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The fire moved quickly through the house, a one-story wood-frame structure in a working-class neighborhood of Corsicana, in northeast Texas. Flames spread along the walls, bursting through doorways, blistering paint and tiles and furniture. Smoke pressed against the ceiling, then banked downward, seeping into each room and through crevices in the windows, staining the morning sky.
Buffie Barbee, who was eleven years old and lived two houses down, was playing in her back yard when she smelled the smoke. She ran inside and told her mother, Diane, and they hurried up the street; that’s when they saw the smoldering house and Cameron Todd Willingham standing on the front porch, wearing only a pair of jeans, his chest blackened with soot, his hair and eyelids singed. He was screaming, “My babies are burning up!” His children—Karmon and Kameron, who were one-year-old twin girls, and two-year-old Amber—were trapped inside.
Willingham told the Barbees to call the Fire Department, and while Dia…

China detains editor of human rights website for subversion

Liu Feiyue
Liu Feiyue
The editor of a Chinese website monitoring human rights issues has been detained on suspicion of subverting state power, according to an announcement on the website.

Liu Feiyue, founder of the website Minsheng Guancha, was taken away earlier this month by police in the central Chinese city of Suizhou. 

The site says Liu's family has been told he is under investigation for subversion, a vaguely defined charge often leveled against human rights activists and dissidents.

Minsheng Guancha, known in English as Civil Rights & Livelihood Watch, was founded in 2006 and documents protests, land seizures, unannounced detentions and other alleged human rights violations that are typically ignored by China's state-run media.

Liu has published stories about China's detentions of dissenters and activists, one of a few people living in mainland China to do so. 

His website has alleged that China has committed hundreds of perceived troublemakers to mental hospitals under the guise of giving them psychiatric treatment. He has also documented local corruption cases and protests by veterans seeking benefits after their discharge from the military.

Liu has been detained multiple times for brief periods, often during high-profile events such as meetings of the National People's Congress or international summits.

But if he is convicted of subversion, Liu could face life in prison, the maximum penalty for anyone guilty of organizing a "scheme of subverting the state power or overthrowing the socialist system."

Word of Liu's detention comes shortly after news that another activist has disappeared. The wife of legal activist Jiang Tianyong said Thursday that he had not been heard from since Monday. 

Jiang represented some of China's most politically sensitive figures in recent years, including the dissident lawyer Gao Zhisheng and blind activist Chen Guangcheng.

In a separate column on its website, Minsheng Guancha called Liu's detention the latest incident in a "prolonged suppression" of activists.

"As long as the rights of a single person fail to be guaranteed, the appeals for human rights will never die," the site said.

Patrick Poon, a researcher for Amnesty International, said the cases of Liu and Jiang were "worrying," and a possible sign of "another wave of crackdown against human rights defenders."

An official who answered the phone at the Suizhou public security bureau Friday said he had no knowledge of Liu's detention. Calls to Liu's mobile phone rang unanswered Friday.

Source: The Associated Press (via Jakarta Post), November 25, 2016

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