Communist guards kill Tibetans trying to escape: The Tibet Refugee Reception Centre in Nepal reported that Communist Chinese border guards shot and killed at least two Tibetans who were trying to escape (BBC). The refugee organization said seven other would-be escapees were wounded; the web site MountEverest.net has an eyewitness account of the shooting.
From the China Freedom Blog Alliance: Between Heaven and Earth comments on the Human Rights Watch letter (ninth item). Meanwhile, The Korea Liberator makes the Washington Post for its views on the possible Stalinist North Korea nuclear test (i.e., "Go ahead, make my day").
"It can have a future or it can have these weapons . . . It cannot have both." That was the reaction of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Chris Hill to the SNK's announcement of a future nuclear test (Voice of America via Epoch Times). Does it mean the Administration is finally considering liberation for northern Korea? Hill himself never used the l-word, but no Administration official had used language like this either - until now. This comes as surveillance satellites find "unusual activity at a suspected North Korean nuclear test site, suggesting that Pyongyang is preparing to carry out its threat" (Times of London). As one would expect, the United Nations remains deafeningly silent (United Press Int'l via Washington Times).
Ignorant Comment of the Day: I really like Daily NK, but Chief Editor Sohn Kwang Joo lapped the field for today's dubious honor with this whopper: "In the end, the only solution is to peacefully guide the Kim Jong Il regime to reform."
More reaction to the nuclear plans of the Communists' Korean colony: James S. Robbins (National Review Online) takes the TKL line. The editors of the Washington Post come close to scoring Enlightened Comment of the Day honors for demanding "action by the governments that now shirk their responsibility to stand up to (SNK) - South Korea and China." Tony Karon (Time Asia) offers some boilerplate "conventional wisdom;" Penny Spiller (BBC) examines how the outside world could determine if the Stalinists conducted a test.
Human Rights Watch pans Kaesung industrial zone: South Korean firms are sacrificing labor rights by doing business the Stalinists' way in the zone (Daily NK).
Enlightened Comment of the Day: The prize goes to Amir Taheri (New York Post) for laying out the case that the "division" among the Communist-backed mullahcrats in Iran is not over whether to become a nuclear power and eliminate America's allies in the Middle East, but over how best to do it.
More on the Communist-backed mullahcracy (a.k.a. Middle Eastern Proxy Number One): The mullahs' proposal to let France enrich its uranium is not even convincing to the French (UPI via Washington Times). Meanwhile, Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres ripped the free world for its weak reaction to the mullahcracy's nuclear ambitions (Cybercast News).
Taiwan's opposition puts words in Shinzo Abe's mouth - and Abe is not happy about it: Buried in a China Brief account of Taipei Mayor and leading Kuomintang politician Ma Ying-jeou to Tokyo was a shocking report that "Ma's camp" had claimed Ma met with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The truly disturbing part was the claim the Abe met with Ma "to 'personally express his firm stance against Taiwan independence' . . . and bemoaned the influence of politicians such as Lee Teng-hui who had led the Japanese to believe that the Taiwanese people seek independence." Abe himself "was annoyed with the fabrications that originated from Ma’s camp," and Japanese PM's staff made it abundantly clear he said no such thing; in fact, Abe never even met Ma.
More on the island democracy: Sadly, the China Brief's other three pieces on Taiwan are making me think its sponsor (the Jamestown Foundation) could come off the Friendly Sites list. Meanwhile, David Frum (National Review Online) finds that Bob Woodward's new book (State of Denial) has some passages that give the "engagement" crowd their pound of flesh against President Bush for his 2001 pledge to defend Taiwan.
On the 2008 Olympic Games: Louise Evans (The Australian) examines the Communists' attitude toward the foreign press, and concludes that if said attitude continues through the Olympics, "The international shame and loss of face would be enormous." Meanwhile, Charlotte Cuthbertson (Epoch Times) examines the possibility of a boycott of the 2008 Games by her home country (New Zealand). Has she seen this?
Getting around "one child"? Couples are stocking up on fertility drugs to take advantage of a loophole in the hideous "one child" policy (see tenth, second, ninth, ninth, thirteenth, lead, tenth, fifth, tenth, sixth, ninth, eighth, ninth, eighth, ninth, sixteenth, ninth, twelfth, and second items) - "Parents who have twins and triplets . . . are exempt from the rule" (VOA via Epoch Times).