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Wife of Chinese Nobel laureate placed under house arrest: US rights group

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The wife of the Chinese activist Liu Xiaobo, who won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, is being detained in her Beijing home, the spokeswoman for a US based rights group said Sunday, citing a reliable source in Beijing.

“She is currently under de facto house arrest back in her apartment in Beijing,” said Beth Schwanke, legislative counsel for the US-based group Freedom Now, speaking of the dissident’s wife, Liu Xia.

Schwanke said that she learned of the arrest of Liu Xia, whom she said is being held incommunicado, from a reliable source in China.

“We have a source who is able to confirm that this is absolutely accurate,” she said.

A second group, Human Rights in China, announced Sunday that it also had received word of Liu Xia’s arrest and said in a statement that it “strongly urges the international community to press the Chinese authorities to immediately release Liu Xia from house arrest, free Liu Xiaobo, and free all prisoners of conscience incarcerated as a result of exercising their right of freedom of expression.”

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Schwanke told AFP that after it was announced Friday that her husband had been awarded the Nobel prize, Liu’s phone was taken away by Chinese authorities and she was detained.

The detention took place after Liu Xia had been taken to see her husband in prison and permitted to tell him that he had won the Nobel.

“She was taken there on Saturday and she was allowed to see him on Sunday,” the spokeswoman said.

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“After she returned to Beijing they told her that she would not be allowed to leave her apartment,” Schwanke said.

“I understand that he cried and said that this is for the martyrs of Tiananmen Square,” said Schwanke.

“After that, she was taken back to Beijing and she was put under de facto house arrest,” she said. “She’s not allowed to leave her apartment and her phone has actually been destroyed.

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Liu, the first Chinese citizen to win the Nobel Peace Prize, is a 54-year-old writer imprisoned since December after authoring Charter 08, a manifesto signed by thousands seeking greater rights in the communist nation.


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Ex-Peru president wanted for corruption arrested in the US

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Former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo was arrested in the United States Tuesday to face extradition to his home country on corruption charges, authorities in the South American nation said.

The 73-year-old is suspected of involvement in the sprawling Odebrecht scandal in which the construction giant paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes throughout the continent to secure huge public works contracts.

The Peruvian attorney general's office announced on Twitter that Toledo "was arrested this morning for extradition, in the United States."

Toledo has been formally charged with receiving a $20 million payment from Odebrecht to grant it the tender to build the Interoceanic Highway that links Peru with Brazil.

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Comic-Con mines past for future hits on 50th edition

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A smorgasbord of sequels, prequels and reunions from "Terminator" to "Game of Thrones" awaits thousands of misty-eyed comic book geeks and sci-fi nerds descending on San Diego this week for the world's largest celebration of pop culture fandom.

The 50th edition of Comic-Con International will see 135,000 cosplayers, bloggers, movie executives and humble fans pile into a sweaty convention center for glimpses of their heroes, in town to promote the next mega-hit films, TV shows and comic books.

This anniversary edition promises to be more nostalgia-laden than most -- among those expected to appear are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, who will soon reunite on screen for the first time since 1991's "Terminator 2" for Paramount's killer cyborg sequel "Dark Fate."

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‘Washington is no longer functional’: Brian Williams admits he’s sad to report that ‘our government is broken’

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MSNBC anchor Brian Williams on Tuesday reported that America's federal government is broken.

"This was day 908 of the Trump Administration and while there is no joy in it, one way of summing up today is this: Our government’s broken, our politics are broken, Washington is no longer functional, and the cracks in our society are deepening," Williams reported.

"Much of this day was taken up by the discussion of racist statements by the president. Then tonight came the news that had so many people thinking back to when we were different, the death just tonight of retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens at the age of 99," he said.

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