China’s Confucius Peace Prize Courts Yet More Controversy
Nikkei Asian Review
Since its inception in 2010, the Confucius Peace Prize has never been far from controversy. This year, it would appear, will be no different for the supposed Chinese alternative to the Nobel Peace Prize. Having been awarded to a succession of authoritarian political figures, the award has drawn criticism from outside China, and is apparently not taken particularly seriously by the authorities in Beijing — or its winners. Among this year’s candidates are Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. The winner is expected to be announced in early December.
Chinese Activists Warned Off Protests On World AIDS Day
Chinese rights activists say they have been warned off any form of public activism or protest on World AIDS Day, in a crackdown on civil society in the country that began around two years ago. Henan-based AIDS activist Sun Ya, a long-time activist with the Beijing-based Aizhixing health rights group, said he would like to take part in public events on Friday in support of the rights of people living with HIV and AIDS, but doesn’t dare. HIV/AIDS advocacy work has been hampered in China by a wide-ranging clampdown on the activities of civil society and nongovernment groups, especially those receiving foreign funding.
Rights Group Warns of China’s New “Police Cloud”
Chinese police are developing a computer-based policing program that can study large amounts of citizens’ personal information. The program examines the information to discover patterns in human behavior. Human Rights Watch says the police plan to use this information to closely watch rights activists, political opponents and ethnic minority groups. Sophie Richardson is following developments in China for the group. In a statement, she said, “It is frightening that Chinese authorities are collecting and centralizing ever more information” about hundreds of millions of citizens.
Benjamin Weinthal, The Jerusalem Post
The Marxist-Leninist Party in Germany filed a lawsuit against the Deutsche Bank and the Postbank on Wednesday in the West German city of Essen, claiming the closure of the party’s bank accounts is an illegal political boycott. The Marxist-Leninists believe that the banks shut down their accounts due to The Jerusalem Post’s media coverage of the party’s finances in connnection to BDS activity and alleged Palestinian terror finance.
1,200 North Korean Workers To Leave Mongolia As UN Sanctions Bite
North Koreans have toiled and slept at construction sites in Mongolia, they have operated cashmere sewing machines, and their acupuncture skills are highly prized in one of the few democracies employing them. But the nearly 1,200 North Koreans living in the country wedged between Russia and China must now pack their bags as Mongolia enforces tough United Nations sanctions severely curbing trade with Pyongyang. The UN estimated in September that 100,000 North Koreans work abroad and send some $500 million in wages back to the authoritarian regime each year.
It’s Time To Ramp Up The Pressure On North Korea And China After Latest Missile Test
Anthony Ruggiero, Fox News
North Korea’s third successful launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile Wednesday should prompt President Trump to quicken the pace of his policy of putting “maximum pressure” on the North to give up its nuclear weapons. In addition, President Trump should respond to the launch by placing harsher sanctions on Chinese banks and front companies propping up the regime of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, to drive home the seriousness of our objections to Chinese support of the North.
Enter The “Petro”: Venezuela To Launch Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency
Alexandra Ulmer and Deisy Buitrago, Reuters
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro looked to the world of digital currency to circumvent U.S.-led financial sanctions, announcing on Sunday the launch of the “petro” backed by oil reserves to shore up a collapsed economy. The leftist leader offered few specifics about the currency launch or how the struggling OPEC member would pull off such a feat, but he declared to cheers that “the 21st century has arrived!”
Lilian Tintori Says Her Home in Venezuela Has Become A Prison
Latin American Herald Tribune
For three years she traveled the world to say that her husband, opposition figure Leopoldo Lopez, had been “unjustly” imprisoned in Venezuela. Today, Lilian Tintori feels that her home became a prison and that her entire family experienced the house arrest of the politician. The 39-year-old, who will give birth next month to the couple’s third child, said that dozens of security agents monitor her house around the clock. “Leopoldo has been shackled since the first day. Now they take up to four photos of him each day, with the paper in his hand as if he were a kidnap victim.”
Blogger Sentence Shows Vietnam Fed Up With Criticism Over Graft, Inefficiency
Ralph Jennings, VOA
Vietnam’s 10-year sentence for a blogger who questioned her government’s response to a toxic chemical flap joins a pack of actions that point to growing official impatience with online criticism of graft and perceived inefficiency. “I think the sentence serves as intimidation for other bloggers,” said Trung Nguyen, international relations dean at Ho Chi Minh University of Social Sciences and Humanities. “I think that the government wants to scare other bloggers. If they continue blogging against the government, they have to pay a very heavy price.”
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
December 4th, 1945: The US Senate officially approves the United States’ membership in the new United Nations.