Thursday, August 31, 2006

News of the Day (August 31)

From the China Freedom Blog Alliance: The Korea Liberator makes a series of excellent points about Communist China's geopolitical objectives; TKL also interviews Chuck Downs (who is great on Korea, but not-so-great on Communist China, IMHO) and also has the latest on dovish South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun's political stumbles (see also Daily NK and United Press International via Washington Times).

Ching Cheong sentenced to five years in jail: The Straits Times (Singapore) reporter was "convicted of spying" (BBC) for Taiwan. Some suspect Ching's real crime was looking for a book of interviews with the late Zhao Ziyang, the Communist Party leader was was purged in the runup to the Tiananmen Massacre. Zhao was under house arrest for over fifteen years until his death last January. The editors of the Washington Post ripped the jail sentence.

Define "Christian": World Net Daily deeply disappoints with this de facto advertisement for a book evangelist Luis Palau co-wrote with high-ranking cadre Zhao Qizheng.

Apple subcontractor drops lawsuit: The recent flap over Apple's I-pod factory in Shenzhen (seventh item) appears to have entered its denouement. Apple's Taiwanese subcontractor is "dropping its claim for compensation to a symbolic one yuan - about 12 cents" (Time Asia). The cadres allowed their domestic blogosphere to take up the cause against the foreign firm, leading the more cynical among us (i.e., me) to wonder if this was a diversion from abuses by regime-owned firms.

Cadres admit bribery in Communist China is "universal": The regime made the admission via its media (Voice of America via Epoch Times).

Iran "frees" Canadian scholar - and arrests three activists - on UN deadline day: Ramin Jahanbegloo, the Iranian-Canadian scholar imprisoned by the Communist-backed mullahcracy in Iran for months (fifth item), is out of jail, but only "on bail" (Macleans and Steve Janke). Oddly enough, the fact that he was released on the same day as the United Nations Security Council deadline for the regime to stop developing nuclear weapons has gone somewhat unnoticed. Kudos to Macleans' Luiza Ch. Savage, who did notice Tehran's bait-and-switch included the arrests of three pro-democracy Iranian activists.

As for the mullahs' nuclear ambitions, the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency "concluded that Iran has not complied with Security Council demands to verifiably suspend all nuclear enrichment and reprocessing activities" (Kenneth R. Timmerman, Newsmax, emphasis added). The United States will apparently respond with nothing, which rightly infuriated the editors of National Review Online (Amir Taheri is also non-plussed about the world's weak-kneed reaction: New York Post). Meanwhile, the Pentagon projects the mullahs' nuclear timetable to be "five to eight years" (Washington Times).

Khatami to visit Harvard: The Ivy League institution will be among the many in America to host the man who appointed the 1979 hostage takers' spokeswoman as his Vice President (second item). The editors of the New York Sun are understandably aghast.

Syria sent its own arms to Hezbollah, too: In addition to letting his country be a throughput for Iranian arms headed to Hezbollah, Syrian tryant Bashar Assad sent the terrorists "large numbers of medium-range rockets" (Los Angelese Times via Worldwide Standard) from his own military arsenal. This should surprise anyone, as the Washington Institute for Near East Policy's David Schenker noted (National Review Online), but will certainly come as news to Virginia Senate candidate James Webb (whose silly statements on Syria led this corner to endorse his opponent - Senator George Allen). Meanwhile, the post-mortem on the Israeli-Hezbollah battle continues (Newsmax and Washington Times).

More on Communist China and the rest of the world: The plan to give Communist China more power in the International Monetary Fund has the full backing of the Bush Administration (Worldwide Standard, who joins the rest of us in angry disbelief). Textile-makers in Ghana are facing competition from smuggled-in Communist knock-offs (BBC); the European Commission calls for tariffs on Communist shoe exports (BBC). Jaya Gibson and Steven Smith (Epoch Times) has the latest from the Falun Gong trial in Singapore.

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