Khmer Rouge Official Suspected of Mass Killings Off the Hook
George Wright, THE CAMBODIA DAILY
The first of four suspects in government-opposed cases at the Khmer Rouge tribunal was freed from potential prosecution on Wednesday. Investigating judges concluded that Im Chaem, a district secretary for the regime, was neither a senior leader nor one of those most responsible for crimes committed between 1975 and 1979. “What is surprising is that the international judge agreed to dismiss the case in spite of the publicly disclosed view of the international prosecutor that there was sufficient evidence to conclude that Im Chaem was a person ‘most responsible’ for serious crimes of the Khmer Rouge.” added Heather Ryan, a court monitor with the Open Society Justice Initiative.
China’s Top Colleges to Face Ideological Inspections
Nectar Gan, SCMP
The Communist Party’s top discipline and anti-graft watchdog is to dispatch inspection teams to China’s top-tier universities to check whether they are toeing the party line as the country’s college campuses fall under increasingly tight ideological control. Graft busters will investigate 29 of the best universities across the mainland in the coming months, including the prestigious Peking University and Tsinghua University in Beijing, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said on its website on Wednesday night.
Cuba Says It Foiled Plot to Destabilize Country, Slams Dissidents and OAS
Sarah Marsh and Nelson Acosta, REUTERS
Communist-ruled Cuba on Wednesday said it had foiled a serious plot aiming to destabilize the country by preventing the chief of the Organization of American States traveling to the island to attend an award ceremony organized by dissidents. The opposition group, which the government called “anti-Cuban and illegal,” had invited OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro to Havana to honor him for shining a light on violations of human rights in the Americas.
North Korean State Media: China Dancing to US Tune
North Korea’s state-run news agency issued a tough critique of China on Thursday, suggesting Beijing’s criticism of the North’s recent missile test and suspension of imports of North Korean coal are tantamount to the actions of an enemy state “dancing to the tune of the US.” It added that China has “unhesitatingly taken inhumane steps” to comply with UN sanctions. China on Sunday began a suspension of all coal imports from North Korea for the rest of the year as it increases pressure on it in line with UN Security Council sanctions imposed in November in response to the North’s fifth nuclear test two months earlier.
With Big Red Stamp, Russia Singles Out What It Calls ‘Fake’ News
Neil MacFarquhar, THE NEW YORK TIMES
Russia’s Foreign Ministry got into the fake news business in a splashy way on Wednesday. Maria V. Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the ministry, unveiled a new section on its website meant to highlight articles that it considers fake news, including one by The New York Times. The Foreign Ministry’s new venture in singling out fake news seems to fit a pattern identified by many analysts of creating alternative realities meant to sow confusion in people’s minds by discrediting all news sources.
Study: Venezuelans Lost 19 lbs. on Average Over Past Year Due to Lack of Food
In a new sign that Venezuela’s financial crisis is morphing dangerously into a humanitarian one, a new nationwide survey shows that in the past year nearly 75 percent of the population lost an average of 19 pounds for lack of food. The extreme poor said they dropped even more weight than that.