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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Canadian man gets 11years for sex tourism charges

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — A Canadian man has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for committing sex tourism with children and importing child pornography.

Prosecutors say the sentence is the highest so far for charges under Canada's sex tourism law.

The B.C. Superior Court in Vancouver, British Columbia, sentenced Kenneth Klassen on Wednesday to 10 years for 14 counts of sex tourism and one year for one count of importing pornography.

Klassen had pleaded guilty to having sex with more than a dozen underage girls in Cambodia and Colombia. The prosecution said some girls were as young as eight.

He unsuccessfully challenged Canada's sex tourism law when he argued the incidents happened in other countries where Canadian courts have no jurisdiction.
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Thai army to reinforce Cambodian border if needed


BANGKOK — Thailand's army is prepared to defend its border with Cambodia if a territorial dispute heats up, the prime minister said Wednesday, as the two nations were set to tussle on the diplomatic front at a U.N. meeting in Brazil.

Deadly clashes have flared in the past over the Preah Vihear temple, which the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization named a World Heritage site in 2008, over Thailand's objections.

Two Thai soldiers were killed and 12 wounded in April 2009 after troops exchanged fire with assault rifles and rocket launchers along Cambodia's northern border near the temple, one of several clashes in recent years.

Cambodia will present a management plan in Brazil on the disputed territory at a UNESCO meeting this week.

The International Court of Justice in 1962 ruled the 10th-century border temple belongs to Cambodia, rejecting Thai claims. Cambodia's World Heritage bid reignited Thai resentment over the ruling, and there have been small armed clashes in the area during the past few years.

Thailand claims the management plan would infringe on a small area of undemarcated territory around the temple, of which both sides stake a claim. It has called on UNESCO to reject the plan, and said it will walk out of the meeting if it is accepted. It also said it would consider withdrawing from UNESCO's membership if Cambodia's plan is accepted.

Leaders of both countries have used the issue to stir up nationalist sentiment and shore up domestic political support.

Abhisit met Wednesday with Defense Minister Pravit Wongsuwan, who told him that, pending Cabinet approval, the army is ready to deploy more troops to the already heavily defended border if Cambodian forces intrude into Thai territory.

"The army is now ready to defend our sovereignty if breached," said Abhisit after his weekly Cabinet meeting. He said he was appealing to members of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee "to remember the very purpose this committee was set up for. It should be a purveyor of peace and culture, not of tension and conflicts."

A Thai delegation, led by Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Suwit Khunkitti, is in Brasilia to attend the UNESCO meeting.

"We must make it clear that Thailand cannot and will not accept the proposal," said Abhisit. "And if the committee will not listen to our objection, we will not take part in the voting process."
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