From the China Freedom Blog Alliance: Between Heaven and Earth has the latest on the battle between Communist China and human rights attorneys. The Korea Liberator relays the North Korea Freedom Coalition's open letter on the refugees in Thailand (full disclosure: the China e-Lobby is a member of the NKFC) and a review of Abduction.
More on the Chinese Communist Party v. the legal profession: Human Rights Watch condemns "the recent spate of harassment, detentions, and physical attacks on human rights lawyers" (Boxun) in Communist China. David Kilgour comments on the arrest of Gao Zhisheng (Epoch Times).
Zhao Yan acquitted of "leaking state secrets," but is still sent to prison for "fraud": After holding New York Times staffer Zhao Yan for nearly two years in jail (second, sixth, tenth, ninth, and last items), the Communist regime still couldn't convict Zhao on "leaking state secrets" (BBC). However, embarrassing the regime is embarrassing the regime, so Zhao will spend three years in prison for unspecified "fraud."
Book editor suspended for revealing internal Party discipline: Zhuang Daohe is the author of a book detailing the arbitrary nature of Communist discipline against its members for " failure to adhere to the party's political line" (Boxun). The cadres responded by suspending Zhuang from his job as Zhejiang University publishing editor for seven months, and counting.
More on human rights abuses in Communist China: Hannah Beech comments on the sentencing of Chen Guangcheng (Time Asia, see also tenth, second, ninth, ninth, thirteenth, lead, tenth, fifth, tenth, sixth, ninth, eighth, ninth, eighth, ninth, sixteenth, ninth, and second items). Yuan Sheng reflected on what Falun Gong practitioners and dissidents faced at home (Epoch Times). Keith Bradsher (New York Times via International Herald Tribune) examines how the beating of Albert Ho (tenth item) has damaged the city's reputation. Lev Navrozov (Newsmax) compares Communist China and the late, unlamented Soviet Union.
Communist China playing the "good cop" on Stalinist North Korea again: Amid reports Kim Jong-il may be preparing a nuclear test (Epoch Times), his colonial master is inviting him to Beijing for talks (Channel News Asia), while hearing pleas from Washington and Seoul "to exert its crucial influence on North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program" (United Press Int'l via Washington Times). Perhaps the folks looking to recruit Zhongnanhai will examine how the Communists are breaking their word on acting against the Stalinists' currency counterfeiting operations (Daily NK).
Enlightened Comment of the Day: Jonathan Erasmus (Epoch Times) has the best overview of the situation Israel faces from Communist China's Middle Eastern proxies (Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah).
ECOD runner-up: Special praise should go to Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank (The New Republic), who examine the role of Kashmir terrorist groups in Britain's "home-grown" terrorism problem without calling on India to cave into the demands of Communist ally Pakistan on the issue.
More on Communist China's Middle Eastern proxies: The Communist-backed mullahcracy's nuclear ambitions continue to befuddle the international community (UPI via Washington Times, Washington Post), leaving Israel to consider unilateral military action (Jerusalem Post). Meanwhile, Ellen Knickmeyer's second installment on the Iranian-backed Moqtada al-Sadr (Washington Post via MSNBC) focuses on the brutality of the cleric's Mahdi Army. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni establishes herself as out of her league by insisting Hezbollah will "become an integral part of Lebanese politics" (Ynet). This would be the same Hezbollah that is conducting revenge attacks on pro-Israel Lebanese (Ynet) and alienating nearly everyone else in Lebanon (Wall Street Journal).
Venezuela looks to become a major exporter to Communist China: Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez "plans to double (oil) sales to China next year and more than triple them within five years to lessen its dependence on the U.S. market" (Bloomberg). For Communist China, this all merely part of its thirst for oil and its policy of making the world safe for dictators (Bill Gertz, Washington Times).
Reports of Communist organ harvesting continue to reverberate "Down Under": As David Kilgour and Edward Macmillan-Scott bring the issue of organ harvesting to New Zealand (Epoch Times), Australian MP Victor Perton, a backbencher with the governing Liberal Party, tells the Epoch Times how the Communists tried to disrupt his attempts to bring more MPs to an Australian forum on the subject.
U.S. still trying to send back 40,000 escapees from Communist China: One can certainly understand why the Department of Homeland Security has problems with illegal immigrants, but why 40,000 escapees from Communist China hold such importance to them is mind-boggling (Agence France Press via Yahoo).