Cuba insists that weapons headed for the Korean colony were to be repaired and returned: The Communist island regime – long a friend of the CCP and its Korean colony (a.k.a. North Korea) – “said military equipment found buried under sacks of sugar on a North Korean ship seized as it tried to cross the Panama Canal was obsolete weaponry from the mid-20th century that it had sent to be repaired” (New York Post). Havana also insisted that the plan was for the weaponry to return to Cuba after its repair. Suffice to say, few believe this line. Also reporting: AP via Epoch Times

CCP human rights abuses are actually exacerbated by new laws – Amnesty International: The Chinese Communist regime claimed that new laws would protect the human rights of Chinese citizens. Amnesty International found otherwise (Epoch Times):

Protection of citizens’ internationally recognized human rights are not only weakened in the new law, the Chinese law enforcement and judicial community ignores the law anyway, Amnesty points out in its ‘Briefing on China’s 2013 Criminal Procedure Law: In line with international standards?’

When it was introduced in January this year, skeptics pointed out exceptions, loopholes and vague language that could abort any potential improvements in how, why, when, and where alleged offenders are treated. Amnesty’s examples of continued mistreatment of detainees drawn from a full field of candidates, and confirms the worst fears of the skeptics.

‘It is frustrating that after so many years in the making, the legal changes that took place in the beginning of the year are now legalizing some of the worst practices on the part of police and local authorities,’ said Corinna-Barbara Francis, Amnesty International’s China Researcher, in a press release.

Two examples of the abuses hit the wires over the last 24 hours: a businessman executed when his cadre sponsors designated him as the fall guy for an investment scam (Epoch Times) and a human rights lawyer who himself was detained for his efforts (Washington Post).