“A Huge Deal” For China As The Era Of Xi Jinping Thought Begins
Tom Phillips, The Guardian
China’s communist leader, Xi Jinping, looks to have further strengthened his rule over the world’s second largest economy with the apparent confirmation that a new body of political theory bearing his name will be written into the party’s constitution. On day two of a week-long political summit in Beijing marking the end of Xi’s first term, state media announced the creation of what it called Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. “The Thought is … a historic contribution to the party’s development,” said Zhang Dejiang.
Peking Duck Barred During Party Congress
China’s 19th Communist Party Congress is a feast for China-watchers and political observers, but maybe not for some food-lovers. Peking Duck, the Chinese capital’s best-known dish that’s popular among foreigners and Chinese alike, is on selective offering in the city during the week-long gathering of Party cadres because of a possible security risk. The reason is a government-imposed ban on open flames in areas near the Great Hall of the People, according to staff at the nearby Siji Minfu restaurant, one of the top duck restaurant chains in the capital.
Report Details Destruction At Sichuan’s Larung Gar Buddhist Academy
Satellite images of Sichuan’s Larung Gar Buddhist Academy show widespread destruction of the one of the world’s largest and most important centers for the study of Tibetan Buddhism more than a year after Chinese authorities began a program of forced evictions and demolitions, according to a report issued Thursday. The report by two Tibetan rights groups—Free Tibet and Tibet Watch—shows that at least 4,725 homes have been leveled and about 4,800 residents forced to leave since July 2016 when authorities issued an order to destroy homes and to reduce Larung Gar’s population to 5,000 by Sept. 30, 2017.
One Woman’s Amazing Journey From Terrors Of North Korea To US College Student
Eric Shawn, Fox News
When Grace Jo walks along the leafy paths of Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland, she is indistinguishable from any other American college student. But the 26-year-old’s astounding journey took her from the gulags of North Korea’s brutal dictatorship – and the very edge of starving to death – to a new, unimaginable life in the United States. “America is the greatest country in the world,” Grace told Fox News in advance of a New York City forum being held by the George W. Bush Institute.
Pro-Ukrainian Russian Activist Released After Two Years At Penal Colony
A Russian activist imprisoned for Internet posts criticizing Russia’s interference in Ukraine has been released from a penal colony after serving her two-year sentence. Darya Polyudova was released on October 20 from Penal Colony #10 in the southern Russian city of Novorossiisk, where she was sentenced on charges of propagating extremism and separatism online. Polyudova said upon her release that she will continue to engage in political activities after a short period of rest. Polyudova conducted several hunger strikes at Penal Colony #10 to protest conditions there.
Russia Accuses US Government Of Pushing For Its Olympic Exclusion
Voice of America
The Kremlin accused the U.S. government on Friday of pushing for Russia’s exclusion from the Olympics. A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin said the IOC was coming under pressure from the US, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin meant “state (structures), including through social and non-government organizations.” Putin said the effort aimed to ensure Russia was either barred from next year’s Winter Olympics entirely or forced to compete under a neutral flag.
Congressman Joe Wilson Calls On State Department To Probe Cuba Attacks
Meg Kinnard, The Columbia State
Rep. Joe Wilson on Thursday called on the US State Department to investigate a bizarre string of attacks on diplomats in Havana, urging Secretary Rex Tillerson to get to the bottom of unexplained, invisible attacks that have hurt Americans on Cuban soil. “In light of these serious attacks on US embassy staff, we urge the State Department to immediately investigate the incidents and figure out what is going on in Havana,” Wilson, a South Carolina Republican and House Foreign Affairs Committee member, wrote.
Leaders Of Venezuela’s Bruised Opposition To Travel Abroad To Denounce “Voting Fraud”
Alexandra Ulmer and Corina Pons, Reuters
Key members of Venezuela’s opposition, divided and dispirited after losing gubernatorial elections over the weekend, will travel abroad to denounce what it says is a “fraudulent” voting system under leftist President Nicolas Maduro. Congress president Julio Borges said in a press conference on Thursday that the opposition coalition will try to stir up international support, which could result in further sanctions against Maduro’s administration.
Venezuela Has Reached A Breaking Point For Investors
Nathan B. Sadler, CNBC
Over the last year, Venezuela’s government crossed a critical inflection point, transitioning from a socialist experiment backed by weak (yet functioning) democratic institutions, into a dictatorship that is systemically destroying the economic, financial, political, and social order of the country. The human suffering is hitting society at every level—hyperinflation, violent crime, widespread deprivation, deepening poverty, and stifling import quotas that exacerbate the scarcity of critical goods. Constitutional rule is being shunted in favor of new dictatorial powers for the ruling elite and, day by day, the Maduro government is dismantling the last vestiges of democratic principles and institutions.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
October 20th, 1935: The Long March, a yearlong retreat and regroup of the armed forces of the Chinese Communist Party, ends.