The journalism watchdog group Reporters Without Borders on August 24 condemned the increasing persecution of independent journalists in Belarus, citing the ongoing trials of five journalists. The group said that correspondents for Belsat TV, a Belarusian satellite TV channel that was forced to flee to neighboring Poland, have all been charged with working for foreign media without press accreditation and “illegal production…of media content.”
China said Tuesday that its troops would continue to patrol a disputed Himalayan border area after resolving a months-long military stand-off there with India. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying refused to disclose future plans for the road project that had triggered the confrontation on the remote Doklam plateau. “I’ve said that Chinese border troops will continue to be stationed and patrol in Doklam and we will continue to exercise our sovereignty according to historical conventions,” Hua told a regular press briefing.
Radio Free Asia
Tibetan monks and nuns at Sichuan’s Larung Gar Buddhist Academy say the appointment of ruling Chinese Communist Party members to key positions at the institute will severely impact one of the world’s largest and most important centers for the study of Tibetan Buddhism. The Aug. 20 announcement that six Party members, all of them Tibetan, will now manage the day-to-day affairs of the Buddhist study center, already reeling from the destruction by authorities of thousands of monastic dwellings and expulsion of monks and nuns, has demoralized many of those left behind, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service.
The top diplomat of Laos expressed concerns over North Korea’s ballistic missile launch on Tuesday and committed his country’s support for South Korea’s efforts to peacefully resolve the security issues involving North Korea, the foreign ministry here said. South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha called for Laos’ proactive support and cooperation in dealing with the North Korean issue as she met with Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith earlier in the day, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Alex Lockie, Business Insider
While oppression in North Korea knows no bounds, a video from South Korean Digitalsoju TV shows how the regime can be especially horrific in its treatment of women. In the video, women defectors who formerly served in North Korea’s military sit down with a South Korean host. The defector explained that all North Korean women must serve in the military for six years, and all men must serve for 11. Officers in charge of uniform and ration distribution would often leverage their position to coerce sex from female soldiers.
Joshua Berlinger, Yoko Wakatsuki and K.J. Kwon,CNN
US President Donald Trump has warned that “all options are on the table” after North Korea launched a missile over Japan early Tuesday. The missile was fired just before 6 a.m. in Japan, where the launch set off warnings in the northern part of the country urging people to seek shelter. “The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear,” Trump said in a statement. “This regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior.”
The Russian human rights center Memorial has recognized a Tatar activist who is currently on trial as a political prisoner. In an August 29 statement, the Moscow-based Memorial said that Danis Safargali was “a victim of a persecution campaign against opposition activists of the Tatar national movement…that has been launched since 2014.” Safargali is the leader of the Tatar patriotic movement “Altyn Urda” (The Golden Horde).
Andrew Osborn and Maria Tsvetskova,U.S. News and World Report
Russia tried to calm fears over war games it plans to hold next month, saying on Tuesday the large-scale exercise would rehearse a purely defensive scenario and that allegations it was a springboard to invade Poland, Lithuania or Ukraine were false. The Zapad 2017 war games next month have stirred unease in some countries because Russian troops and military hardware will be training inside Belarus, a Russian ally which borders Ukraine as well as NATO member states Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.
Matthew Reisz, Times Higher Education
University of Miami president Julio Frenk agreed to hold a private meeting with 17 leaders of the Cuban-American exile community, followed by an announcement on 18 August that the university would “develop a mechanism for the Cuban-American community to provide input” on the search for a new director of its Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies and that it “[would] not establish any institutional agreements with the current Cuban government, including its universities.”