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China rejects appeal by jailed legal activist

A Chinese court on Friday rejected an appeal by a prominent anti-corruption activist jailed for supporting small-scale protests, his lawyer said, as the government cracks down on campaigners. Xu Zhiyong, 40, was convicted of "gathering crowds to disturb public order" and sentenced to four years in jail in January for supporting protests last year in which a handful of activists held banners calling for government officials to disclose their assets.

Xi says multi-party system didn't work for China

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China experimented in the past with various political systems, including multi-party democracy, but it did not work, President Xi Jinping said during a visit to Europe, warning that copying foreign political or development models could be catastrophic. China's constitution enshrines the Communist Party's long-term "leading" role in government, though it allows the existence of various other political parties under what is calls a "multi-party cooperation system". But all are subservient to the Communist Party.

Cuba seeks foreign investment in key sectors

Havana, Apr 1 (EFE).- Cuba's new law regulating foreign investment will give priority to 11 economic sectors, Communist Party daily Granma said Tuesday. The list includes the areas of agriculture and forestry, the food industry, energy and mines, the sugar industry, iron and steel, chemicals and electronics, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, wholesale trade, health, construction, tourism and transport, officials told the newspaper.

Cuba's athletes get pay raises

Havana, Mar 31 (EFE).- Cuba reported on Monday the entry into force of the announced salary hikes for athletes, coaches and specialists in the sector, whose incomes will depend on the results and awards they obtain. Athletes' income has been structured into six categories, with base pay that varies from around $18 a month for second-string baseball players to roughly $60 a month for Olympic medalists. In addition to those base salaries, athletes are also eligible to receive bonuses for outstanding results in competitions.

Cuba's athletes get pay raises

Havana, Mar 31 (EFE).- Cuba reported on Monday the entry into force of the announced salary hikes for athletes, coaches and specialists in the sector, whose incomes will depend on the results and awards they obtain. Athletes' income has been structured into six categories, with base pay that varies from around $18 a month for second-string baseball players to roughly $60 a month for Olympic medalists. In addition to those base salaries, athletes are also eligible to receive bonuses for outstanding results in competitions.

Czech Communist hardliner jailed for abuse of power dies in Prague

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech Communist hardliner Miroslav Stepan, one of the few top Communist leaders convicted for abuse of power after the Soviet-backed regimes in Eastern Europe collapsed in 1989, died on Sunday aged 68, local media reported. Stepan, former head of the Communist Party chapter in Prague, went to prison in 1990 for ordering the brutal suppression of two pro-democracy demonstrations leading up to the Velvet Revolution that toppled Communist power in late 1989.

Cuba: Doctors to get pay raise; forecasts $8.2 billion from medical workers overseas in 2014

HAVANA - Cuba is giving hundreds of thousands of medical workers raises that in some cases exceed 100 per cent, official media on the island announced Friday, though pay remains much lower than what medical professionals earn elsewhere. The Communist Party daily newspaper Granma also reported that Cuba expects to take in $8.2 billion this year for the tens of thousands of medical worker it sends to care for the poor in countries such as Venezuela and Brazil.

Cuba gives doctors big pay raise -- to $64 a month

Cuba's doctors got a big pay raise Friday -- to 64 dollars a month, the official Communist Party newspaper Granma said. The hike in pay from $25 a month was to reward health professionals for being the country's top source of hard currency export earnings. President Raul Castro last month rejected pay increases for other state workers, but said they were justified for doctors, dentists and nurses "because at the moment the country's main income is due to the work of thousands of doctors overseas."

Hungary tries 92-year-old communist for war crimes

By Krisztina Than BUDAPEST (Reuters) - A former senior Communist Party official went on trial in Hungary on Tuesday charged with war crimes over the suppression of the 1956 anti-Soviet uprising, in a landmark case that may help the country face up to its communist past.

Film festival explores post-communism in eastern Europe

The One World Romania international human rights documentary film festival which opened in Bucharest on Monday reviews the struggles of eastern Europe since the collapse of communism 25 years ago. A quarter century after the fall of the Iron Curtain, "we still have to fight against corruption and prejudices but we are free," the Czech ambassador to Romania Jiri Sitler said at the opening ceremony.
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