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China tax office refuses Ai appeal funds: lawyer

Ai Weiwei has raised enough money to launch an appeal against his 15 million yuan ($2.36 million) tax bill, but authorities are refusing to accept the cash, the artist and dissident’s lawyer said Monday. Ai — who maintains that the government’s tax evasion charge is politically motivated — had said that he…

Ai Weiwei supporters raise 1/3 of China tax bill

Thousands of people have donated 5.29 million yuan ($830,000) to help Ai Weiwei pay a huge tax fine, with some throwing money wrapped in paper planes into his garden, the Chinese artist said Monday. The drive to donate to Ai, who disappeared into secret police custody for 81 days this year and has…

Activists launch worldwide protests

Protesters launched worldwide street demonstrations Saturday against corporate greed and biting cutbacks in a rolling action targetting 951 cities in 82 countries. Inspired by America’s “Occupy Wall Street” and Spain’s “Indignants”, people took to the streets in Sydney, Hong Kong and Tokyo in the opening hours of the unprecedented global…

China artist Ai Weiwei calls Beijing a ‘nightmare’

Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has called Beijing a “nightmare” and said China’s justice system cannot be trusted, in his first article for a foreign magazine since his release from detention in June. The outspoken critic of the Communist Party disappeared for nearly three months earlier this year before Chinese…

Syrians hold pro-Assad rally as global outcry grows

DAMASCUS (AFP) – Thousands of supporters of Bashar al-Assad demonstrated on Wednesday on the outskirts of Damascus as the embattled president came under intense world pressure to halt a crackdown on democracy protests. Flag-waving pro-regime demonstrators lined a highway leading to the posh residential suburb of Mezze in western Damascus…

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