China Extends Its Clampdown on Foreign Nonprofits
Ken Bredemeier, VOICE OF AMERICA
Beijing has extended its clampdown on the activities of 7,000 international nonprofit groups in China, its latest effort aimed at curbing foreign influences in the country. Many of the estimated 200 permitted activities are non-controversial, such as work in water conservation, disaster response, and vocational training. But the restrictions also cover issues such as legal services, gender equality, disability rights, and the rule of law.
Independent Journalism in China Struggles to Survive
Sarah Cook, THE DIPLOMAT
Chinese journalists have long operated in one of the world’s most restrictive media environments, but conditions for investigative journalism and liberal commentary have especially deteriorated since 2013. During 2016, this multiyear decline accelerated, contributing to a privileged market position for more tightly controlled and state-affiliated outlets.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott Writes to Raúl Castro: “Your People Long for Freedom”
Kristen M. Clark, MIAMI HERALD
Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott sent a letter to Cuban President Raúl Castro on Tuesday, calling for him to change course and “allow a new era of freedom and opportunity for Cuba.” Scott referenced the celebrations in Miami after the death of Fidel Castro last month, saying the demonstrations “represented the hope for an end to the decades of torture, repression, incarceration, and death that you and your brother have caused the people of Cuba.”
Communist Police Commanders’ Lives Are Open Books Now
Now everyone can read about the life of the communist commanders who fought against the Hungarian revolution in 1956. “The Leaders of the System” (“A Karhatalom Vezetői”) is the name of a document which is now available on the Nemzeti Emlékezet Bizottság (Hungarian National Memory Committee) website. This document presents the career path of the communist armed leaders who helped the Soviets to put down the Revolution of 1956. The communist regiments were recruited and formed during and following the revolution by Soviet experiences.
North Korea Rejects NATO’s Call to Abandon Nuclear Ambition
North Korea on Wednesday dismissed a recent statement from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that urged the communist state to give up its nuclear ambitions. The communist state did not raise any threats against the North European military alliance, as it frequently does when addressing South Korea or the United States, but sought to belittle NATO.
25 Years Later: 7 Shockwaves from Breakup of Soviet Union
Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY
Twenty-five years ago this Christmas Day, the Soviet Union disappeared. A superpower was suddenly gone and 15 new countries appeared in its place: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Armenia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Indeed, political systems, economies, cultures, and military alliances have undergone varying transformations that continue in some countries and have stalled or reversed in others.
Cambodia Sends a Group of Montagnards Back to Vietnam
RADIO FREE ASIA
More than a dozen Montagnard asylum seekers in Cambodia were repatriated to Vietnam this week after they failed to qualify for refugee status, and authorities in Phnom Penh say most of the nearly 160 other Montagnards living in capital city are likely to meet the same fate. Rights groups say the Montagnards, many of whom are Christian, have been victims of persecution and repression in Vietnam. The Montagnards also backed the US in the Vietnam War and some have suffered repercussions for this.