just gets overshadowed by the conservative elements that are still rampant across the country and barging with their dictatorial agendas which try to suppress the voice of women. “There is always the possibility of women being harangued unnecessarily in our intolerant society, making it difficult for them to step outside their homes, “said she.

 

When one’s determination is too strong to evaporate, there is no chance that obstacles will stand in the way to create unnecessary incongruity. “What one could refer to as unusable stuff could also be utilized if one’s frame of mind is in a positive tenor. I am displaying my works in buildings which have been left bare open as a result of infighting going on but they seem to be a perfect corner where people could relate to what they are going through, “said Shamsia.

As prejudices of all sorts continue against women, she favors virtual graffiti which gives her a lot of scope to send the clear message without being bogged down by hateful comments from men in the street. This is what she does. She captures the shots of places liked by her and then tries to work upon them using latest tools like Photoshop where she makes the entire thing digitally attractive. Sometimes, she publishes an image of the street on which to insert graffiti dimensions with the help of a paintbrush. When she is done with all this, she puts the painted images in a scanner to get their print outs looking quite authentic. But they are not. Every now and then, after printing the pictures she does graffiti with brush, oil and acrylic color on the picture walls. What else could she do in such fragile circumstances?

Whatever graffiti works she has been able to do so far, most of them have shown women wearing burqas. Nonetheless, she has given a modern touch to them by bringing in new contemporary silhouettes with sexy hips and shoulders. In some of her works, there are fishes mired in an immovable state inside their soggy territory.

“The truth is that sometimes politicking is not the right way to resolve matters relating to people’s interests. Rather, they could be addressed amicably by different means which teaches no divide at all. And the prowess of art is a genuine method to bringing an end to conflicts, “said she.

Her family’s roots are etched in Kandahar (Taliban’s safe haven) where she comes from. Strangely, her birth took place in Iran. Her parents had fled to this country as a result of continuing violence where they lived like refugees.

“I chose art just as everybody did during my childhood. The road wasn’t that easy. A lot of them simply gave in and went to do something else. Though there were no art teachers to guide me, I was determined to go on and spruce up my knowledge about art as a whole.”

While living in Iran there was another hurdle waiting to striker her. As she got promoted into ninth grade (the appropriate time for learning art lessons in the country), her face became pale after hearing that such lessons were forbidden for Afghans, forcing her to opt for accountancy.

However, Shamsia and her parents decided to come back to their own native land. Soon afterwards, she enrolled at the University art department in Kabul to make up for what she had missed. Though there were conventional barriers here and there, she kept her spirits high and moved on with doing research on contemporary art. Since she is a professor at the University, she wishes to launch a graffiti course in her bid to make as many Afghans familiar with art as possible. “I have inkling that my city can be a backyard of stirring graffiti adorning every wall if this course comes into being, “said she.

That’s why graffiti is the most sought-after phenomenon among youths fighting for their rights worldwide. And certainly Shamsia Hassani is no exception but someone to be really admired for her forward-looking essence in a region where nothing is predictable.

By Nagmani

International Correspondent/ Writer, IJRNews

Bodies recovered from Russian plane crash in Jakarta

Rescuers comb wreckage of Russian jet that crashed on Indonesian mountain

Click to play
Grim search under way in Indonesia

Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) — Bad weather hampered recovery efforts Friday as rescue teams combed a forbidding slope of an Indonesian mountain where a Russian jetliner crashed on a demonstration flight this week.

Rescuers found 12 bodies early in the day, according to Vice Marshal Daryatmo, head of the National Search and Rescue Agency, who like many Indonesians uses only one name.

It will take at least two weeks to identify the victims through DNA tests, Indonesian authorities said.

All 45 on board the Sukhoi Superjet 100 are feared dead.

The Superjet 100, Russia’s newest passenger plane, slammed into Mount Salak, a volcano south of Jakarta, after disappearing from radar screens Wednesday.

Most of the wreckage is on a steep slope about 6,000 feet high, making it difficult to reach.

The cause of the crash remained unclear. The Russian Investigative Committee said it has launched a criminal probe into possible safety violations.

“We can understand how the families are feeling right now, and we want to do this evacuation as fast as we can, but the problem is the crash site terrain is unreachable by parachute,” Daryatmo said at a news conference Friday.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced a joint investigation Friday after a phone call with his Russia counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

“I welcome the offer from Russian President Putin because the goal is to investigate what could have caused the plane crash,” Yudhoyono said.

The Russian Investigative Committee had said 48 people were on board the plane, including eight Russian crew members. But the Russian state-run news agency RIA Novosti said the number was 45, citing Sukhoi Civil Aviation President Vladimir Prisyazhnyuk as saying three of the people on the passenger list did not board the flight.

The plane was on a demonstration flight for Indonesian Ministry of Transportation officials and representatives of Indonesian airlines, the Russian Embassy in Jakarta said before the crash.

Indonesia’s Sky Aviation signed a $380 million deal in 2011 to buy 12 Sukhoi Superjet 100s, and press reports said a number of Sky employees were on the plane that went down. Sukhoi employees are also among the missing.

It was the first crash of a Sukhoi Superjet 100, RIA Novosti said.

The plane was on its second demonstration flight Wednesday when it lost contact with air controllers at Jakarta’s Halim Perdanakusuma Airport.

The Sukhoi jet arrived in Jakarta as part of a demonstration tour of six Asian countries. It had been to Myanmar, Pakistan and Kazakhstan, and was scheduled to visit Laos and Vietnam after Indonesia, RIA Novosti said.

Sukhoi manufactures military aircraft and is known especially for its fighter jets. Its civilian aircraft is narrow-bodied with a dual-class cabin that can transport 100 passengers over regional routes.

It flew its maiden flight in 2008 and has had encountered problems in the past.

In March, a Superjet 100 operated by Russia’s Aeroflot Airlines was forced to abandon its flight to Astrakhan, Russia, and return to Moscow because of problems with the undercarriage, according to RIA Novosti.

A similar defect in another Aeroflot-operated Superjet 100 plane had to be fixed in Minsk in December. However, Russia’s state-run United Aircraft Corp. said the defect did not affect passenger safety.

Fernando Verdasco wins Nadal at Madrid Open

Nadal feels the blues as he loses in Madrid

Rafael Nadal tastes defeat for the first time in 22 matches at the Madrid Open.
Rafael Nadal tastes defeat for the first time in 22 matches at the Madrid Open.

(CNN) — World number two Rafael Nadal has sensationally lost to Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in the third round of the Madrid Open.

The loss was the first defeat of the clay court season for the six-time French Open champion.

Considered arguably the greatest player to ever set foot on clay, Nadal had recently won in Monte Carlo — a record eighth title — before clinching his seventh tournament victory in Barcelona. He had previously between Verdasco on all 13 of their previous meetings.

It took Verdasco three hours and 11 minutes to beat Nadal in an error-strewn match. Verdasco hit nine double faults but Nadal somehow conspired to lose despite leading 5-2 in the final set.

It brought to an end a 22-match winning streak for Nadal that stretched back to 201.

The shock defeat will reopen the debate about the Madrid Open’s controversial use of blue clay. World number one Novak Djokovic has been an outspoken critic of the surface.

“It’s impossible to move,” he was quoted as telling reporters by AFP earlier in the week.

“I cannot find the words to describe this court. It’s really tough to play like this on a center court. We need serious discussion about the future of this blue clay.

“We cannot change anything this year, but my first impressions are not good. I don’t want to be the one complaining, but I say honestly what I feel.”

Ironically it was Nadal that refused to be drawn on the issue of the blue clay after he had comfortably beaten Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets 6-2 6-2 on Wednesday.

“It was my first match here in these circumstances,” he said.

“I am very happy about my result, about the way that I played.”

Verdasco goes on to play the sixth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych in the next round.

Threats from Russia on Missiles sites

Russia Threatens to Strike NATO Missile Defense Sites

Russia’s most senior military officer said Thursday that Moscow would strike and destroy NATO missile defense sites in Eastern Europe before they came online if the U.S. pushes ahead with deployment.

“A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken if the situation worsens,” Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov said at an international missile defense conference in Moscow attended by senior U.S. and NATO officials.

The threat comes as talks about the missile defense system, which the U.S. and its allies insist is aimed at Iranian missiles, appear to have stalled.

“We have not been able to find mutually acceptable solutions at this point, and the situation is practically at a dead end,” Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said.

Ellen Tauscher, the U.S. special envoy for strategic stability and missile defense, insisted the talks about NATO plans for a missile defense system using ground-based interceptor missiles stationed in Poland, Romania and Turkey were not stalemated.

But she acknowledged Wednesday that the recent elections in Russia and the upcoming elections in the U.S. make it “pretty clear that this is a year in which we’re probably not going to achieve any sort of a breakthrough.”

She reiterated that the U.S.-built system, still in development, is being designed to shoot down Iranian intermediate-range missiles aimed at Europe, not Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

Russian officials insist that the system has the capability to shoot down their ICBMs, thus robbing their nuclear deterrent of its credibility and destabilizing the Cold War-era balance of mutually assured destruction.

Neither the State Department nor the Pentagon had any immediate comment on the Russian threat Thursday.

Fisherman responsible for South Korean coast guard murder sentenced

30 years in prison for Chinese fisherman who killed South Korean coast guard

From Soo Bin Park, For CNN
Chinese fishing boats encounter a South Korean coast guard boat while in the Yellow Sea in December 2010.
Chinese fishing boats encounter a South Korean coast guard boat while in the Yellow Sea in December 2010.

Busan, South Korea (CNN) — A South Korean court on Thursday sentenced the captain of a Chinese fishing boat to 30 years in prison for murdering a South Korean coast guard officer during a confrontation in the Yellow Sea last year.

The court in the port of Incheon also handed down prison terms to several other crew members of the Chinese vessel, which the South Korean coast guard officials boarded on December 12 because they suspected it of fishing illegally.

The skipper of the fishing boat, Cheng Dawei, was convicted of stabbing the coast guard officer, Lee Cheng-ho, several times with a knife. Lee later died of his injuries and another coast guard official was wounded in the encounter.

Prosecutors had sought the death penalty for Cheng, 43, but the court chose to give him a lengthy prison term and a fine of 20 million won, or about $17,500.

Nine other Chinese sailors received sentences of one and a half to five years for their roles in the clash, according to Judge Rho Jong-chan, a spokesman for the court.

Liu Weimin, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Thursday that China and South Korea had not agreed upon the demarcation of exclusive economic zones in the Yellow Sea. As a result, he said, China “does not accept” South Korea’s application of its law to reach “such a verdict.”

Speaking at a regular news conference, Liu said China would continue to follow the case closely and “provide necessary assistance to the Chinese citizens concerned to protect their legitimate rights and interests.”

At the time of the confrontation, Seoul asked Beijing to “strictly clamp down on illegal fishing and the illegal acts of Chinese fishermen.”

The Yellow Sea, which contains important fishing and crab grounds, has been a point of contention for several Asian countries, most notably North and South Korea who have long disagreed on whose waters end where.

The South Korean coast guard stopped hundreds of Chinese boats last year on suspicion of illegal fishing in the sea. Disputes over fishing rights have resulted in dozens of boat seizures.