More details are apparently coming out about China's policies on its mass detention of Muslim minorities.
Over the weekend, The New York Times reported on more than 400 pages of leaked documents provided by an anonymous member of the Chinese political establishment. It calls this "one of the most significant leaks of government papers" from inside the Chinese Communist Party in decades. The papers allegedly explain how China's mass detention of Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslims got started.
How did it start?
President Xi Jinping reportedly started laying the groundwork in 2014 as a way to combat "terrorism" – weeks after Uighur militants killed dozens of people at a train station. The government apparently used past terror attacks in the US and UK to reinforce its response. And cracked down by rounding up as many as 1 million Muslim minorities into internment camps. It even gave local officials a script to read for when students returned home to find their families gone. It said their relatives had been "infected" by Islamic radicalism and must be cured.
And nobody stopped this?
There was some resistance. For example, one official reportedly ordered the release of more than 7,000 detainees. But that official was then prosecuted and stripped of power. And other officials who didn't agree with what was going on were apparently pushed out. Since then, the United States and 22 other UN members have urged China to stop these detentions.
For years, the Chinese government has rejected international criticism of its detention camps, referring to them as job-training centers. But the NYT report is detailing what the Chinese gov has been working to hide for years.
What's hiking up gas prices...
Iran. Last week, protests broke out across the country after Iran's government announced it was increasing gas prices by 50%. The announcement sparked anti-gov protests in a country that is already suffering from US sanctions – imposed after the US pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal. The gov said the hikes will raise money for the poor. But they could reportedly make driving unaffordable for middle class families. Yesterday, Iran's supreme leader backed the gov's gas hike and dismissed the protesters as "hooligans." Meanwhile, the gov reportedly shut down internet access to most of the country.
Who's dealing with legal issues...
Roger Stone. Last week, a federal jury convicted President Trump's longtime friend and adviser on seven counts. Including: obstructing the investigation into Russian interference, lying to Congress, and witness tampering. Stone had tried to obtain Russian-hacked Democratic emails during the 2016 election. This was the latest conviction tied to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
What's next: Stone is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb 6 and will remain free until then. He could face decades in prison.
President Trump. Last week, he pardoned two Army members who faced allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan. And restored a Navy SEAL's rank who had been found guilty of taking a photo with a dead body. Defense Secretary Mark Esper along with other military officials had reportedly told Trump that this probably wasn't the best idea. And that this move could backfire (think: could damage the military judicial system or serve as a bad example for other US troops). But the Pentagon ultimately stood by Trump, and said he has the authority to weigh in on this.
Who's had some explaining to do…
Prince Andrew. Over the weekend, Queen Elizabeth II's second son addressed his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein during a BBC interview. In it, he denied having sex with Virginia Giuffre when she was 17 and attempted to address questions about his friendship with billionaire and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. He said he can't recall ever meeting Giuffre. But he does remember going to a Pizza Express that day. Among other things. Some are calling the interview a "train wreck."
What's being called into question...
Certain heart procedures. Over the weekend, a study explained that stents and bypass surgery in the US may not be particularly effective. And that medicine and lifestyle improvements are comparable at preventing a heart attack. These results could affect how doctors and patients talk about treatment going forward.