** US, EU, Japan Bring Rare Earths Case Against China to WTO **
The United States, European Union, and Japan have asked the World Trade Organization to settle their dispute with China over restricted exports of rare earths
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk says it is vital that U.S. workers and manufacturers get fair and equal access to such raw materials, which China specifically agreed to do when it joined the WTO.
More than 90 percent of 17 individual rare earths come from China. The United States, EU, and Japan accuse China of restricting such exports to give its own industries an unfair advantage on the world market.
Chinese officials say they must conserve rare earths and metals for environmental reasons.
The WTO ruled against China in an earlier complaint filed by the United States in March. But U.S, European, and Japanese officials are still not satisfied with China's response.
**New York Times Launches Chinese-Language Website**
The New York Times has launched a Chinese-language news website aimed at China's massive online population.
The paper said in a statement the site, (www.cn.nytimes.com) which went active Thursday, hopes to draw readers from China's "growing number of educated, affluent citizens."
China has an estimated 500 million Internet users, making it the world's largest online population. But Chinese net users experience the web much differently than the rest of the world, due to a massive government censorship system that blocks content deemed objectionable.
The Times acknowledged Wednesday that government censors sometimes block material from its English website. But it said it was hopeful that government officials would be "receptive" to its Chinese-language Website.