News North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walks past his uncle Jang Song Thaek - Jang Song Thaek is reported to have been executed for 'attempting to overthrow the state'

Claims that secretive communist regime has carried out a further brutal purge of those the young leader sees as a threat to his authority

Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai vows to clear his name

Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai has compared his plight to that of his father, Bo Yibo, a revolutionary hero, and said that one day his name will be cleared.

The Devil's Workshop, By Jáchym Topol. Portobello, £12.99

I n this novel Jáchym Topol explores two sites of genocide and asks the question: how should one commemorate past atrocities? The first part of The Devil's Workshop is set in Czechoslovakia. Topol's unnamed narrator grows up in the small fortress town of Terezín, famous for housing a Nazi prison camp during the Second World War. It also served as a ghetto and many inhabitants were deported to Auschwitz and other camps.

Chinese blogger Charles Xue forced to apologise on television for ‘negative’ internet posts

Businessman appears on state TV in prison garb and handcuffs in latest purge on dissent

The ballroom’s interior in 2011

Dances to the music of time: Clärchens Ballhaus - Berlin’s hall of fame hits 100

The outside of the building in East Berlin’s Auguststrasse looked as if it hadn’t been painted since the Second World War – and it probably hadn’t.

Three years in prison if your 'slanderous statements' are shared and RTed: China launches crackdown against online social media

China is stepping up its efforts to halt “online rumour-mongering” as part of a broader crackdown on social media, which Chinese people are using more and more to sidestep censorship of political debate.

Chinese official ‘drowned by investigators’

Six investigators trying to extract a confession held Yu Qiyi’s head under icy water.

Assets regulator Jiang Jiemin is under investigation for suspected discipline violations

China continues crackdown on corruption

China is investigating the head of its state assets regulator, a former top energy executive, for “serious discipline violations”, the government said today in what appears to be a deepening crackdown on corruption and push for reform.

Former Public Security Minister Zhou Yongkang is to be investigated

China’s corruption crackdown goes all the way to the top, with former security tsar to be investigated

Member of Communist Party’s most powerful body the latest to be investigated in Xi’s shake-up

Bo Xilai reads his closing remarks on the final day of his trial

China: Bo Xilai corruption trial ends with politician claiming love triangle was reason for his downfall

Disgraced statesman denounces wife and former right hand man and attempts to portray himself as honest man surrounded by corruption

Postcard from... Berlin

Florin Cioaba: Activist and 'King of the Roma'

Florin Cioaba was the son of the Romanian Roma leader Ion Cioaba. His ancestors had been a powerful Roma family for several generations but they were no strangers to misfortune. Ion was deported, with thousands of other Romani people to Transdniestria in 1942 by the pro-Nazi Romanian dictator Ion Antonescu. With most of their property confiscated they were only allowed to carry hand luggage, with which they were supposed to survive the winter.

Tosca

Classical review: Tosca - Adam Spreadbury-Maher's production doesn't quite meet expectations

OperaUpClose specialises in bold transpositions, best exemplified by its witty setting of Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera in an IKEA store. For Tosca their writer-director Adam Spreadbury-Maher has effected a different kind of transposition, but one which is entirely logical.

Romanian princess accused of running illegal cockfighting operation from Oregon ranch

Princess Irina is the daughter of the last king of Romania

Lothar Bisky died on 13 August at the age of 71

Lothar Bisky: Communist who helped former comrades enter the political mainstream in reunified Germany

Lothar Bisky, who died on 13 August at the age of 71, was a politican, who after German reunification helped steer discredited East German communists into the mainstream of national politics. He was among a handful of East German Communists who took the helm of the discredited former ruling Socialist Unity Party following the opening of the Berlin Wall and the removal of the hard-line leadership. They transformed the former Stalinist party into a Western-style left-wing movement that still enjoys support, mostly in former Communist areas of eastern Germany.

Senior Chinese forensic scientist resigns in protest over mishandled cases

Wang Xuemei claimed that the officially recorded circumstances of British businessman’s death were wrong.

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