RFA in the News (June 2017)

2017-07-25
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CHINA DIGITAL TIMES (Also in CHINA DIGITAL TIMES)

June 30 “Liang Jing: Guo Wengui and China’s Internal Crisis

… In the fourth installment of his series of Radio Free Asia commentaries on billionaire gadfly Guo Wengui, Liang Jing looks at how Guo has accelerated the “internationalization” of China’s domestic crisis.

MACAU DAILY

June 30 “Bo Xilai Released on Medical Parole

… According to a source cited by Radio Free Asia, Bo was diagnosed with liver cancer by doctors in Beijing’s Qincheng Prison earlier this year. The same source said that the cancer is in a fairly early stage.

NEXT SHARK

June 29 “North Korea Battles Drought by Reducing School Hours, Forcing Students to Water Crops

… Since May, high school and college students in the northern part of the country have been required to water the fields from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. each day, a North Korean source told Radio Free Asia.

ASSOCIATED PRESS (Also in ASEAN ECONOMIST, JAPAN NEWS and NEWSWEEK)

June 29 “Blogger gets 10-year prison term for defaming Vietnam govt

… Her conviction related to the content of 18 articles on her Facebook page and interviews with foreign news outlets such as Voice of America and Radio Free Asia, Don said.

CHINA DIGITAL TIMES

June 27 “Liang Jing: Political Logic of the Fu Zhenghua Case

… Political analyst Liang Jing has published his thoughts on the story in a series of essays for Radio Free Asia.

NEW YORK TIMES (Also in ASAHI SHIMBUM and GLOBE

June 26 “Liu Xiaobo, Chinese Nobel Laureate, Leaves Prison for Cancer Care

… In a video released by Radio Free Asia, Mr. Liu’s distraught wife, Liu Xia, told a friend that his doctors “can’t do surgery, can’t do radiation therapy, can’t do chemotherapy,” apparently referring to his advanced cancer.

KAREN NEWS

June 25 “Media Watchdog Rails Against Section 66(D)

… Kyaw Soe, a police official, told the U.S.-government-funded Radio Free Asia that the reporters are charged with posting “incorrect information” to social media in late May regarding a government road project.”

MAINSTREAM WEEKLY

June 24 “Tibet Question: A Dragon-hold and a Stifling US Agenda

… In the past, the United States invested an annual budget of $ 34 million to support Radio Free Asia, an instrument of free speech, but this voice failed to raise its tone at the most appropriate time of diplomacy which not only upset the United States but gave it a notion that the funds were not properly utilized.

UPI

June 23 “More than 400 Korean War-era U.S. Soldiers identified

… The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency stated the number was an increase of 56, from 353 from the same time period in 2016, Radio Free Asia reported Saturday, Korea time.

HUFFINGTON POST

June 23 “The Global Consequences of Trump’s Attacks on the Media

… On February 25, Phay Siphan, a government spokesperson, warned media entities who threatened “peace and stability” in Cambodia—including U.S.-funded outlets like Voice of America and Radio Free Asia—to reconsider their news coverage, or he would “shut [them] down” and “expel them.”

SAN FRANCISCO BAY TIMES

June 23 “A Great Leap Forward for Marriage Equality

… “This will have a huge impact on mainland China. Next stop, Hong Kong, then mainland proper,” proclaimed a Chinese social media user, as reported by Radio Free Asia.

DIPLOMAT

June 22 “Nixed China-Vietnam Meeting Highlights Illusion of South China Sea Calm

… Carl Thayer, a Vietnam expert, told Radio Free Asia that China had also been pressuring Vietnam to stop energy exploration activities in Vanguard Bank in the South China Sea.

CAMBODIA DAILY

June 22 “Kim Sok Accuses Hun Sen of Abusing Power at Bail Hearing

… Mr. Sok said that as soon as he left the Radio Free Asia office after the interview on February 12, Mr. Hun Sen “used his power before the prosecutor to order civil authorities to follow me.”

SEA GLOBE

June 21 “Militants seize Philippine school, Myanmar rebels fracture, Palm oil pledge

… Myanmar remains plagued by armed conflict drawn on ethnic lines, despite leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s efforts to push forward the peace process. [Radio Free Asia]

GOKUNMING

June 21 “China freezes hundreds of Myanmar-based bank accounts

… Myanmar's minister of commerce, Than Myint, held meetings with representatives from the Chinese embassy to voice his country's displeasure, according to a report by Radio Free Asia.

KOREAN TIMES (Also in KBS WORLD RADIO and HANKYOREH)

June 21 “Travel groups suspend trips to N. Korea after Warmbier’s death

… Travel agencies specializing in North Korea tours are saying they will no longer take U.S. citizens to the North after an American university student released by North Korea last week in a coma died, Radio Free Asia reported Wednesday.

UPI

June 21 “Report: North Korean officials troubled by Warmbier death

… North Korean envoys at overseas postings are worried about serious implications that could follow the death of former American detainee Otto Warmbier, who died days after being released from North Korea, according to Radio Free Asia.

DAILY MAIL

June 21 “Beijing punishes Muslims who observe Ramadan by issuing them fines and sending them to classes that teach them how to be a ‘proper’ Chinese

… According to Radio Free Asia, authorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang have punished around 100 people for breaking restrictions on the observance of Ramadan.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

June 21 “Dog Meat Still on Sake at Controversial Festival

… Chinese media reports cited by Radio Free Asia and Animals Asia say that Yulin’s government denies the existence of the ban, thoughRadio Free Asia reports that local officials did warn dog-meat traders not to publicly display their wares.

CHRISTIAN TIMES

June 20 “Chinese officials pressure Christians to confess participation in evil cult activities

… "They are saying that she's a Three Teams of Servants member, but naturally Tu Yan denies this," Tu's lawyer, Ren Quanniu, told Radio Free Asia in February.

CAMBODIA DAILY

June 20 “NEC Backs Down Plans for Legal Action Against Facebook Critics

… In an interview with Radio Free Asia on Monday, Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said the NEC would need to lodge a formal complaint rather than the open letter it drafted last week before the ministry launched any investigation.

DIPLOMAT (Also in CAMBODIA DAILY)

June 20 “Stop Hyping Up Sam Rainsy’s Return to Cambodia

… On Tuesday, the former opposition leader called on Hun Sen to be “brave enough” to let him return. “Please, Mr Hun Sen, be brave and do not prevent me from competing with you like boxers,” he told Radio Free Asia.

UCANEWS

June 20 “Chinese police detain at least 10 ethnic Kazakhs

… They were accused of cultivating "close ties" with a group of Muslim Uyghurs for prayer, the source told Radio Free Asia (RFA).

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS

June 19 “Three journalists charged with defamation in Myanmar

… Htay Lwin, an administrator in the central Myanmar village of Maehla Taung, filed a complaint with police against Tin Shwe, editor of the MGY Journal, Zar Zar San, a reporter for the daily newspaper Democracy Today, and Phyupwint Nayche, a reporter for the Myanmar Times, under Section 66(d) of Myanmar's Telecommunications Law, which criminalizes using the internet to defame people, the journalists told reporters onJune 15, after they learned of the charges. Kyaw Soe, a police official, told the U.S.-government-funded Radio Free Asia that the reporters are charged with posting "incorrect information" to social media in late May regarding a government road project.

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

June 18 “Vietnam: End Attacks on Activists and Bloggers

… The report draws on incidents reported in foreign media including Radio Free Asia, Voice of America, the BBC, Saigon Broadcasting Television Network, social media including Facebook and YouTube, politically independent websites such as Dan Lam Bao (Citizen Journalism), Dan Luan (Citizen Discussion), Viet Nam Thoi Bao (Vietnam Times), Tin Mung Cho Nguoi Ngheo (Good News for the Poor), Defend the Defenders, and individual blogs.

CHOSUNILBO

June 18 “N. Korea rents embassy space to backpackers

… Radio Free Asia reported that the hostel keeps operating even though it violates UN Security Council sanctions against North Korea.

NEWSLINE

June 16 “North Korea grows gold trade while claiming medicine delay

… Sources in North Korea told Radio Free Asia Pyongyang is earning foreign currency from the sale of unalloyed precious metals while attracting investment from Chinese companies.

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES

June 16 “China punished about 100 minority Uighurs for observing Ramadan fast

… Those punished included poor farmers and state employees or government officials in Kashgar and Hotan regions, Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for World Uyghur Congress told Radio Free Asia.

KOREAN HERALD (Also in YONHAP NEWS)

June 16 “US House subcommittee passes 2 N. Korea bills: report

… The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific on Thursday (local time) passed the North Korean Human Rights Reauthorization Act of 2017 (H.R.2061), which calls for a five-year extension of the North Korean Human Rights Act first passed in 2004, according to Washington-based Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Asia.

PHNOM PENH POST (Also in ASIAN CORRESPONDENT, CAMBODIA DAILY, VOACAMBODIA and ASAHI SHIMBUN)

June 16 “Hun Sen taunts Sam Rainsy, branding him a coward for not returning home

… The October 12 ban on Rainsy’s return was lifted on Wednesday morning after Rainsy had, in a Radio Free Asia interview the night before, called on Hun Sen to “be brave enough” to rescind it and compete with him as the opposition leader at the July 2018 national election.

FREE BEACON

June 15 “Congress seeks IG probe of VOA China interview

… Rubio expressed concerns about the decision by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the group that runs U.S. government radio broadcasting, to cut $4.5 million from the pro-democracy Radio Free Asia, effectively ending its Mandarin language broadcasts into China.

EPOCH TIMES

June 14 “Chinese anti-corruption agency calls out fabricated economic data in Jilin and Inner Mongolia

… “To some degree, China’s financial data is only normal when there’s fake data,” Meng said. “It would be odd otherwise” Meng told Radio Free Asia.

UPI

June 14 “Otto Warmbier’s parents condemn North Korea after son’s release

… Bush pointed out Warmbier had "been in a coma for a very long time," and that North Korean authorities "probably didn't want him to die,"Radio Free Asia reported.

BBC WORLD SERVICE

June 13 “Tibet’s Football Team

… In 2001, a group of Tibetan exiles and a Danish ex-footballer teamed up to create the Tibetan national football team, in the face of many obstacles, including threats from China. … The game kicked off. The stands of the grounds in Copenhagen were packed with fans. And even a live broadcast around the world from Radio Free Asia.

FREE BEACON (Also in WORLD TRIBUNE)

June 13 “Trump to Cut $4.5 Million from Radio Free Asia

… The Trump administration plans to cut $4.5 million from Radio Free Asia in a move that critics say would sharply reduce Chinese language broadcasts into China by the pro-democracy radio.

CAMBODIA DAILY

June 12 “Nhek Bun Chhay Loses Government Adviser Role

… Despite this, in an interview with Radio Free Asia on Wednesday, Mr. Bun Chhay denied rumors that he was considering a merger with the CNRP.

CAMBODIA DAILY

June 9 “Nhek Bun Chhay Stripped of Government Adviser Role

… Despite this, in an interview with Radio Free Asia on Wednesday, Mr. Bun Chhay denied rumors that he was considering a merger with the CNRP.

KBS

June 8 “UN Security Council Adopts New North Korean Resolution open the window of AOD

… According to U.S.-based media Radio Free Asia, gas prices in North Korea late last month rose 20 percent, compared to early May. Experts are saying this shows that sanctions are dealing a blow to the nation.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

June 6 “China rejects State Department’s call to free labor activists probing factory that made Ivanka Trump shoes

Hua’s lawyer, Wen Yu, said all three men were being held at the Ganzhou Detention Center in Jiangxi province. The State Department’s call for judicial protections notwithstanding, Wen said he wasn’t initially allowed to see his client. “I went there today to apply to meet with my client, but they said Hua Haifeng had met with an accident in his cell, and I couldn’t see him,” Wen told Radio Free Asia on Monday.

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS

June 5 “Editor and columnist detained on criminal defamation charges in Myanmar

… Kyaw Min Swe told Radio Free Asia that police in the Bahan Township district of Yangon initially told them they were not being arrested, but were wanted only for questioning on charges the military filed under Article 66(d) of Myanmar's Telecommunications Law regarding a March 27satirical article, headlined "Oath of the Nation of Bullets," that lampooned an army-produced propaganda film, "Faithful to the Nation."

HONG KONG FREE PRESS

June 3 “Lawyer of legal activist Jiang Tianyong told he is dismissed as time limit for secret detention expires

… “They showed me a dismissal statement, they said it was written by Jiang. But I requested to see him to confirm it in person. The reception staff said they can’t make the decision, then refused and said we cannot meet him,” Qin told US-backed Radio Free Asia.

GUARDIAN (Also in PAKISTAN TODAY, HUFFINGTON POST)

June 3 “Muslim children forced to drop 'religious' names in western China

… During Ramadan, the authorities in Xinjiang have ordered all children under 16 to change names where police have determined they are “overly religious”. As many as 15 names have been banned, including Islam, Quran, Mecca, Jihad, Imam, Saddam, Hajj, Medina and Arafat, according to Radio Free Asia.

NK NEWS

June 2 “Congo reveals details of health protocol signed with North Korea

… North Korean doctors have been known to work overseas and in other African states, reportedly including Libya, Nigeria and Tanzania. In Tanzania, the North Korea doctors were also reportedly operating without work permits and their practices did not have the necessary business licenses – leading to their closure, according to Radio Free Asia in 2016.

DAILY CALLER (Also in INDEPENDENT)

June 1 “China Tries Forcing Muslims To Eat During Ramadan

… A Han official from the province would not clarify whether the directive was specifically aimed at preventing the Uyghur people from fasting, and spoke to Radio Free Asia on the condition that he remain anonymous. Another official in the province, however, said that county officials ordered his office ensure restaurants remain “open as usual … especially during the Ramadan period.”

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