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Old 2012-04-19, 18:49   Link #20981
Vexx
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I think .... its likely the Vatican is just on a race to make itself completely irrelevant to the world at large. The only question is will the spiral down be incremental or will there be a critical mass tipping point...
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Old 2012-04-19, 18:58   Link #20982
Ithekro
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The Final Fall of Rome?
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Old 2012-04-19, 19:17   Link #20983
Xellos-_^
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Quote:
Two former officials in Chongqing said a meeting of the city's Communist party cadres had been called on April 10, the day that the formal charges were announced against Mr Bo and his wife, Gu Kailai.

"Officials were told not to bring their mobile phones into the room, not to make any notes, just to listen," said one former official, who asked not to be named.

They were then read a description of how Mr Bo, the powerful party secretary of Chongqing, had quarrelled with his police chief, Wang Lijun, after he heard that his wife might be implicated in the death of the 41-year-old British businessman.

Apparently fearing for his life, Mr Wang fled to the United States consulate in the city of Chengdu a few days later.

When he heard the news that Mr Wang had fled, Mr Bo was on a trip to Yunnan province, but ordered his personal security team to chase Mr Wang and his associates down.

While the US consulate shielded Mr Wang himself from officers loyal to Mr Bo, the police chief's associates, and other members of the investigation team were captured.

"At least seven of Wang's associates, including his driver, were arrested by Bo, and at least two were tortured to death," said the document that was read out, according to the former official.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...re-deaths.html
looks like Hu and Wen determine that Bo is too dangerous to leave alive.
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Old 2012-04-19, 20:38   Link #20984
Vexx
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In minor news but might be interesting to some:
RIP Jonathan Frid (age 87, died Friday the 13th) - the *original* Barnabas Collins in the tv series Dark Shadows on which the recent Depp film is based. Mr. Frid has a cameo in the new film.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...pTT_story.html
http://xfinity.comcast.net/blogs/tv/...-vampire-dies/


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Old 2012-04-19, 21:21   Link #20985
Urzu 7
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What is this news coming out of China about a politician committing murder and his wife was involved?

I'm not clear on the details. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Can anyone explain what is going on to me?
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Old 2012-04-19, 23:28   Link #20986
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
What is this news coming out of China about a politician committing murder and his wife was involved?

I'm not clear on the details. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Can anyone explain what is going on to me?
here

http://www.economist.com/blogs/anale...power-politics

http://www.economist.com/blogs/anale...litical-demise
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Old 2012-04-19, 23:44   Link #20987
LeoXiao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
What is this news coming out of China about a politician committing murder and his wife was involved?

I'm not clear on the details. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Can anyone explain what is going on to me?
In China there is the Communist Party (CCP), which is administrated by the Politburo and Central Committee. The high-ranking Party bosses do not always agree with each other, and can very roughly be defined in two groups:
The first one is headed by Hu Jintao (president of China and general secretary of CCP) and Wen Jiabao (premier), and is known as the "reformist", "populist", or simply "Hu-Wen" faction.
The second group has its origins in the leadership of Jiang Zemin and his subordinates. Though Jiang is now old and near death, the people he promoted to high positions are still alive and well and seem to be their own faction at odds with the Hu-Wen group. I call this faction either the "Jiang group" or the "elitist faction".

The guy you are asking about is Bo Xilai, who was an aspiring Party official in league with the Elitist Faction who had held posts as two major cities' local CCP boss. In theory, he promoted a return to socialist ideals and moderation of capitalism, but in practice this just meant threatening and harming rich people and expanding his personal power. In doing so, he had a lot of people arrested, tortured, and murdered to serve his interests. His wife seems to have been complicit in some this, as we see in the news regarding the death of the Briton.

A couple months ago, Bo Xilai's crimes were called into question when one of his henchmen, a police chief Wang Lijun, escaped to the US Consulate to seek asylum.
Evidently Wang Lijun was frightened that he was soon to be done away with (perhaps to erase evidence) for participating in various illegal deeds. Anyhow, after getting to and staying at the consulate for some time (where he is supposed to have unloaded A LOT of critical information on the inner struggles in the CCP to the Americans), the Americans kicked him out and he was immediately arrested and sent to Beijing.

Hu and Wen proclaimed him to be a traitor and began to criticize his boss Bo Xilai as well, and kicked him out of his position as a Party official. Now because Bo Xilai was a very prestigious upcoming official, one who had had a real chance at gaining a seat in the Politburo, his sudden denunciation and subsequent expulsion was a massive slap in the face to the Elitist Faction, which Bo Xilai was a part of.

Now, Wang Lijun is awaiting trial (and probably being interrogated), Bo Xilai's position is gone, and his wife has been arrested. In short, the Hu-Wen faction is doing all they can to milk the incident in way that they can discredit and strike at the Elitist Faction. The whole affair has shown us that the CCP is not as stable or coherent as they would like to have everyone think, and that change in China* is a little more likely.

*= Of note is that on the day that the scandal happened, Zhao Ziyang (a politican who are put under house arrest for supporting the students at Tiananmen in 1989) had his name unblocked from Chinese search engines. Shortly afterwards, many other politically or socially sensitive websites were also unblocked. One theory is that these sites have already been discussing the crimes of the CCP, and since most fingers are pointing at the elitists like Bo Xilai, letting ordinary Chinese people read these sites will make them more supportive of the Hu-Wen faction and blame human rights abuses and other ills on the Elitist Faction, as opposed to the CCP as a whole.
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Old 2012-04-20, 00:02   Link #20988
Vexx
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I've been kind of mentally labeling the "elitist" faction a variation on the "robber baron" class (ultra-wealthy, Wall St.) in China. Their prime motivation under their rhetoric seems to be aggregation of wealth and power within their inner circle - rules and process be damned. I don't know if that's valid analogy though. Feedback on that?
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Old 2012-04-20, 00:23   Link #20989
Xellos-_^
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The 2 faction, one led by Hu and Wen and another by Jiang is correct but the rest is quite slanted.

Hu/Wen are the reformist Liberal/FreeMarket faction
Jiang faction faction is made up princeling - sons of Former Revolution leaders. They are generally more populist then the Hu/Wen faction

Bo is Princeling as his father was a Vice Premier Under Mao. At least until the culture revolution when Mao purge almost all his old comrades. During a trial against Bo father, he kick his father hard enough to crack a couple of ribs to prove his party loyalty. That give you guys a good idea of how ruthless this guy could get.

A few months ago Bo's handpick chief fled to US Consulate in ChengDu just a step ahead of being arrested by Bo's personal security. And NO the US didn't kick Wang out. They rejected his application for Asylum but did let him stay and help get in touch with some people in Bejing. Wang turn himself over to security forces form Bejing when they arrive the next day. There was actually a bit of a face off between Bo's security force and the Bejing Security force outside the US consulate.

Both Bo and Wang is currently under house arrest. I seriously doubt Wang needs to be interrogated. It is in his best interested to spill everything he knows about his old boss to take him down. It is his only chance to live through this.

One of the big mystery is what happen to cause a fallout between Bo and Wang. i seriously doubt anyone bought the story that Wang was investigating Bo's wife involvement in Heywood''s death as the cause.
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Old 2012-04-20, 00:32   Link #20990
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
One of the big mystery is what happen to cause a fallout between Bo and Wang. i seriously doubt anyone bought the story that Wang was investigating Bo's wife involvement of Heywood''s death as the cause.
Maybe the Brit revealed that Bo is going to wring Wang (pun unintended) dry like a ragged cloth after he's done with his usefulness? And that Heywood told Wang that, and Bo was anxious to cover his tracks?

Who knows, maybe even Bo's wife is plotting against him, and she feared a double-cross for double-profits from Heywood and thus silenced him.
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Old 2012-04-20, 01:04   Link #20991
Kokukirin
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Unblocking Zhao Ziyang on search engines? Really? Wow. I didn't think it'd be possible until Li Pang and Jiang Zemin are dead. That may be a sign that Hu-Wen are getting more say.
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Old 2012-04-20, 05:07   Link #20992
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
I've been kind of mentally labeling the "elitist" faction a variation on the "robber baron" class (ultra-wealthy, Wall St.) in China. Their prime motivation under their rhetoric seems to be aggregation of wealth and power within their inner circle - rules and process be damned. I don't know if that's valid analogy though. Feedback on that?
I'm not sure if it's entirely correct. While the "elitist" faction may be roughly equivalent to "old money", China was never a true capitalist economy, so the princelings weren't captains of industry the way many of the "robber barons" of the United States were. It seems more apt, to me, to simply think of them as communist "aristocracy". In many ways, the Chinese political system still operates as though it were an "imperial" bureaucracy, so it's not wrong, in a sense, to regard the scions of revolutionary heroes as "blue-blooded".

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeoXiao View Post
Hu and Wen proclaimed him to be a traitor and began to criticize his boss Bo Xilai as well, and kicked him out of his position as a Party official. Now because Bo Xilai was a very prestigious upcoming official, one who had had a real chance at gaining a seat in the Politburo, his sudden denunciation and subsequent expulsion was a massive slap in the face to the Elitist Faction, which Bo Xilai was a part of.
Xellos-_^ has already pointed out a few objections. I'd add that Bo was already in the Politburo and was suspended from that top body on April 10. What Bo was aiming for, apparently, is a seat in the nine-man Politburo Standing Committee, the highest of the highest echelon in the Chinese Communist Party hierarchy. That said, that's still a great summary of events you posted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
I'm not clear on the details. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Can anyone explain what is going on to me?
If you're interested, I posted a timeline of events a few pages back. It may help you trace the news online for further reading.
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Old 2012-04-20, 05:25   Link #20993
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Protests rage as Bahrain Grand Prix practice begins
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...83J07R20120420
Something will probably go wrong about this...
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Old 2012-04-20, 08:02   Link #20994
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
I'm not sure if it's entirely correct. While the "elitist" faction may be roughly equivalent to "old money", China was never a true capitalist economy, so the princelings weren't captains of industry the way many of the "robber barons" of the United States were. It seems more apt, to me, to simply think of them as communist "aristocracy". In many ways, the Chinese political system still operates as though it were an "imperial" bureaucracy, so it's not wrong, in a sense, to regard the scions of revolutionary heroes as "blue-blooded".
Ah thanks for the course correction...
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Old 2012-04-20, 10:43   Link #20995
SeijiSensei
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North Korean Missile Launcher Appears Based on Chinese Design

The Chinese launcher was designed after the institution of UN sanctions against the DPRK, so technically the Chinese might be in breach despite being a Permanent Member of the Security Council. The BBC commentator seems to think this will all be swept under the rug with a claim of "dual-use" technology.

The BBC is also running a story about the Bo case on its world news telecasts that includes an interview with a tearful ex-billionaire now in hiding who says he and his family were tortured by Bo's minions and his brother murdered. The thrust of the story is that Bo was targeting wealthy Chinese and seizing their holdings. In this context it makes me wonder whether Gu's efforts to move substantial sums out of the country via Heywood was an effort to keep her husband from getting his hands on the money. Perhaps she worried that if Heywood talked, Bo might try to have his wife killed. (The story has not yet appeared on the BBC's web site.)
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Old 2012-04-20, 11:08   Link #20996
Tom Bombadil
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http://chovanec.wordpress.com/2011/0...ip-transition/

A very clear (but old) article explaining Chinese political structure.
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Old 2012-04-20, 12:06   Link #20997
ganbaru
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George Zimmerman Tells Trayvon Martin's Parents 'I Am Sorry'
http://abcnews.go.com/US/george-zimm...9#.T5GMge2XPXS
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Old 2012-04-20, 12:36   Link #20998
GundamFan0083
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
George Zimmerman Tells Trayvon Martin's Parents 'I Am Sorry'
http://abcnews.go.com/US/george-zimm...9#.T5GMge2XPXS
I'll give the man the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is actually sorry.
Nevertheless, that does not excuse his disobeying the 911 dispatch officer and chasing down Trevon.
Even though he had no legal obligation to listen to the dispatcher, common sense should have told Zimmerman that the police would handle it and his part in the situation was over.
Instead, he chose to take matters into his own hands and that is why he is guilty of at least involuntary manslaughter IMHO.
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Old 2012-04-20, 12:46   Link #20999
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So he apologizes, but not until 2 months after the incident and after he was arrested and taken to trial over it? He's not sorry he killed someone, he's sorry he's getting in trouble for it.
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Old 2012-04-20, 13:12   Link #21000
ganbaru
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^ to be honest, most peoples ( if not all) are sorry of the action than they have done, but of the consequence of the said actions.
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