Singapore May Prove a Tough Nut for China to Crack Over Regional Security
Greg Torode and Marius Zaharia, REUTERS
As the impounding of Singaporean troop carriers in Hong Kong exposes rising tensions between China and Singapore, the Lion City is unlikely to budge on core security interests concerning Beijing—its military relationship with Taiwan, worries over the South China Sea and its hosting of the US military.
Detained Cuban Artist Who Mocked Castro’s Death “Was Badly Beaten,” Family Says
Abel Fernandez, MIAMI HERALD
Cuban dissident artist Danilo “El Sexto” Maldonado, who was detained by authorities on Saturday after mocking Fidel Castro’s death, was severely beaten, according to relatives who saw him at the detention center in Guanabacoa. Maldonado went around the city and drew several graffiti, including one with his signature and the words “Se fue” (He’s gone). Maldonado’s relatives said that the Cuban government is trying to silence him during the national mourning over Castro’s death.
Adulation of Fidel Castro Runs Deepest in Rural Eastern Cuba
Mourning for Castro has reached near-religious peaks of public adulation across Cuba since his death at age 90 on November 25. Huge crowds have been shouting his name and lining the roads to salute the funeral procession carrying his ashes from Havana to the eastern city of Santiago. Castro was born in eastern Cuba. His revolution started here, and it’s here and in other parts of rural Cuba where his campaigns for literacy, social welfare and land redistribution had their deepest impact.
Hong Kong Government Lodges Legal Challenges to Eject Four More Pro-Democracy Lawmakers from Legislature
HONG KONG FREE PRESS
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and the Secretary for Justice lodged a judicial review Friday against four pro-democracy lawmakers over the oaths they took during the legislature’s swearing-in session in October. The four lawmakers being challenged include: Localist lawmaker Lau Siu-lai, Nathan Law of the Demosistō party, “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrats, and Edward Yiu Chung-yim representing the architecture sector.
Satellite Photos Spot Secret North Korean Prisons Where Thousands Tortured
Stoyan Zaimov, CHRISTIAN POST
New satellite photos published by a group investigating the human rights abuses in North Korea have confirmed that secret prisons where detainees are tortured, raped and murdered are expanding in terms of size. In these prisons, people are subjected to “murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political grounds, and the enforced disappearance of persons,” according to the commission.
Leon Panetta: Putin Wants to Restore the Soviet Union
Curt Mills, US NEWS & WORLD REPORT
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s main interest is restoration of the Soviet Union, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Thursday. Panetta’s comments Thursday, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., are an escalation of what he has said publicly previously, arguing that the Russian president wants restoration of the former Soviet arrangement.
Ukraine Launches Black Sea Drill Despite Tension with Russia
Damien Sharkov, NEWSWEEK
Ukraine has launched a missile drill in the south, near Crimea, despite repeated warnings by Russian state media that this risks incurring Moscow’s retaliation. The two-day drill off the Black Sea coast of Ukraine’s Kherson region started on Thursday morning, after Russian state-run news agency Tass reported that Russian anti-missile systems in the region were on high readiness to fire at any perceived threats.
Mercosur “Suspends Venezuela Over Trade and Human Rights”
The South American economic bloc Mercosur has suspended Venezuela for failing to meet basic trade and human rights standards, officials say. The opposition blames left-wing President Nicolás Maduro for widespread food shortages, looting, and human rights abuses. The government accuses the US and Venezuela’s business elite of trying to destabilize it.