Cambodia, A Nominal Democracy, Lurches Toward Full-Blown Dictatorship
Holly Robertson, The Los Angeles Times
Cambodia, which emerged from the genocidal rule of the Khmer Rouge as a nominal democracy, is lurching toward full-blown dictatorship. Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has been in power since 1985—and who will seek another term in elections next year—has forced the closure of an independent newspaper, deported American workers for nongovernmental organizations, and effectively crushed the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, or CNRP.
All-Conquering Xi: China Hails Its Leader In Ecstatic Beijing Exhibition
Tom Phillips, The Guardian
“Maybe he’s our idol,” grins Huang Xingchen, a 28-year-old policeman and one of thousands of Xi Jinping fans to stream into the 1950s expo hall since a show trumpeting the feats of China’s current leader opened there last week. Officially, the Five Years On exhibit—timed to mark the end of Xi’s first term in power—is a celebration of the advances China as a whole has made in that time. Scores of photographs of the 64-year-old strongman adorn the walls of the retrospective, split by Communist party curators into 10 thematic “zones” touting Xi’s purported triumphs in areas such as foreign policy, the environment and the war on corruption.
China Denies Links To Alleged Cyberattacks Targeting Exiled Tycoon Guo
Philip Wen, Reuters
China has denied responsibility for alleged cyber attacks in the United States appearing to target exiled tycoon Guo Wengui, who has levelled corruption allegations against senior Communist Party officials and applied for political asylum. The Ministry of Public Security said in a statement provided to Reuters on Sunday an investigation had found “no evidence” of Chinese government involvement in the alleged cyber attacks.
Nearly Half of Uyghurs in Xinjiang’s Hotan Targeted For Reeducation Camps
Authorities in a county of northwest China’s Xinjiang region that is largely populated by Muslim ethnic Uyghurs have been ordered to send almost half of area residents to re-education camps, according to officials, who say they are struggling to meet the number. Officials from two villages in Hotan (in Chinese, Hetian) prefecture’s Qaraqash (Moyu) county recently acknowledged to RFA’s Uyghur Service that they had been given a target percentage for arrests as part of a verbal directive issued by higher-level authorities during an “online conference.”
Admirers Honor Che Guevara 50 Years After His Death
Carlos Valdez and Andrea Rodriguez, Associated Press
A little band of guerrillas had been on the run through rugged, mountainous terrain, struggling unsuccessfully to build support among the indigenous people of rural Bolivia as a step toward a global socialist revolution. Finally, on Oct. 8, 1967, the army ran them down. Fifty years later, the mountain village where he was killed and the nearby town where he was buried have become shrines to a sort of socialist saint, a man whose death helped cement his image as an enduring symbol of revolt. Some there even pray to him—an outcome that likely would have outraged the iconoclastic atheist.
Irish Che Guevara Stamp Prompts Protest
Robin Sheeran, BBC
An Irish stamp marking the 50th anniversary of the death of Che Guevara has aroused the ire of Cuban-Americans. The stamp features the iconic image of the Argentine-born revolutionary by Dublin artist Jim Fitzpatrick. Many consider Guevara a mass murderer who should not be honored, US-Cuban journalist Ninoska Perez told RTE. He was the son of a civil engineer with Irish roots, Ernesto Guevara Lynch. The stamp’s first day cover carries a quote from his father: “In my son’s veins flowed the blood of the Irish rebels.”
North Korea’s “Princess” Now One Of The Secretive State’s Top Policymakers
Hyonhee Shin and Soyoung Kim, Reuters
The promotion of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s 28-year-old sister to the country’s top decision-making body is a sign he is strengthening his position by drawing his most important people closer to the center of power, experts and officials say. Kim Yo-jong was named as an alternate member of the politburo within the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea—the opaque, all-powerful party organ where top state affairs are decided, the North’s official media said on Sunday.
North Korea Hackers Reportedly Stole US, South Korea War Plans
Katherine Lam, Fox News
A plan to assassinate Kim Jong-un and preparations for a potential nuclear showdown with North Korea were among the trove of South Korean military documents reportedly stolen by Hermit Kingdom hackers. South Korea’s Defense Ministry did not comment on the alleged hack, which reportedly occurred in September 2016 but was only revealed Tuesday, but Rhee Cheol-hee, a lawmaker in South Korea, confirmed the data breach to the BBC. The hack consisted of 235 gigabytes of military documents and about 80 percent of what was stolen hasn’t been identified.
Russia Is Trying to Hack the Phones of US Soldiers
Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics
It looks like Russian spies are trying to geolocate US soldiers, gather personal information about them, and generally freak them out. The Wall Street Journal writes that US soldiers sent to Eastern Europe have had a series of bizarre issues with their smartphones, all of which point to outsiders trying to gain access to information on their phones. The goal appears to be to gain information on the soldiers’ personal lives, gather data on their units, missions, and capabilities, and intimidate them.
Slain Russian Opposition Politician Nemtsov Honored On His Birthday
Colleagues, friends, and relatives of Boris Nemtsov have honored the slain Russian opposition politician on what would be his 58th birthday, vowing to continue pressing for justice. Activists of the opposition groups Solidarnost and Parnas visited Nemtsov’s grave at a Moscow cemetery on October 9 and then joined a larger crowd on the bridge near the Kremlin where he was shot dead at close range on February 27, 2015.
How An Oval Office Meeting Led To A Trump Tweet That Changed US Policy Toward Venezuela
David Nakamura, The Washington Post
President Trump’s decision to suddenly announce a major change in US policy toward Venezuela in February began with an unexpected Oval Office meeting with Lilian Tintori, the wife of the country’s most prominent political prisoner. At the White House to meet Vice President Pence and press the administration to do more about human rights in her home country, Tintori was whisked in to see Trump. Later, as Tintori made her case during the 40-minute meeting, first lady Melania Trump, who was also in the room, said she sympathized with the conditions Tintori’s husband, Leopoldo López, faced in jail back in Caracas.
Jimmy Carter Offers To Meet With North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un
Mallory Shelbourne, The Hill
Former President Jimmy Carter reportedly offered to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un in an attempt at peace talks. A University of Georgia professor detailed Carter’s offer to Korea JoongAng Daily, a South Korean newspaper. “Carter wants to meet with the North Korean leader and play a constructive role for peace on the Korean Peninsula as he did in 1994,” Park Han-shi told the newspaper.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
October 10th, 1953: A Mutual Defense Treaty Between the United States and the Republic of Korea is concluded in Washington, DC.