Human rights have "deteriorated on a number of areas" in Communist China: So said the American State Department in its annual human rights report. The Department paid particularly close attention to the internet: "China is at the top of a list of countries blocking Internet access" (Washington Post). This comes as no surprise to Brad Adams the Asia Director of Human Rights Watch cited a decision by Hu Jintao soon after he took over the Central Military Commission " to crack down on activism" (BBC).
Communist China will launch a lunar probe this year as part of its plan to send a man to the moon "in 15 years," according to cadre Huang Chunping (quoted by BBC).
Will the Vatican's talks with Vietnam be a precedent for Communist China? Cardinal Joseph Zen certainly hopes so (BBC); yours truly dreads the prospect.
Communist propaganda busts in the United States: the Epoch Times has the story.
Northern Koreans are not happy with their colonial masters: The riches of "merchants" from Communist China are catching the attention of Korean natives suffering under Kim Jong-il (Daily NK).
U.S.-North Korea talks begin: American representative Christopher Hill insisted the Stalinists "come clean" (Washington Times) on its uranium weapons program (One Free Korea), but he was still all smiles over the prospects for further deals emanating from the Beijing surrender, which led to these talks (CNN, Daily NK, and Newsmax).
Stalinists walk out of talks with Japan: The Japanese side began its talks with Stalinist North Korea by insisting all Japanese citizens seized by the Stalinists be returned "and suspected kidnappers handed over" (BBC). The Stalinist side, which probably didn't expect such tough talk from anyone, walked out.
More on the Communists' Korean colony: The Stalinist regime came up with a new method of preventing its diplomats from defecting - hold the children hostage (Washington Times). Meanwhile, the Stalinists were entertaining visitors from South Korea's dovish government (United Press International via Washington Times), which may be hoping "for a second inter-Korean summit to influence South Korea's presidential election slated for December." Nothing would make SNK happier than keeping South Korea's hawkish, pro-American opposition out of power.