China Pushes Legal Overhaul That Would Bolster State Power
Javier C. Hernández and Owen Guo, THE NEW YORK TIMES
For six decades, Chinese leaders have tried to put in place a sweeping civil code to explain the law on some of China’s most contentious issues, including property rights, migrant workers, defamation and divorce. And for six decades, they have failed, stymied by political squabbling and social upheaval, leaving China with a piecemeal and outdated legal system. Now, Communist Party Leader Xi Jinping is reviving the idea of a national civil code as he seeks to remake China’s justice system. His government has embraced the code as a tool to fight corruption and fickleness in the courts, as well as to formalize state power on issues as varied as free speech and parental responsibility.
Remark by China Premier Li Keqiang Stirs Questions About His Future
Chun Han Wong, WALL STREET JOURNAL
In a yearly ritual for China’s No. 2 leader, Premier Li Keqiang fielded questions for two hours from reporters focused on economic policy and China-US relations. It was his signoff that grabbed attention. “See you again, if there’s a chance,” Mr. Li said at the end of Wednesday’s news conference, a nationally televised event that concluded China’s annual legislative session. His comment fed public questioning about his political fate, as the ruling Communist Party prepares for a leadership shuffle this fall. Party insiders say a second five-year term for Mr. Li isn’t a sure thing.
Cuba Offers Columbia 1,000 Medical School Scholarships
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Cuba has offered Colombia 1,000 medical school scholarships to support a peace accord in which the South American country’s largest rebel army will relinquish its weapons, officials announced on Thursday. The scholarships will be distributed mostly to members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and those affected by the decades-long conflict, said José Luis Ponce, Colombia’s Cuban ambassador. He said the move would help soldiers reintegrate into society. “Both the government and FARC warmly welcomed this offer,” he said.
Interpol “Issues Red Notice” For North Koreans in Murder Mystery
Nguyen Ha Minh and Joseph Sipalan, REUTERS
Interpol has issued a red notice, which is similar to an international arrest warrant, for four North Koreans wanted in connection with the murder of Kim Jong-nam, Malaysia’s police chief said on Thursday. Police requested Interpol’s help to apprehend the suspects last month. “We have obtained a red notice for the four North Korean nationals who were at the airport on the day of the incident and who have since left… we are hoping to get them through Interpol,” police chief Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters.
North Korean Hacking Group Lazarus Blamed for Spate of International Cyberattacks
SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST
A North Korean hacking group known as Lazarus was likely behind a recent cyber campaign targeting organizations in 31 countries. The North Korean government has denied allegations it was involved in the hacks, which were made by officials in Washington and Seoul, as well as security firms. Lazarus has already been blamed for a string of hacks dating back to at least 2009, including last year’s $81 million USD heist from Bangladesh’s central bank, the 2014 hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment that crippled its network for weeks, and a long-running campaign against organizations in South Korea.
UN Says At Least 9,940 People Killed In Eastern Ukraine Conflict
RADIO FREE EUROPE
At least 9,940 people have been killed in the conflict between government forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine since it erupted mid-April 2014, the Office of UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said on March 15. “The total death toll from mid-April 2014 to 12 March 2017 is at least 9,940, with at least 23,455 people injured,” the OHCHR said in a statement, adding that this was “a conservative estimate based on available data.” It said the casualty figures include “Ukrainian armed forces, civilians, and members of armed groups” and that more than 2,000 were “civilians who have been killed in hostilities.” The number of civilians injured due to the conflict is estimated at between 7,000 and 9,000, the statement said.
Vietnam Urges Firms to Stop Youtube, Facebook Ads in Protest Over “Fake Content”
Vietnam on Thursday called on all companies doing business there to stop advertising on YouTube, Facebook and other social media until they find a way to halt the publication of “toxic” anti-government information. At a meeting with the information and communication minister, companies all committed to obey the call to suspend YouTube advertising. Last month, the communist country began putting pressure on advertisers to try to get Google, who owns YouTube, and other companies to remove content from foreign-based dissidents. But Information and Communication Minister Truong Minh Tuan said the response had not yet been good enough.