- Hua Guofeng, the man to whom Chairman Mao was supposed to have said before his death, “With you in charge I’m at ease”, and who ruled China briefly before slipping into obscurity when Deng Xiaopeng took over has died at the age of 87. In the early days, Hua was widely credited with the downfall of the Gang of Four but that all changed after Deng took over.
- An earlier report by The Times (UK) that three Uyghur pilots have been grounded over security fears has been rubbished by Li Jian, director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China as “sheer fake reports”. He said all Uyghur pilots are still working normally in the Xinjiang province and none had been relocated elsewhere. For more on the subject, click here.
- Meanwhile, a series of photos on the Kashgar attack on Aug 4 has been released by the Associated Press.
- All pro-Tibet protestors have been simply deported by Beijing police so far for fear of the repercussions of bad press but American graffiti and laser artist James Powderly who had planned to debut a new “laser stencil” that would beam words and images up to three meters high on billboards and facades has been detained since 3am Wednesday morning and his whereabouts still remain unknown.
- Polish weightlifter Szymon Kolecki shaved his head before receiving a silver medal in his event, and explained to the media after the ceremony, “This haircut is from this morning. I can’t directly say why I did it. It’s connected with certain things that the Olympic Charter forbids. But I will say that it’s symbolic.” A Poland-based pro-Tibet activist group The Other Space Foundation has since stepped out to say his shaved head was “a gesture of solidarity with Tibetan monks”.
- The men’s +105kg weightlifting “produced grunts and groans, strains and shouts as men lifted weights up to 258kg” but German weightlifter Matthias Steiner wept like a baby when he received his gold medal clutching a photograph of his late wife Susann Steiner. Their love story apparently started with a remote control and has gripped all of Germany. Read it here.
Picture of Hua Guo Feng from Stefan Landsberger.