Former New York Police Officer Peter Liang will not serve time behind bars for the death of Akai Gurley.  Gurley died from a bullet fired by Liang that had ricocheted off a wall in a dark stairwell in a Brooklyn housing project in November 2014.

Outside the courthouse on April 19, sentencing day, scores of angry protesters and more than 200 cops gathered, including those from the NYPD's counterterrorism unit.  Metal barricades were put up to control potential clashes between Liang supporters and Gurley protesters.  Emotions ran high.  Liang’s supporters held up “One tragedy, two victims” signs and chanted “Justice for Liang.”  Gurley’s supporters chanted, "Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail.  The whole damn system is guilty as hell.”

Two years ago, around the time of the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests, the chief editor of investigative newspaper Ming Pao was brutally stabbed on the streets of Hong Kong.  

Two years later, following Ming Pao’s front-page story linking top Hong Kong businessmen, celebrities and politicians to offshore accounts as revealed in the Panama Papers leak, its top news editor was abruptly sacked on April 19.  Is it coincidence or is it another form of suppressing press freedom? 

Ming Pao is one of Hong Kong’s most respected Chinese-language papers.  Its management issued an official statement claiming the firing was a cost-cutting move.  However, staff and journalist organizations are not buying it.  They question the “saving resources” claim and held a rally with signs that said, “Not clear, not open.”

This latest incident calls into question the paper's editorial independence.  It also calls attention to the greater question: is Hong Kong’s media once again under threat?

Edited by Song Miou, Xinhua News

The Supreme People's Court (SPC) on April 15 streamlined procedure on accepting and hearing cases, another step toward an authoritative judicial system in China.

The rules, to take effect on May 1, state that any interference in court procedure will be severely punished.

To address difficulties for the public in filing cases, current accreditation by courts will be replaced by a case registration system.  Authorities are determined to put an end to obstructive behavior by courts and officials meddling in cases.

By Elaine Dunn

This Lunar New Year had many people, linguists included, puzzled.  And the media had a field day with clever headlines such as “The big ‘yang’ theory,” “Sod off sheep! It’s the Year of the Goat” “Whatever floats your goat,” “Sheep, goat or ram debate shepherds response,” etc.


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