Chatter: Wang Lijun jailed over Bo Xilai scandal




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Need to know:
Wang Lijun, the former police chief at the center of China's biggest political scandal in decades, has been jailed for 15 years. After a two-day, closed-door hearing, a judge found Wang guilty of bending the law for selfish ends, defection, abuse of power and bribe-taking. 

Wang, to recap, is the once celebrated policeman with a reputation for fighting corruption who triggered the downfall of his ex-boss and rising political star, Bo Xilai, by telling US diplomats that Bo's wife had murdered a British businessman after an argument. She has since been given a suspended death sentence.

Many believe Wang's fate was decided long ago. Analysts say he most likely struck a sentencing deal with the Communist Party – a relatively common occurrence with high-profile politicians in China's judicial system.

Want to know:
In equally dramatic China news, Apple supplier Foxconn Technology has been forced to halt production at one of its Chinese factories after a riot there by workers.

Reports say the brawl broke out in an employee dormitory in the northern city of Taiyuan, and escalated into a massive fight involving some 2,000 people. As many as 5,000 security officers were deployed to restore order; 40 workers were injured and several arrested. 

Foxconn said the incident was down to a "personal dispute" between employees, and had nothing to do with allegedly questionable working practices at its plants. However, murmurings on Chinese social networks tell a different tale: microbloggers suggest that the fight may have been triggered by security guards beating a worker.

Dull but important:
Vietnam has sentenced three bloggers to between four and 12 years in jail for spreading "anti-government propaganda."

The trio co-founded the "Free Journalists Club," a group of citizens who publish their views on rights abuses, corruption and foreign policy online. They say they're exercising their right to express peaceful political dissent; a court says they've been "abusing the popularity of the internet to post articles which undermined and blackened [Vietnam's] leaders, criticised the [Communist] party [and] destroyed people's trust in the state."

Human rights activists say the case is the latest instance of the Vietnamese government cracking down unfairly on those who oppose it – and particularly those who blog about it.

Just because:
Things we have learned from last night's Emmy Awards, 1: Homeland is everyone's favorite TV show. Not only did the post-Iraq thriller scoop three acting and writing awards, it was named best drama series overall. Not bad for a (relatively) new guy.

2: Yes, Mad Men has got worse. Having won best drama for the past four years, Don Draper et al. were hoping to make it a record five. They didn't. Nothing's been the same since Don got married. Again.

3: It's time to get cable. Homeland, Mad Men and all the other nominees for best drama were broadcast on cable channels rather than any of the main networks. Or you could just, like, read a book or something.

Strange but true:
Crocs on a plane! (Q: Will that trope ever get old? A: No.) Australian flyers Quantas – tagline: "The world's safest airline" – has confirmed that a crocodile recently escaped from its cage during a domestic flight.

Unlucky baggage handlers discovered the reptile – presumably cold, cramped and mad as hell – as they were unloading luggage at Melbourne airport. Reassuringly for all, Quantas says the crocodile "was not fully grown." 

The airline might want to add "world's most fauna-friendly" to its advertising: in June, it was force to ground one its jets after flight attendants discovered a nest of stowaway baby rats in the cabin.