Cambodian Supreme Court Keeps Kem Sokha Five in Prison
RADIO FREE ASIA
Cambodia’s Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected an attempt to free four human rights workers and an election official who are awaiting trial in connection with the government’s wide-ranging probe into an alleged affair by opposition party leader Kem Sokha. Two of the defendants told RFA’s Khmer Service that the court was under political pressure to keep them in jail. The campaign to pressure the government over the arrests, known as Black Monday, has morphed into a more generalized campaign against government abuses, including land confiscations, and also involves demands for a thorough investigation into the murder of government critic Kem Ley in July.
US Senator Calls for Further Probe of China’s Wanda
Patrick Frater, VARIETY
Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer is calling for an increased investigation of the Hollywood ambitions of China’s Dalian Wanda group. In a letter seen by The Wall Street Journal, Schumer, who is the Senate minority leader, says he fears that Wanda’s deal-making is orchestrated by the Chinese government.
Study Finds Millions of China’s “Missing Girls” Actually Exist
Emiko Jozuka, CNN
China’s controversial one-child policy has been thought to have resulted in as many as 60 million “missing girls.” But in a new study, researchers suggest that around 25 million of these girls aren’t actually missing, but went unreported at birth—only appearing on government censuses at a later stage in their lives.
Colombia’s Congress Approves Peace Accord with FARC
Nicholas Casey, THE NEW YORK TIMES
Colombia’s Congress approved a revised peace accord with the country’s largest rebel group on Wednesday night, a vote that was most likely the final hurdle in ratifying the troubled agreement whose earlier version had been rejected in a referendum this fall. By pushing the new deal through Congress, the government bypassed voters this time, who had turned down the accord by a narrow margin on October 2.
Cubans “Fear Reprisals” If They Don’t Show Grief Over Castro’s Death, Dissidents Say
Jan-Albert Hootsen, FOX NEWS LATINO
Prominent Cuban dissidents have been showing restraint in their reaction to Castro’s death. According to Berta Soler, the leader of the Ladies in White some Cubans were told at their place of work to go out and support the national mourning. Some fear that, with the loss of the towering figure of Fidel Castro, the regime may become more hostile to dissent. Last year alone, more than 8,000 people were detained for political reasons, according to human rights groups.
Government Could Go After More Lawmakers in Oath-Taking Saga, Hong Kong Justice Minister Says
Stuart Lau, SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST
More lawmakers who took questionable oaths could face court action initiated by the government, with the justice minister saying on Thursday that his team was looking into the possibility of “follow-up actions.”
UN Slaps New Sanctions On North Korea to Slash Cash from Exports
Michelle Nichols, REUTERS
The UN Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Wednesday aimed at cutting the Asian country’s annual export revenue by a quarter in response to Pyongyang’s fifth and largest nuclear test in September. The 15-member council unanimously adopted a resolution to slash North Korea’s biggest export, coal, by about 60 percent.
Russia Responds to the Death of Fidel Castro
Yekaterina Sinelschikova, RUSSIA BEYOND THE HEADLINES
In Russia, which always maintained warm relations with Cuba under Castro’s rule, the news of his death was met with sadness by many. Flowers in his memory were piled outside the residence of the Cuban ambassador in Moscow. President Vladimir Putin described Fidel Castro as “a symbol of a whole era in modern history.” Fidel Castro’s “profound mark on history of the whole humankind” was also noted by Mikhail Gorbachev, the first and last president of the Soviet Union.
Michael Flynn, a Top Trump Adviser, Ties China and North Korea to Jihadists
Edward Wong, THE NEW YORK TIMES
President-elect Donald J. Trump’s pick for national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, has been much more outspoken about militant Islamists than he has about China and North Korea, the two main strategic concerns of the United States in Asia. In a book published in July, General Flynn wrote that the United States needed to confront a global “alliance” between “radical Islamists” and the governments of China and North Korea, as well as Russia. China and North Korea are officially secular Communist states, and China has blamed religious extremists for violence in Muslim areas of its Xinjiang region. In the book, General Flynn acknowledges that people may find the idea of an alliance between the Communist nations and jihadists to be strange, but asserts that it exists. He does not go into details on the alliance.
In Crisis-Stricken Venezuela, Fidel Castro’s Legacy Lives On
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has declared a national day of mourning for Fidel Castro, and state-run media is running hours of programming on his life. But according to Miguel Angel Latouche, “citizens are, by and large, indifferent. Venezuela’s domestic drama far exceeds this Cuban chronicle of a death foretold.”