BEIJING (Reuters) – China sentenced four activists to jail for up to three-and-a-half years on Friday for urging officials to reveal their assets, a lawyer said, the latest convictions in a crackdown on dissent that has drawn international criticism.
The sentences mark China’s latest rebuff of the West’s condemnation of what it calls the suppression of free expression that some rights groups say is the worst in recent years.
BEIJING (Reuters) – China has blamed French utility Veolia Environnement for “supervision problems” in its water quality standards after authorities said a cancer-inducing chemical had been found in tap water supplied by the firm at 20 times above national safety levels, state media said on Wednesday.
The reading of benzene in the tap water in the northwestern city of Lanzhou was taken on Friday, forcing the city to turn off supplies in one district and warn other residents not to drink tap water for the next 24 hours.
BEIJING (Reuters) – Smog-hit China is set to pass a new law that would give Beijing more powers to shut polluting factories and punish officials, and even place protected regions off-limits to industrial development, scholars with knowledge of the situation said.
Long-awaited amendments to China’s 1989 Environmental Protection Law are expected to be finalized later this year, giving the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) greater authority to take on polluters.
BEIJING (Reuters) – A prominent Chinese rights activist expressed defiance on Friday after a court upheld his four-year jail sentence, saying the pall of communism and dictatorship would eventually give way to freedom and justice.
Although the ruling had been expected, as China’s courts are controlled by the Communist Party and almost never rule in favor of dissidents, the decision is likely to renew an outcry by the United States, the European Union and rights groups.
BEIJING (Reuters) – The trial of two Chinese activists accused of disturbing public order after urging officials to reveal their assets began on Tuesday, the latest in a series of cases brought against anti-graft campaigners in China despite criticism from the West.
The trials of members of the “New Citizens’ Movement” have sparked criticism from the United States, Europe and rights groups as evidence of the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s determination to crush any dissent to its rule.
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – It was shaping as a win in the Communist Party’s quest to contain a longtime nemesis, the Roman Catholic Church.
In July 2012, a priest named Thaddeus Ma Daqin was to be ordained auxiliary bishop of Shanghai. The Communist body that has governed the church for six decades had angered the Holy See by appointing bishops without Vatican approval. Known as the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, it was now about to install Ma, one of its own officials, as deputy in China’s largest Catholic diocese.
BEIJING (Reuters) – A former Chinese mining magnate with links to the eldest son of retired security tsar Zhou Yongkang went on trial on Monday over charges including murder after being accused of leading a 36-member gang on a crime spree spanning two decades.
Liu Han, the former chairman of unlisted Hanlong Group and once ranked the 230th richest person in China, faced trial in central Hubei province along with the other members of his “mafia-style” gang, state news agency Xinhua said.
PERTH/BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. equipment designed to detect black box signals arrived in Australia on Wednesday, as searchers stepped up efforts to find some trace of a Malaysian airliner thought to have crashed 18 days ago thousands of miles off course in the Indian Ocean.
A dozen aircraft from Australia, the United States, New Zealand, China, Japan and South Korea were once more scouring the seas some 2,500 km (1,550 miles) southwest of Perth in the hunt for wreckage, after bad weather on Tuesday forced the suspension of the search.
BEIJING (Reuters) – The controversy surrounding missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has prompted many Chinese tourists, who once saw Malaysia as an attractive holiday destination, to look elsewhere, travel agents said on Tuesday.
Eleven Chinese travel agents told Reuters that bookings between China and Malaysia had fallen severely, and that many people have canceled their trips, amid anger at the perceived lack of information provided by the Malaysian government to passengers’ families.
BEIJING (Reuters) – Prominent Chinese human rights activist Cao Shunli, detained in September for staging sit-ins at the country’s foreign ministry, has died, a fellow dissident and one of her lawyers said on Friday, after she was denied medical treatment in detention.
Cao’s death is likely to trigger an outcry from China’s fledgling rights community and criticism from the West, which has expressed concern about her case.