Workers’ Rights Activists Sentenced in China
Lucy Hornby, FINANCAL TIMES
Activists affiliated with the Guangdong Panyu Migrant Workers’ Center, which mediated with factories on behalf of striking workers, faced charges of “gathering a crowd to disturb social order” and embezzlement after being rounded up late last year. They received suspended jail sentences of one to three years, meaning they are in effect free but on probation. Their trials follow renewed scrutiny over organized workers’ representation outside the Communist party.
Comrades Forever? Pyongyang Between Havana and DC
Jared Ward, NKNEWS.ORG
On a basic level, Cuba provides North Korea with a much-needed trade partner, but the full extent of the partnership is murky. The two nations openly operate under a series of barter trade agreements that exchanges technology and commodities. North Korea cannot rely on Cuba materially in the way it does Russia or China, but despite these limits, Cuba has taken a marquee place in North Korea’s foreign relations.
Russia’s New Education Minister Wants to Reinstate Soviet-Era “Agricultural Brigades” for Students
Abby Jackson, BUSINESS INSIDER
Russian Education and Science Minister Olga Vasilieva called for a return to mandatory farm labor for school children. Vasilieva said that students should be placed in “agricultural brigades” and forced to clean schools “like we always used to do.”
US Calls for Release Of Bloggers, Land Activist in Vietnam
The US is calling for Vietnam to release a land rights activist and two bloggers, and to allow all individuals to express their political views without fear of retribution. The State Department on Monday criticized the sentencing last week of Can Thi Theu, who received 20-months in jail for causing public disorder after she led protests earlier this year outside government offices against land seizures. Also last week, a court upheld sentences of five years and three years against bloggers Nguyễn Hữu Vinh and Nguyễn Thị Minh Thúy, who were accused of anti-state writings.
Venezuela Opposition Calls for New Protests to Expedite Recall Referendum
Venezuela’s opposition called on Monday for a new nationwide protest on Oct. 12 to push for a referendum to recall President Nicolás Maduro, following announcement from electoral authorities that a referendum would not be possible until 2017. Officials say the country is being pummeled by an economic war involving hoarding and speculation of goods inside the country and mounting financial hurdles from outside institutions that are limiting the country’s access to credit and markets.