September 18th, 2017 | Victims of Communism

Victims of Communism — Memorial Foundation

September 18th, 2017

Navin Singh Kadka, BBC
China and India may have defused a potential border conflict but the stand-off seems to have led to dispute over another contentious issue: water. Delhi says it has not received any hydrological—the scientific study of the movement, distribution and quality of water—data for the Brahmaputra river from upstream China this monsoon season, despite an agreement. One of Asia’s major rivers, the Brahmaputra, originates in Tibet and flows down to India before entering Bangladesh where it joins the Ganges and empties into the Bay of Bengal.
Setting up a Twitter account may seem a fairly obvious thing for a political party to do, but the step has not so far worked out too well for China’s Communist Party. The account by the party’s youth wing made its debut on Friday with a chirpy one-liner—”I’m here!”—and a picture of what appeared to be cartoon communist rabbits. But posts since then have been met with a deluge of abusive tweets and questions about how the account has managed to circumvent the “Great Firewall” surrounding China’s internet and accusing the youth wing of hypocrisy.
Simon Denyer, The Washington Post
China’s organ-transplant system was once a cause of international scorn and outrage, as doctors harvested organs from prisoners condemned to death by criminal courts and transplanted them into patients who often paid dearly for the privilege. After years of denials, China now acknowledges that history and has declared that the practice no longer occurs—largely thanks to the perseverance of a health official who, with the quiet backing of an American transplant surgeon, turned the system around over the span of a decade.
Everett Rosenfeld, CNBC
A major bitcoin conference has suddenly jumped from China’s capital to Hong Kong—which has greater freedoms than Beijing—in the face of a Chinese government crackdown on cryptocurrencies. The Blockchain Global Summit hosted by BitKan, a company specializing in bitcoin trading and services, was set for Sept. 10 in Beijing, but it was postponed just a few days before it was set to kick off. China has displayed much greater mistrust of cryptocurrencies—computer-generated assets that aren’t tied to government authority—than other countries.


The United States is considering closing its embassy in Havana in response to an alleged sonic attack on US personnel in Cuba, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday. “We have it under evaluation,” Tillerson said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” program. “It’s a very serious issue with respect to the harm that certain individuals have suffered.” Five Republican senators on Friday called for the Trump administration to retaliate against the Cuban government by expelling Cuban diplomats and possibly shuttering the U.S. embassy there over attacks that began in late 2016.
Top US Security Official Targeted In Cuba Embassy “Health Attacks”

Steve Dorsey, CBS News

The top official in charge of security for the US embassy in Havana, Cuba, is among at least 21 Americans affected by mysterious attacks that have triggered a range of injuries, according to two sources who are familiar with the incidents but were not authorized to speak publicly about them. Identified as the Regional Security Officer, the position is responsible for serving as the embassy’s senior law enforcement and security adviser interfacing with foreign police.



America Needs To Highlight North Korea’s Gross Human Rights Violations

Grant Newsham, The National Interest

With some notable exceptions, overlooking the Kim family regime’s barbarity against its own citizens has been standard practice in the civilized world, and since long before North Korean nuclear weapons and ICBMs became a believable threat. Today’s efforts are akin to jousting with Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge back in the late 1970’s over its nuclear and missile programs (if they’d had them) while not mentioning the Killing Fields where one third of the population was being slaughtered.

Ban On North Korean Clothing Exports Will Hurt Women The Most, Experts Say

Anna Fifield, The Washington Post

There are few areas in the North Korean economy, outside its nuclear weapons program, that could be called booming. But the garment industry has been one of them. Over the past few years, North Korea has been sending increasing numbers of seamstresses to China to sew clothes for international buyers, and it also has been encouraging the expansion of the garment industry at home. There are factories around the country producing suits, dresses and children’s clothes—almost all of which are labeled “Made in China.”



From Lenin To The Mosque: Russia’s Bashkortostan Unveils “Red-Green” Tourism Plan

Arthur Asafyev and Robert Coalson, RFE/RL

By the Bashkortostan regional government’s own admission, this Russian region is a “blank spot” on the country’s tourism map. But not for long. The region hopes to change the situation by pushing an aggressive tourism-development program called the “red-green” plan. The red part of the plan aims to draw mostly visitors from China who, officials hope, will be interested in seeing local sites associated with Russia’s communist past, while the green prong will target the Islamic world, particularly the Middle East.



US Seeks At Least 30 Years For Nephews Of Venezuela’s First Lady

Brendan Pierson, Reuters

Two nephews of Venezuela’s first lady should serve at least 30 years in prison for their convictions in the United States on drug trafficking charges, US prosecutors said on Monday. They said in a filing in federal court in Manhattan that the two men, Franqui Francisco Flores de Freitas and Efrain Antonio Campo Flores, tried to make $20 million through drug trafficking so as to keep their family in power and to “enrich themselves while their countrymen starved in the streets.”



Vietnam Is Cracking Down On Dissent … So Why Trump’s Pat On The Back?

Logan Connor, South China Morning Post

When US President Donald Trump met Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in May, he sent a clear message: by patting the backs of authoritarian leaders, the US is complicit in Vietnam’s rights abuses. Trump is no stranger to brushing shoulders with autocratic leaders. But Trump extending hands to Vietnam’s leader is perhaps unique given the two countries’ past animosity, and particularly since Hanoi’s crackdown on opposition voices, seen by many as its toughest in years.


September 18th, 1934: The Soviet Union is granted admission to the League of Nations.