Top Brass in China’s Ruling Communist Party Pledge Their Loyalty to Xi Jinping
Jun Mai, BUSINESS INSIDER
The ruling Communist Party’s two dozen top brass made a face-to-face pledge of political loyalty to Communist Party leader Xi Jinping, one month into the official preparations for a major power transition next year. In a self-criticism session that recalled the era of former leader Mao Zedong, members of the 25-strong decision-making Politburo made soul-searching reports about their ideological orientation and behavior.
Tibet: Tensions on the Roof of the World
Matt Rivers, CNN
In early September, CNN was among a small group of journalists invited on a five-day, government-led trip to what China calls the Tibetan Autonomous Region. It was the first time a CNN team had been allowed to visit Tibet since 2006. By comparison, CNN has been to North Korea, often referred to as the hermit kingdom, more than a dozen times in the same period. The lack of access to anything controversial or the ability to ask any real questions was a theme of our trip.
Chinese Prosecutors Ask Court for More Time in Detained Tibetan’s Case
Edward Wong, THE NEW YORK TIMES
The case of a Tibetan entrepreneur Tashi Wangchuk, who was detained after being featured in an article and video by The New York Times, has taken an unusual turn, with Chinese prosecutors asking a court for more time to investigate as the judges were weighing a trial. Mr. Tashi has been detained for almost a year, in a case that has attracted intense international attention.
Putin Says He Won’t Deport US Diplomats as He Looks To Cultivate Relations with Trump
Andrew Roth, THE WASHINGTON POST
In a rare break from the diplomatic tradition of reciprocal punishment, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday he would not deport US diplomats in a tit-for-tat response to US hacking sanctions, as Russia looks to cultivate relations with the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump.
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry Calls on Russia to Immediately Release all Political Prisoners
The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine has voiced its strong protest over Russia’s ongoing repressions, illegal detentions, raids and arrests, as well as torture and ill-treatment of citizens of Ukraine and has called for their immediate release. “Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry calls on the Russian Federation to immediately and without any additional conditions to release all illegally detained citizens of Ukraine, to stop the practice of political persecution and repression of our compatriots,” the document says.
Obama Sanctions Russian Officials Over Election Hacking
David Jackson, USA TODAY
Responding to evidence that Russia hacked Democratic Party officials during this year’s presidential election, the Obama administration Thursday sanctioned Russian intelligence officials, expelled 35 Russian diplomats suspected of being spies, and shut down two Russian facilities in the United States. “These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm US interests in violation of established international norms of behavior,” President Obama said in a statement, describing their efforts to interfere in the election as a threat to the democratic process.
In Venezuela, Lynchings Kill One Person Every Three Days: Report
Andreina Aponte, REUTERS
Roughly one person is being lynched in crisis-ridden Venezuela every three days as frustrated residents take revenge on suspected criminals, a monitoring group said on Wednesday. The Venezuelan Observatory of Violence (OVV), which monitors crime, said mob killings have become a generalized phenomenon across the country, with 126 deaths reported in 2016 versus 20 last year.
Venezuela Lost Over a Million Private-Sector Jobs in 2016, Could Lose More in 2017
Sabrina Martin, PANAMPOST
This year was reportedly the worst for the economy and labor in Venezuela’s history, and many say it is only going to get worse in 2017. The policies of President Nicolás Maduro’s administration and the shortage crisis they caused saw the loss of one million jobs in the private sector. Also, by December 31, some 300,000 workers could reportedly be unemployed, their contracts expiring and many not being renewed.