China Launches $11 Billion Fund for Central, Eastern Europe
China has set up a 10 billion euro ($11.15 billion) investment fund to finance projects in Central and Eastern Europe, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China said in a statement issued on Sunday. The China-Central Eastern Europe fund will be run by Sino-CEE Financial Holdings Ltd, a company established by the bank earlier this year.
The Cost of Obama’s Cuba Policy
Mary Anastasia O’Grady, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
President Obama’s December 2014 decision to liberalize US Cuba policy has become a liability. The Cuban economy is in tatters and the regime is backtracking on promises of reform. Human-rights groups say that beatings and detentions of dissidents have soared since the US extended the olive branch. Yet Mr. Obama keeps making concessions to the Castros, as he did on Oct. 14 when he authorized further sanctions relief.
China Disqualifies Pro-Independence Hong Kong Lawmakers
Simon Denier, THE WASHINGTON POST
China laid down the law to Hong Kong on Monday: talk of independence, the Communist Party said, will not be tolerated. China’s top legislature effectively disqualified two newly elected Hong Kong lawmakers for failing to take an oath of allegiance to the territory’s mini-constitution and instead advocating independence. Beijing’s decision sparked angry protests in Hong Kong on Sunday, with thousands of people taking to the streets in a demonstration reminiscent of the much larger 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement campaign.
He Smuggled Two Young Boys Out of Laos In 1977, Now They’ve Reunited
David Bell, CBC NEWS
It was 1977 and the communists had taken over large swaths of southeast Asia. Refugees were crammed into camps and families torn apart. Amidst this backdrop, two young boys were smuggled across the Mekong River to Thailand from Laos, the threat of trigger-happy soldiers on either bank a constant. Now, 40 years later in Calgary, those once-small boys have reunited with the B.C. missionaries who helped them slip through borders to safety.
Military on High Alert Against N. Korea Threats Around US Election
THE KOREA TIMES
South Korea’s military said Monday it will stay on high alert as North Korea may fire an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) around the US presidential election scheduled for Tuesday. Military officials said Pyongyang may want to send a strong message to the new US president that it will not give up its nuclear and missile development programs despite international condemnations and sanctions.
Russia Uses Punitive Psychiatry Against More Crimean Political Prisoners
Halya Coynash, KHPG.ORG
After placing Crimean Tatar leader Ilmi Umerov’s life in danger through effective imprisonment in a psychiatric institution, the Russian FSB in occupied Crimea are now planning forced “psychiatric assessments” of Crimean Tatar human rights activist Emir-Huseyn Kuku and five other Crimean Muslims. Their lawyers have condemned the move as unacceptable pressure on the men.
Pope’s Envoy Warns of Bloodshed If Venezuela Talks Fail
Venezuela is going through a “very ugly” situation and there could be bloodshed ahead if talks between the government and opposition fail, a papal envoy told an Argentine newspaper after his visit to Venezuela this week. Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli had been in Caracas for Vatican-convened talks as an angry opposition stepped up its protests against socialist President Nicolás Maduro after authorities scuttled a recall referendum.