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China earthquake activist freed after five years

A Chinese activist who investigated whether shoddy construction caused the deaths of thousands of children when their schools collapsed in a 2008 earthquake was released Thursday after finishing a five-year jail term, his lawyer said. Writer and campaigner Tan Zuoren was on his way home to Chengdu, the capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan, his lawyer Pu Zhiqiang told AFP by phone. "He was released today. Now he's on the way home," Pu said.

Australian disaster film about jet crash delayed over similarities to missing Malaysian plane

HONG KONG - A disaster movie about a jet that crashes into the ocean on its way to Beijing has been put on hold because of its similarities to the missing Malaysian plane. Arclight Films, the company behind "Deep Water," said Wednesday that pre-production has been halted for the time being. "We're delaying it out of respect for what's going on," Managing Director Gary Hamilton said.

Wife of jailed China Nobel laureate had heart attack

The wife of jailed Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo suffered a heart attack two months ago and has been diagnosed with depression after years of house arrest, a rights group said Tuesday. Liu Xia, 53, has not been charged with any crime but has been held under house arrest since 2010, when her husband was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize while serving an 11-year jail sentence for subversion.

China jails man for planning Tiananmen protest

A Chinese court on Monday jailed for 18 months a man who applied to hold a protest on the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square killings, his lawyer said. Gu Yimin was found guilty of "inciting state subversion" for posting pictures of the 1989 crackdown online and applying for permission to stage a protest on its anniversary last year, his lawyer Liu Weiguo said.

UN bans China group after accusation of spying on Montreal woman at UN

OTTAWA - The United Nations has stripped the credentials of a man representing a Chinese organization after he was accused of spying on a Montreal woman whose father is a political prisoner in China. The incident occurred within the chamber of the United Nations Human Rights Council, one day after Ti-Anna Wang, 24, of Montreal made an impassioned plea for the freedom of her father, Dr. Wang Bingzhang, who was given a life sentence in 2002 after trying to foster democracy in China.

'Black and purple' marks on dead Chinese activist

A Chinese rights activist who died under police guard in hospital had "black and purple" marks all over her body, her lawyer said Thursday, citing her brother. Lawyer Wang Yu called for an independent investigation into the death of Cao Shunli, which sparked international condemnation. Cao, who died last Friday, had been denied access to vital medical treatment for months, her brother and lawyers acting on her behalf earlier told AFP.

EU, U.S. denounce China's arrests of activists

By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The United States and European Union (EU) accused China on Tuesday of using arrests and harassment to silence human rights activists, also voicing consternation at the death in custody of a prominent dissident. During the debate at the U.N. Human Rights Council, China's delegation responded that Cao Shunli had died in hospital last week of tuberculosis and that the Chinese people enjoyed the right to freedom of expression.

US condolences to family of deceased Chinese activist

The United States on Saturday offered condolences to the family of a Chinese activist who died while in detention and urged Beijing to respect human rights. "The United States is deeply disturbed by reports that rights activist Cao Shunli has passed away at a hospital in Beijing. We offer our condolences to her family," said a statement from US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

Detained China activist dies after critical illness

Chinese human rights activist Cao Shunli died on Friday after falling critically ill in police detention where she was at first denied treatment, a rights group and prominent dissident said. The hospital informed her brother her condition had grown serious but despite his arriving within about an hour, "Cao Shunli had already died", Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), a US-based advocacy group, reported online.

Jackie Chan's K-pop group to debut on March 24

SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) -- A K-pop boy band formed and trained by Hong Kong movie star Jackie Chan will release its debut single on March 24, Chan's management agency said Friday. The quintet called JJCC unveiled the teaser video for their song "Everyone Feels" online on Friday ahead of the official release of the single, according to Jackie Chan Group South Korea. The group is composed of five men in their early 20s -- four South Koreans and one Australian-Chinese.
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