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New July 2013

Baoding ready for Beijing overflow

<!– google_ad_section_start –> Baoding, a city just outside Beijing, in Hebei province will create 34 districts to absorb branches of institutes and companies based in the overcrowded capital, authorities say. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Xi wins EU pledge to weigh free-trade deal

<!– google_ad_section_start –> President Xi Jinping won a promise from the European Union yesterday to consider a multibillion-dollar free-trade deal with his country, a long-held goal for Beijing which divides Europe. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Senior party officials at start of trial of ‘mafia’ tycoon Liu Han in Xianning, Hubei

<!– google_ad_section_start –> More than 150 top Communist Party officials arrived in Xianning, Hubei province, yesterday to oversee the highly anticipated trial of Sichuan mining tycoon Liu Han for alleged mafia-style crimes. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Do Lu Ping’s comments reveal Beijing’s hidden bottom line?

<!– google_ad_section_start –> The “carrot and stick” approach is common in negotiating and bargaining. It would not be exceptional for Beijing to use this tactic in its talks with Hong Kong’s pan-democrats on who may be eligible to run as the city’s leader in 2017, hopefully through universal suffrage. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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More than 100,000 protesters rally in Taiwan against trade pact with China

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Protesters say deal was rushed through and could leave Taiwan beholden to China’s Communist party leadersMore than 100,000 protesters took to the streets of Taiwan’s capital on Sunday as a two-week-long campaign against a trade pact with China gathered steam, piling further pressure on the island’s leader.The rally in Taipei where many were dressed in black and some clutched sunflowers to symbolise hope was one of the largest in recent years in Taiwan, an island that split from China over six decades ago after a civil war.

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Slovakia elects Andrej Kiska as president

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Landslide victory for millionaire-turned-philanthropist deals blow to prime minister Robert Fico ahead of 2016 general electionAndrej Kiska swooped in out of the blue to clinch Slovakia’s presidency by a landslide, dealing a heavy blow to the credibility of the prime minister, Robert Fico, ahead of a general election in 2016.A non-aligned centrist who made his fortune in the consumer-credit business, Kiska, 51, will be Slovakia’s first president since independence in 1993 without a past in the Communist party.

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Fedor Burlatsky obituary

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Political scientist who sought reform from within the Soviet Communist party and was an early advocate of perestroikaBehind its facade of unity, the post-Stalin Soviet Communist party was nothing like as single-minded as its leaders pretended and as many in the outside world believed. It contained radically different undercurrents: among the reformers essential to Mikhail Gorbachev’s eventual programme of perestroika was Fedor Burlatsky, who has died aged 87.A vivid personality and at times an influential figure in intellectual and political life, he observed enough of the rules of the game to maintain a comfortable, although far from lavish, lifestyle. His political writings often pushed to the limits of the permissible: he was an eloquent representative of those party insiders who were critical both of the influence of the military-industrial complex and of Russian nationalist currents within the party.

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Myanmar’s first census in decades bars name Rohingya

<!– google_ad_section_start –> Enumerators fanned out across Myanmar on Sunday for a census that has been widely criticised for stoking religious and ethnic tensions, after the government denied members of a long-persecuted Muslim minority the right to identify themselves as “Rohingya”. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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China seizes US$14.5b assets from family, associates of ex-security chief Zhou Yongkang

<!– google_ad_section_start –> Chinese authorities have seized assets worth at least 90 billion yuan (HK$112.5 billion) from family members and associates of retired domestic security tsar Zhou Yongkang, who is at the centre of China’s biggest corruption scandal in more than six decades, two sources sa <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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China seizes $US14.5bn assets linked to ex-spy chief Zhou Yongkang – report

Gold, paintings and property confiscated, and 300 relatives and allies held or questioned in huge investigation into corruptionChinese authorities have seized assets worth at least 90bn yuan ($US14.5bn) from family members and associates of retired domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, who is at the centre of China’s biggest corruption scandal in more than six decades, two sources said. More than 300 of Zhou’s relatives, political allies, proteges and staff have also been taken into custody or questioned in the past four months, the sources told Reuters.

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China seizes $14.5bn of ex-official assets

Illegal assets were seized from family members and associates of retired domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang.

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French Front National eyes real power after startling gains in local elections

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The FN already has a new mayor and could end up in control of five towns or cities after a strong showing at the polls, with Marine Le Pen declaring 2014 ‘year zero’ for French politicsThe historic city of Avignon is up for grabs. So is Perpignan, as is Fréjus on the south coast.In local elections on Sunday, Marine Le Pen’s Front National (FN) is hoping to snatch up to 15 towns and cities from the ruling Socialist party or the opposition centre-right UMP, validating its claim to be the third force in French politics. Across Europe, where Eurosceptic, anti-immigration parties are on the rise, the results will be taken as a sign of things to come

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Cuba approves law aimed at attracting foreign investment

New law offers steep tax cuts and promising a climate of investment security

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NSA listed Merkel among leaders subject to surveillance report

Special databank said to hold 300 reports on chancellor Der Spiegel and Intercept cite document supplied by SnowdenThe National Security Agency appears to have included Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, on a list of world leaders subject to surveillance. The news, the latest extracted from documents supplied to media outlets including the Guardian by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, was reported on Saturday by the German magazine Der Spiegel and The Intercept, a website set up by the former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald with the support of the founder of eBay, Pierre Omidyar.

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David Johansen of the New York Dolls on 1970s Loft Parties, Downtown Art, and His Malcolm McLaren Wardrobe

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As told to Jennifer Vineyard We used to rehearse in this bicycle store up on the West Side, Columbus and 82nd. The guy used to rent bicycles in the summertime and then he would have a set of drums and a couple of amps, and we would go in and … More »

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Workers fear for the future in Ukraine’s heavily industrialised east

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Donbass’s miners and factory workers are justifiably concerned what the geopolitical tug of war means for themStanding outside Donetsk’s coal mine, Igor Yefremov mused over the future of Ukraine’s heavy industry. “If we join the European Union our mines and factories will shut down,” he said. “Already the orders from Russia are drying up. Russia doesn’t want us because of the chaos in Kiev.”Yefremov was waiting to meet his brother-in-law, who was working on the early shift at the city centre mine. Above ground, the scene was tranquil. Off-duty workers sat on benches in a small, sunny rose garden, dwarfed by two giant pit frames.

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Day Four: Wong says ‘pro-Beijing camp’ pushed national security bill

<!– google_ad_section_start –> Central government representatives in Hong Kong have been advised by “some in the pro-Beijing camp” that universal suffrage should only be adopted after the city passed a controversial national security bill, said a lawmaker. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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