Jack Ma Has Some Thoughts On China’s “Clean” Communism And The US’s Divided Politics
Josh Horwitz, Quartz Media
Jack Ma is one of China’s most outspoken entrepreneurs. Yesterday, at a conference in Zhejiang province, he turned his attention to politics (link in Chinese). And amid illustrious praise for the Communist Party, he took a jab at western-style democracy. “The Democratic party always talks about how bad the Republican party is, and the Republican party always talks about how bad the Democratic party is, and they never improve themselves. In the past five years under the Communist party, I really think it’s gotten more amazing, [the party’s] ability to improve itself and re-invent itself.”
Stability And Strategy: Why Is China So Easy On North Korea?
Holly Ellyatt, CNBC
While the world watches North Korea test yet another missile in defiance of international sanctions and warnings, China continues to be a friend to Kim Jong Un’s regime. The relationship has prompted questions over how far Pyongyang would have to go before Beijing turned on its neighbor. After this week’s latest missile test, again over the Sea of Japan and which North Korea claimed could have reached the United States mainland, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations warned the regime that it could be “utterly destroyed” if its provocations started a military conflict.
Jailed Uyghur Scholar Ilham Tohti Awarded “Prize For Freedom” in The Hague
Jailed Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti was honored on Thursday at a ceremony in The Hague, where he was awarded Liberal International’s Prize for Freedom, given in absentia and accepted on his behalf by a rights group advocating for his release. An outspoken economics professor who regularly highlighted the religious and cultural persecution of the mostly Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority in northwest China’s Xinjiang region, Tohti was charged with promoting ethnic separatism and was handed a life sentence by a Chinese court on Sept. 23, 2014 following a two-day trial.
Silver Tambur, Estonian World
The former Estonian prime minister, Mart Laar, told Estonian World that the world still avoids talking about the crimes of communism and an international smash would draw attention to the issue. “I’m afraid people still don’t dare to talk about the crimes of communism openly and to the full extent. It is feared that this may lead to name-calling. While the right-wing extremists are considered as scum, the left-wing extremists are sometimes regarded as heroes,” Laar said, pointing to Che Guevara, the late Argentine Marxist revolutionary, as one of the examples. “Che Guevara has become an icon in everyday life.”
Michael K. Lavers, Washington Blade
A prominent activist on Wednesday heckled Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. over the anti-LGBT crackdown in Chechnya. A video posted to Michael Petrelis’ Facebook page shows him shouting “Stop killing gay Chechens” at Anatoly Antonov as he was delivering a speech at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. Petrelis wrote on his Facebook page that his “disruption lasted approximately 90 seconds.” The video shows several members of the audience applauding as security personnel escorted Petrelis from the ballroom in which Antonov was speaking.
The Next NATO Ally Russia Is Trying to Disrupt
Anna Nemtsova, Newsweek
Roman Maca was one of thousands of Czech democrats marching in Prague last month to commemorate the Velvet Revolution that ended Communist rule. Once again Prague’s activists repeated the words of Vaclav Havel, the author, dissident, and statesman who became the first president of the Czech Republic after the fall of the Iron Curtain: “Love and truth will overcome lies and hatred,” he said. But Maca and the other demonstrators are only too aware that Russian influence is once again seeping into their country’s body politic, and totalitarianism is creeping back like a disease.
Amid Mass Exodus, Venezuela Is Losing Its Teachers
Patrick Gillespie, CNN
Over 430 professors, assistants and faculty have left the University of Simon Bolivar, in Caracas, since 2015, according to Azzato, the university’s vice rector of administration. The public university is widely considered one of Venezuela’s best, yet more than a third of the faculty have left in three years. “Staying in Venezuela would’ve been like staying by myself … if you’re stuck in Venezuela right now, the future is black, there’s nothing,” said Alejandro Nava.
Venezuelan Negotiations Resume As Financial Pressures Mount
Tatiana Fernandez and Scott Smith, AP
Venezuela’s socialist government and its opposition will seek Friday to jumpstart negotiations on resolving the country’s economic and political crisis, pressured by international sanctions and a looming presidential election. The planned two-day session in the Dominican Republic is to be the first formal talks since anti-government protests collapsed in July with a toll of more than 120 dead and thousands detained. Given the scant results of previous attempts at dialogue, including talks last year mediated by the Vatican, expectations are low.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
December 1st, 1934: Sergey Kirov, a high-ranking Soviet Politburo member, is shot dead in the street by an unknown gunman. This incident is used as the first pretext for Stalin’s purges.