Torture in Secret Prisons: The Dark Side of China’s Anti-Corruption Crackdown
James Griffiths, CNN
A gray, concrete building looms over the street in central Beijing. Inside lies an organization that strikes terror into the hearts of some of China’s most powerful people, and oversees a sprawling network of secret prisons where experts say torture and abuse are common. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) is the body tasked with investigating all 88 million members of the Chinese Communist Party for corruption.
Dissident Artist Jailed in Cuba Beaten and Fed Sedative-Laced Food
Elizabeth Llorente, FOX NEWS
One of Cuba’s most prominent anti-Castro artists is refusing to eat food served by his jailers, alleging that they have laced it with pills that induce drowsiness, those close to him say. Danilo Maldonado, known as “El Sexto,” was taken by Cuban security agents the day after the death of former leader Fidel Castro. Cuba experts say that while Cuban authorities routinely detain prominent dissidents without pressing charges before, during or after a high-profile event, in recent years they have kept them in custody for less than a day, usually a few hours.
2016 Marks 60th Anniversary of Water Polo’s “Blood in the Water” Match
The 2016 Rio Olympics will mark the 60th anniversary of water polo’s “blood in the water” match, a game that pitted Hungary and the USSR against one another just over a month after Soviet troops invaded Hungary. The game was played on December 6, 1956 in Melbourne, Australia. Just 33 days earlier, 200,000 troops from the USSR invaded Hungary as a way to squash a revolt against the Soviet communist regime.
Eight More North Korean Escapees Arrested in China
Kim Seong Hwan, DAILYNK
Over 30 North Korean defectors were recently arrested by Chinese public security personnel in Shenyang (Liaoning Province) and are likely to be repatriated to North Korea. In addition to this development, Daily NK has recently learned that Chinese officers have now arrested another 8 defectors.
Russia Accused of Mechanisms of Political Repression in Crimea Unprecedented Since Stalin and Hitler
Halya Coynash, KYIV POST
From political prisoners and punitive psychiatry to dissident writers being prevented from travelling abroad, the Soviet echoes in Russian-occupied Crimea are becoming increasingly pronounced. Mykola Semena, the 59-year-old journalist ,has been charged with “public calls to action aimed at violating Russia’s territorial integrity” for a text which makes it clear that Crimea is not Russia’s territory and expresses support for the Civic Blockade of Crimea.
US Seeks to Reassure Beijing after Trump Call with Taiwan Leader
Ben Blanchard and Roberta Rampton, REUTERS
The White House said on Monday it had sought to reassure China after President-elect Donald Trump’s phone call with Taiwan’s leader last week, which the Obama administration warned could undermine progress in relations with Beijing. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said senior National Security Council officials spoke twice with Chinese officials over the weekend to reassure them of Washington’s commitment to the “One China” policy and to “reiterate and clarify the continued commitment of the United States to our longstanding China policy.”
“Indestructible”: Exhibition Opens to Commemorate Holodomor
The exhibition, “Indestructible,” has been launched at the national museum, “Memorial of Holodomor Victims”, to commemorate the 83rd anniversary of Holodomor. The display presents stories of famous Holodomor survivors. Holodomor is a man-made famine which literally translates from Ukrainian as “death by hunger.” Historians say that the genocide was imposed by Stalin regime and led to the deaths of anywhere from 2.5 to 7.5 million Ukranians.
Venezuelan Women Sell Their Hair in Order to Buy Basic Necessities
Women from Venezuela are crossing the border in droves and selling their hair in a Colombian border town in order to afford scarce basic necessities such as food, diapers or medicines. 200 women a day are traveling over a bridge linking San Antonio, Venezuela, to Colombia’s La Parada, to sell their hair to vendors making extensions. The trend, which has taken off in recent weeks, is another sign of the oil-rich country’s deepening crisis amid shortages and spiraling inflation that have millions skipping meals and forgoing costly medical treatment.
Vietnam Punishes Editors Over Fish Sauce Story Scandal
Vietnam on Monday punished two editors of a major newspaper which had earlier been fined for publishing what authorities said were false reports on toxic fish sauce. No reason was given for the order. A total of 50 news organizations were fined in November for running reports about high arsenic levels found in fish sauce, causing widespread panic. The country’s communist leadership tends to stamp down on any expression of dissatisfaction or criticism of their handling of crises.