A Chinese doctor has been sentenced to a suspended death penalty after a court found her guilty of abducting and selling seven newborn babies over a two-year period. The doctor's case has shed negative light on China's child trafficking problem.
Zhang Shuxia, an obstetrician at a hospital in the Shaanxi province, was found guilty of selling seven babies to a human trafficking ring from November 2011 to July 2013. Zhang reportedly convinced parents of the newborn babies that their child was infected with a disease or disabled. Once she persuaded the parents to give up their children, the infants were sold to a trafficking ring, which in turn sold the babies to other families.
Zhang received on average 20,000 yuan each for a female baby, while one male baby she sold in 2011 sold for 47,000 yuan. more >>
Former NBA player Dennis Rodman apologized Monday for "the certain situations" currently going on in North Korea, saying he can't control what goes on in the country and that he's "not God." Rodman recently received criticism for comments he made regarding detained American missionary Kenneth Bae, who has been imprisoned in the Asian country for over a year.
After spending a week in the communist country to celebrate leader Kim Jong Un's birthday by hosting a basketball game, Rodman told media at Beijing's International Airport on Monday that he is "sorry for what's going on in North Korea, the certain situations."
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry I couldn't do anything," Rodman said. "It's not my fault. I'm sorry. I just want to do some good stuff, that's all I want to do." Rodman has defended his recent trips to North Korea as being a method of "basketball diplomacy," where former NBA players accompany Rodman to the Asian country to play basketball with the hopes of bridging differences between North Korean and western culture. more >>
A Chinese woman has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and has described herself as a "walking corpse" two years following a forced abortion, highlighting the dangers of the country's one-child policy rule, according to a pro-life group.
"It was the pain of my lifetime, worse than the pain of delivering a child. You cannot describe it," 25-year-old Gong Qifeng said in a recent interview, according to The Associated Press. "And it has become a mental pain. I feel like a walking corpse."
According to the report, two years ago when Gong was seven months pregnant with her second child in China's southern province of Hunan, and was in violation of the country's family size policy, she was taken by government officials who held her down and injected a syringe of labor-inducing drugs into her stomach. more >>
The number of Catholic priests, lay leaders, and missionaries assassinated increased last year, according to a report by an Italian Catholic organization. Twenty-two Catholic church leaders and faithful were murdered in 2013, reported the Fides News Agency of Rome.
This number was comprised of 19 priests, 1 nun, and two lay leaders. It is an increase from 2012, which had a total of 12 murders.
"As it has been for some time, Fides' list does not only include missionaries ad gentes in the strict sense, but all pastoral care workers who died violent deaths," reads a Fides article. "We do not propose to use the term 'martyrs', if not in its etymological meaning of 'witnesses' since it is up to the Church to judge their possible merits and also because of the [scarcity] of available information in most cases, with regard to their life and even the circumstances of their death." more >>
WASHINGTON – Nine out of the ten countries ranked the most oppressive for Christians to live in were due to Islamic extremism, according to Open Doors' annual World Watch List, which was released Wednesday.
With the exception of North Korea – ranked No. 1 for the 12th year in a row – every other country on the top 10 list had as its source of persecution, Islamic extremism. North Korea's persecution of Christians was due to communist oppression and dictatorial paranoia, explained Open Doors in its 2014 World Watch List. According to the report, the countries with the most extreme persecution besides North Korea are: Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Pakistan, Iran, and Yemen, respectively.
Open Doors announced the rankings for its 2014 World Watch List, which documented the 50 nations least tolerant of their Christian population, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The Christian persecution watchdog group's methodology involved measuring the level of Christian freedom found in five spheres of life: private, family, community, national, and church. A sixth sphere regarding degree of violence also factors in to the rankings. more >>
The uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was allegedly stripped naked and fed alive along with five aides to 120 starving dogs, according to a gruesome but disputed report that is circling the world's media.
"Unlike previous executions of political prisoners which were carried out by firing squads with machine guns, Jang [Song Thaek] was stripped naked and thrown into a cage, along with his five closest aides. Then 120 hounds, starved for three days, were allowed to prey on them until they were completely eaten up. This is called 'quan jue,' or execution by dogs," wrote the Straits Times of Singapore. It based its story on a detailed account from December in the Hong Kong-based newspaper Wen Wei Po. NBC News and other major media have now reported on it.
Jang was executed last month after he was deemed a traitor and accused of trying to overthrow the ruling government. North Korean officials removed him from his position as No. 2 in the country and accused him of participating in corruption, gambling, womanizing, and drug use while visiting a foreign country. more >>