Thursday, February 23, 2006

News of the Day (February 23)

From the China Freedom Blog Alliance: The Korea Liberator approvingly notes Congressional anger at the State Department's cold shoulder to refugees from Stalinist North Korea and ponders dovish South Korea's reaction to the latest Stalinist perfidy.

More on the satellite regimes: Japan issues arrest warrants for SNK agents who abducted its citizens (BBC, see also lead, third, lead, and second items). Meanwhile, Daily NK has the latest from the SNK-Communist China border, and another installment in Ahn Hyok's painful series on SNK prison life. Regarding Iran, Kenneth R. Timmerman (Washington Times) calls the $75 million in increased American aid for Iranian dissidents what it is, the first of several needed steps toward liberation.

Canada file: Jason Loftus, Epoch Times, notes and comments on the battle over nine Communist television propaganda channels in Canada (rejecting them would be an excellent way for the new government to ease some anxieties).

Prince Charles' anti-Communism comes into view again: Whatever the result of the trial over the right to publish diaries of Prince Charles, the heir to the British crown has been revealed once again as a strong anti-Communist. The reports confirm that the Prince's decision to skip a 1999 state dinner with then-Communist leader Jiang Zemin was a "snub" (Washington Post), and his instincts on Jiang himself and his fellow Communists are uncannily accurate - and quite funny (BBC).

Communist China won't buy Russian grain: Moscow is unhappy that Communist China has refused to import any grain from Russia (United Press International via Washington Times).

Vatican appoints pro-democratic Hong Kong Bishop as Cardinal: Given the history of Joseph Zen (twentieth, seventh, sixth, second to last, third to last, and tenth items), his appointment as Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI should be an excellent sign. However, the new cardinal, while sticking to his support for democracy, "said he hoped to help establish official ties between the Vatican and Beijing" (BBC). Whether or not that will mean more Shanghais (last item) was not discussed. Also reporting: Cybercast News

Reaction to the Global Online Freedom Act: Representative Chris Smith's Global Online Freedom Act is still in the draft stage, but it is already generating reaction (Asiapundit). Meanwhile, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich makes some good points on Washington's hypocrisy vis a vis American tech companies and Communist China, but he seems to forget the "Republican chairman of the House subcommittee on human rights" ( - namely Mr. Smith - has been one of the "good guys" on this subject for years. That said, the dubious Ignorant Comment of the Day label goes to former New York Mayor Ed Koch (Newsmax, third item), who actually likened dissidents in Communist China to terrorists in the U.S.

Activist says human rights abuses may cost Communist China the 2008 Games: Dui Hua Foundation Executive Director John Kamm told Asianews that the Communist regime "'may not be able to reach its determined foreign policy objectives, and much less host the 2008 Olympics,' because of the situation of human rights in its national territory." From his word to God's ear, we hope. In the meantime, here's the place to go for anyone looking to help make a stand against the Communist Olympiad.

More (lack of) press freedom news: New York Times researcher Zhao Yan was given another month to mount a defense against charges of "leaking state secrets" (Washington Post, last item); given that Communist leader Hu Jintao has a personal stake in Zhao's persecution (fourth item), the extra time is unlikely to help. Tim Luard, BBC, finds the furor over Freezing Point stubbornly, and surprisingly, refuses to die. However, the cadres have now expanded the crackdown to include films and television shows that have a mix of live action and cartoons (Variety).

Tiananmen activist out of jail, but Communist torture has maimed his mind: Yu Dongyue, just out of prison after seventeen years for throwing paint at a portrait of Mao Zedong during the Tiananmen protests, "is severely mentally ill" (BBC). A friend of Yu's explained the reason: "A fellow prisoner said Yu had been tied to a electricity pole and left out in the hot sun for several days. He was also kept in solitary confinement for two years and that was what broke him."

Hunger strike news: Before he was "invited" to meet with Communist security forces (Epoch Times), human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng (sixth, tenth, fifth, lead, third, last, twelfth, eighth, third, second, third, eighth, eleventh, eighth, fourth, fourth, last, fourth, fifth, twelfth, fifth, second, lead, next to last, seventh, last, next to last, lead, and second items) blasted the cadres in an Epoch Times column, and tells Sound of Hope Radio (via Epoch Times) that the relay strike is now active in sixteen provinces. Meanwhile, Gao Ling and Lin Huixin (Epoch Times) caught up with attorney and persecution victim Yang Zaixin (fifth, ninth and seventh items).

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