Beijing Warns Taipei Against Hyping Up China’s Jailing Of Taiwanese Activist
China on Wednesday said that any attempt to hype up its decision to jail a Taiwanese rights activist for subversion would be futile, after Taiwan’s ruling political party labeled the result “unacceptable.” A Chinese court on Tuesday jailed Li Ming-che, Taiwanese community college lecturer and human rights non-governmental worker, to five years for subverting Chinese state power. Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said the result was “totally unacceptable” and called for Beijing to return Li to Taiwan. It is not a crime for Li to share his opinions about democratic freedoms with friends, they said.
This Beijing-Linked Billionaire Is Funding Policy Research at Washington’s Most Influential Institutions
Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, Foreign Policy
The Johns Hopkins School of International Studies received money for the new initiatives which came in part from the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF), a Hong Kong-based nonprofit. CUSEF is a registered foreign agent bankrolled by a high-ranking Chinese government official with close ties to a sprawling Chinese Communist Party apparatus that handles influence operations abroad, known as the “united front.”
Cuba Had The Lowest Election Turnout In Four Decades. Is The Government Losing Its Grip?
Nora Gámez Torres, Miami Herald
The voter turnout for Cuba’s recent elections would be considered massive most anywhere. But in a country under communist rule for nearly six decades, Sunday’s unprecedented drop in the number of ballots cast shattered the illusion of unanimity at a time when the country faces a complex generational transition of power. The 85.94 percent turnout for island-wide municipal elections was the lowest participation since the late Fidel Castro imposed a socialist version of elections in 1976. More than 20 percent of the population who didn’t care enough to vote or rejected the government-sanctioned candidates.
Cuba’s “Transition To Immortality” Aims To Guarantee Regime Continuity
The ruling Cuban Communist Party (PCC) this week organized a “selection” masquerading as an election, according to the International Republican Institute’s Andrea Castillo and Travis Green. The government actively works to give the impression of a democratic process while controlling the outcome of the process and clamping down on dissent. In response, opposition platforms called on voters to write in “plebiscite” or “Cuba Decides” on the ballot instead of voting for the PCC candidate.
New Missile Test Shows North Korea Capable Of Hitting All Of US Mainland
Zachary Cohen, Ryan Browne, Nicole Gaouette and Taehoon Lee, CNN
North Korea claims to have successfully tested a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile, topped with a “super-large heavy warhead,” which is capable of striking the US mainland. The country’s state media made the announcement Wednesday, hours after leader Kim Jong Un ordered the 3:00 AM launch of the Hwasong-15, which reached the highest altitude ever recorded by a North Korean missile. “The bottom line is, it’s a continued effort to build a threat—a ballistic missile threat that endangers world peace, regional peace and certainly the United States,” concluded Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
President Trump Pledges More North Korea Sanctions
President Donald Trump says he’s spoken with Chinese leader Xi Jinping about North Korea’s latest missile test. Trump is promising more penalties against the North. The president tweets that he’s spoke with Xi about ‘‘the provocative actions of North Korea. Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!’’
Bill Would Name DC Street Outside Russian Embassy For Slain Putin Dissident
Miranda Green, CNN
New legislation championed by two DC Council members would symbolically change the name of a small stretch of road outside the Russian Embassy to that of Boris Nemtsov, a pro-democracy Russian dissident who was assassinated in Moscow in 2015. “We want to show solidarity with folks around the world who really make this extraordinary effort under adverse circumstances to try to bring democracy to their people,” said council member Mary Cheh.
Even Sex Is In Crisis In Venezuela, Where Contraceptives Are Growing Scarce
Mariana Zuñiga and Anthony Faiola, Washington Post
Yorlenis Gutierrez, a 28-year-old mother, spent months vainly scouring pharmacies for a drug whose scarcity is complicating her sex life and those of countless other Venezuelans. In a country beset by shortages, this is one of the most difficult: the disappearance of contraceptives. “We barely eat three times a day now,” said a distraught Gutierrez, a former hair washer in a beauty salon who lost her job because of the economic crisis. “I don’t know how we’re going to feed another mouth.”
Venezuela Protesters Tortured, Abused By State, Says Human Rights Group
Venezuelan state security forces systematically abused opposition protesters detained during months of deadly political unrest earlier this year, Human Rights Watch charged Wednesday. Some of the more than 5,000 people detained were beaten, sexually assaulted or given electrical shocks in what the New York-based rights group describes in a report as a level of repression “unseen in Venezuela in recent memory.”
In Zimbabwe, Mugabe-Era Case Of Missing Activist Still Looms
Christopher Torchia, AP
Zimbabwe’s sense of promise after the downfall of former President Robert Mugabe is bittersweet for the family of Itai Dzamara, a missing activist abducted by suspected state agents in 2015 after urging the longtime ruler to resign at a time when most Zimbabweans dared not do so. Past abuses in Zimbabwe include the 1980s killings of thousands of people by a North Korea-trained military brigade when Mugabe moved against a political rival in the Matabeleland region; the seizures of white-owned farms and evictions starting around 2000; and deadly attacks on opposition figures during a 2008 election period marred by fraud.
Will Mengistu Continue Enjoying Asylum Under Mnangagwa?
Fred Oluoch, The East African Standard
With the exit of Robert Mugabe, will the former Ethiopian dictator, Mengistu Haile Mariam, continue enjoying asylum in Zimbabwe? The Ethiopians who experienced Mengistu’s 17 years of “Red Terror” reign are hoping that he will be the second former African president to be tried for international crimes after former Chad’s Hissene Habre. Mengistu has been living in Harare as a “guest of Mugabe,” where the government has spent millions of dollars on his security and upkeep, providing him and his family with a villa in Harare and enjoying round-the-clock protection.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
November 29th, 1987: North Korean terrorists plant a bomb on Korean Air Flight 858, killing 115 passengers. In response, the US designed North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism.