Former Xinjiang teacher claims brainwashing and abuse inside mass detention centers

Almaty, Kazakhstan (CNN)Overflowing toilets in overcrowded cells. Food and sleep deprivation. Forced injections. “I knew that all people there were not guilty of anything,” she said. “I could do nothing to help them avoid suffering. That’s why I decided that one day I would publicize what’s happening there.” China tries to thwart CNN probe into detention camps Policy of sinicization Sauytbay is an ethnic Kazakh, raised in Xinjiang. In 2016, her husband and two children left the Chinese region for neighboring Kazakhstan, but Sauytbay stayed behind. As a Kazakh who was also a member of the ruling Communist Party, she said her travel was restricted. She was running a kindergarten when she said the authorities demanded she relocate to one …

Brunei’s new anti-gay law goes into effect this week. Here’s how the world is reacting

(CNN)A law goes into effect Wednesday in Brunei that will punish adultery and homosexual sex with death. The country has no plans to halt the law amid international pressure, according to a statement from the office of Brunei’s Prime Minister released Saturday. “Brunei Darussalam is a sovereign Islamic and fully independent country and, like all other independent countries, enforces its own rule of law,” the statement said. Brunei government agencies have not responded to CNN’s inquiries. The controversial proposal has provoked strong opposition in some quarters, and actor George Clooney called for the immediate boycott of hotels owned by the Brunei Investment Group, which is controlled by the Sultan of Brunei, in an op-ed he wrote for Deadline. Here are …

Brenton Tarrant: From gym trainer to murder suspect

(CNN)The Australian man charged with murder in connection with terrorist shootings at two New Zealand mosques that left dozens dead was a frequent traveler who spent time in Pakistan, Turkey and Bulgaria, among other countries in recent years. No criminal history in New Zealand or Australia To residents of his former hometown, Tarrant, 28, seemed a “relatively normal” person. He had no criminal history in New Zealand or Australia and had not drawn the attention of the intelligence community for extremist views. He used to work at the Big River Squash & Fitness Centre in the northern New South Wales town of Grafton. Gym manager Tracey Gray, who employed Tarrant for several years in the late 2000s, told CNN affiliate …

Christchurch has been struck by tragedy before

(CNN)The unprecedented attacks on two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, in which at least 49 people died and 20 were seriously injured, have left a peaceful nation reeling. While New Zealand is accustomed to earthquakes, few have been as devastating as that tremor, which killed 185 people, injured 6,000 and damaged 170,000 buildings. The bulk of the deaths occurred when a six-story office block, the CTV Building, collapsed during the quake. According to official figures, 115 people were killed in the CTV Building, 18 people died in the PGC office building, eight people died on buses and 28 people died elsewhere in central Christchurch, while 12 victims were in suburban locations. Another four deaths were found to …

New Zealand PM full speech: ‘This can only be described as a terrorist attack’

(CNN)Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has described Friday’s mass shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.” It is with extreme sadness that I tell you that, as at 7 p.m. tonight, we believe that 40 people have lost their lives in this act of extreme violence. 10 have died at Linwood Avenue Mosque, 3 of which were outside the mosque itself. A further 30 have been killed at Deans Avenue Mosque. There are also more than 20 seriously injured who are currently in Christchurch A&E. It is clear that this can only be described as a terrorist attack. From what we know, it does appear to have been well planned. Two explosive …

Culture of abuse and violence at the heart of some of South Korea’s biggest companies

Seoul (CNN)Forced to kneel and assaulted for forgetting to buy ginger. Kicked and spat on for being late. Drenched with water for driving too slowly. Struck on the forehead with a mop handle for seemingly no reason. Yet the family is by no means alone in facing accusations of abuse from staff. The scandals have sparked a nationwide debate on gapjil — a Korean word for those in power who lord over their underlings — within the elite families who dominate South Korea’s business and politics. A family problem South Korea’s economy is dominated by family-run conglomerates called chaebols. Their boards are dominated by family members and close associates, meaning some owners run these major conglomerates as their own personal …

Why Japanese women rebel against Valentine’s day, but still buy chocolate

Hong Kong (CNN)Japanese women are rebelling against a decades-old Valentine’s Day tradition that obliges them to give chocolates to men. A recent survey by a Tokyo department store found about 60% of women will instead buy chocolates for themselves on Valentine’s Day. Only 35% planned to offer chocolates to their male colleagues. A boon for chocolate makers Japan began celebrating Valentine’s Day in 1958, after Japanese confectionery firm Mary Chocolate ran a campaign suggesting that women give men chocolates. That upended the West’s version of February 14, when men typically buy their loved ones flowers and chocolates and take them out for dinner. In the 1980s, chocolate companies attempted to redress the chocolate buying balance. White Day was introduced on …

Thailand election 2019: Princess disqualified from prime minister bid

(CNN)Officials have disqualified a Thai princess from running for prime minister in next month’s general election after her brother, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, said her nomination would be “inappropriate.” Thai law stipulates that once a name is submitted, it cannot be withdrawn — though the Electoral Commission has the power to decide the legitimacy of candidates. The March 24 election is widely considered to be a vote between a form of democracy and legitimized authoritarian rule, following a military coup in 2014. Coup leader turned Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha announced his own candidacy Friday. The commission revealed on Monday that Prayut was among 45 candidates it said was eligible to contest the vote Ubolratana gave up her royal status when she …

How 1MDB finally caught up with Najib Razak

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (CNN)On Tuesday, former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will appear in court — facing years in prison if convicted on corruption charges which seemed impossible less than a year ago. What is 1MDB? Political son Malaysia 1MDB scandal: Former PM arrested Scoops and scandal In early 2015, journalists from the Sarawak Report and Wall Street Journal began reporting that millions of dollars had been siphoned off the fund after allegedly securing a series of leaked documents. At first it seemed like the scandal might spell the end of Najib, as opponents — and even some within his party — demanded an investigation and called for him to resign. Behind the scenes, there were efforts to smother the …