China grounds model planes to ensure safe Congress

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BEIJING, Oct 11 (Reuters) Beijing has banned model planes, paragliding, parasailing and use of other ''entertainment flying objects'' from the city's skies to ensure security for next week's Communist Party Congress, Chinese media reported today.

The ban, issued by the city's tourism bureau, would take effect from Saturday, two days before the Congress begins, to the second day after it ends, about a week later, the Beijing News said.

The Communist government, obsessed by stability, has expelled petitioners and urged local security forces to crack down on protests and other potential unrest ahead of the Congress.

A Beijing court yesterday jailed a ring of 27 for up to 14 years for their involvement in prostitution, including stopping passers-by and dragging them in to use the services, the newspaper said of another pre-Congress cleanup.

Nearly 130,000 guards had patrolled the streets to ''create a good social security environment'' for the Congress, the newspaper said.

REUTERS ARB KP1136

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