Chinese Dissidents Urge Obama to Press Xi Jinping on Human Rights at G20
Tom Phillips, THE GUARDIAN
Chinese dissidents have urged Barack Obama to confront Xi Jinping over what they called China’s worst human rights crisis since the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown when he travels to the G20 economic summit in Hangzhou this week. During a meeting at the White House on Tuesday afternoon, prominent Chinese activists told Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, that China’s leader had presided over a dramatic offensive against opponents of the Communist party.
Cuba Turns to Foreign Investors as Cheap Venezuelan Oil Fades
Ezra Fieser and Vanessa Dezem, BLOOMBERG
Nearly two years after presidents Barack Obama and Raúl Castro announced a thaw in relations, Cuba’s communist government is turning to foreign investors to boost renewable energy as it faces cutbacks in cheap oil imports from Venezuela. With an economic crisis in Venezuela threatening those imports, Cuban officials fear a return to the turbulence of the early 1990s when funding from the former Soviet Union began drying up.
US Student Who Disappeared in 2004 May Have Been Abducted by North Korea
David Lawler, THE TELEGRAPH
A former US university student who disappeared in China in 2004 has been presumed dead for over a decade. But according to a report in Japanese media, he was kidnapped and taken to North Korea, where he served as Kim Jong-un’s English tutor. David Sneddon, who was 24 years old when he vanished, may be living in Pyongyang with a wife and two children, the Abductees’ Family Union in South Korea has said.
Russians Row Over Gulag Memorial Garden
Moscow’s Gulag History Museum says the garden will be planted with saplings from some of the notorious camps across Russia where millions of innocent people toiled as slave laborers from the 1930s-1950s. Director Roman Romanov says he wants it to be a place for visitors “to reflect quietly on what they have seen” in the museum. A veteran human-rights campaigner Alla Gerber said it “should have been planted 40 years ago.”
Venezuelan Opposition Floods Caracas in Vast Anti-Maduro Protest
Diego Oré and Brian Ellsworth, REUTERS
Dressed in white and chanting “this government will fall,” hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters flooded Venezuela’s capital on Thursday to press for an end to President Nicolás Maduro’s rule. In probably the biggest mass demonstration against the ruling socialists in more than a decade, protesters streamed into Caracas from the Amazon jungle to the western Andes. The opposition Democratic Unity coalition estimated at least 1 million people took part in the rallies.