The go-to media narrative of the fall of Bo Xilai declares that it’s the most important political event to occur China since the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. That may well be true, but there is more to be gleaned from the story than one man’s fall from grace.
Every now and then, the complex tumblers of a slot machine momentarily align, changing things forever. In the long deadlock the US calls ‘Burma’ (but which the ruling regime and most of the world calls ‘Myanmar’), the tumblers have aligned for the first time in decades.
August 5th marked former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko’s third arrest since June. Mrs. Timoshenko has been charged for allegedly signing an illegal gas deal with Russia in 2009 when she was in office. Allegations that the arrests are politically motivated could threaten the country's status with the EU.
It seems that Afghan and NATO authorities are once more seeking a dialogue with the Taliban- even after last year’s debacle of being fooled by a ‘very clever’ Pakistani shopkeeper pretending to be a Taliban official. Though the situation on the ground has changed, the question remains the same: does the Taliban have anything to gain from entering into talks?
Last May 16, Luis Moreno Ocampo, chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, officially sought an arrest warrant for Libyan leader Moammer Kadhafi for “crimes against humanity”. Also accused were the leader’s son Seif al-Islam Kadhafi and Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi.
The arrest of prominent Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has revealed an extensive crackdown against inernal dissidents by the authorities in Beijing. It seems that there are serious concerns within the Chinese government that the “Arab Spring” could spill into Asia.