China Deepens Oil Ties With Russia in $9 Billion Rosneft Deal
Elena Mazneva, Stephen Bierman, and Javier Blas, Bloomberg
A closely-held Chinese oil company agreed to buy a minority stake in Rosneft PJSC for about $9 billion, deepening energy and political ties with Russia amid increasing tensions with the U.S. The deal sees Glencore Plc and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund selling most of their holding in Russia’s biggest crude producer, which they acquired to much fanfare in December. The commodities giant run by Ivan Glasenberg is making way for CEFC China Energy Co.—little known even within the energy industry—while retaining its prized access to millions of barrels of Russian oil exports.
China Expels Party Official Once on Track to Succeed Xi Jinping
Chun Han Wong, The Wall Street Journal
China’s Communist Party expelled a senior official over alleged corruption and abuses of power just weeks before a pivotal leadership conclave where President Xi Jinping plans to bolster his authority. State media said Friday’s expulsion of Sun Zhengcai, the former top official in the inland megacity of Chongqing, was ordered by the party’s governing Politburo—ending the career of a party stalwart once seen as a possible successor to Xi Jinping.
China Targets Rights Websites Ahead of 19th Party Congress
In the run-up to a five-yearly congress of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, authorities have stepped up detention and surveillance of activists reporting on human rights violations by its officials. Editor Ding Lingjie of the Civil Rights and People’s Livelihood Watch website is currently missing, believed detained, in Shandong’s Zibo city, where she was on vacation, fellow activists reported on Thursday. Ding was reported missing by the landlord of a place she had rented, and her daughter has filed a missing person’s report with police, Xu Qin, head of the China Rights Observer and sister-group Rose China, told RFA.
Muslims In China Say They Are Being Told To Hand Over Qurans Or Face “Harsh Punishments”
Jon Sharman, The Independent
Chinese authorities are ordering Muslims in the country to hand over their prayer mats and copies of the Quran or else face punishment, it has been reported. Officials in Xinjiang province have warned members of the Uyghur ethnic minority they must surrender religious items on pain of “harsh punishments”, according to an exile leader.
Cuban Doctors Revolt: “You Get Tired of Being a Slave”
Ernesto Londoño, The New York Times
In a rare act of collective defiance, scores of Cuban doctors working overseas to make money for their families and their country are suing to break ranks with the Cuban government, demanding to be released from what one judge called a “form of slave labor.” Thousands of Cuban doctors work abroad under contracts with the Cuban authorities. Countries like Brazil pay the island’s communist government millions of dollars every month to provide the medical services, effectively making the doctors Cuba’s most valuable export.
State Department Orders Nonessential Diplomats And Families Out Of Cuba Following Sonic Attacks
Elise Labott and Patrick Oppmann, CNN
The US State Department is pulling out all families of employees and nonessential personnel from Cuba, after a string of mysterious sonic attacks against US diplomats, according to two US officials. The American Embassy will continue to operate with a reduced staff. The sources said the US will stop issuing visas in Cuba effective immediately.
Trump Vows To Tackle North Korea On Asia Trip
US President Donald Trump will travel to five Asian countries in November to participate in regional summits, the White House has announced. He will visit Japan, China, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines and the US state of Hawaii for an 11-day trip. “The president’s engagements will strengthen the international resolve to confront the North Korean threat”, the White House statement said. North Korea and the US have engaged in heated rhetoric in recent months.
Venezuelans Cross Into Colombia As Crisis Deepens
Katy Watson, BBC
At 5:00 in the morning, a steady stream of Venezuelans heads into Colombia. Many have queued overnight, waiting patiently for the Simón Bolívar International bridge to open. Some 25,000 people cross the bridge into Colombia every day. It is a short walk between the two countries but with the political and economic crisis in Venezuela deepening, the two neighbours now seem worlds apart.
Vietnam Holding Hoa Hao Hermit in Solitary Confinement, Says Religious Freedom Group
Authorities in Vietnam have held a member of an unsanctioned sect of Hoa Hao Buddhism in solitary confinement since his arrest in May, according to a group that promotes religious freedom in the country, which said detaining him amounted to a violation of the country’s constitution. The Interfaith Council of Vietnam said in a statement issued Wednesday that police had taken Buddhist hermit Vuong Van Tha into custody along with his son and two of his cousins after laying siege to the family’s home in southern Vietnam’s An Giang province on May 18.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
September 29th, 1960: Nikita Khrushchev, leader of Soviet Union, disrupts a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly with a number of angry outbursts.