. China News .

Bo's son 'suspected in plot to poison wife': report
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Oct 7, 2012

Months before his fall from power, Chinese politician Bo Xilai suspected a plot to poison his second wife and questioned whether his son by his first marriage was involved, a report said Sunday.

The second wife Gu Kailai was herself convicted in August of fatally poisoning a British businessman.

The latest revelation in the murder and corruption scandal, which brought Bo down and exposed deep divisions in China's ruling Communist Party ahead of a once-in-a-decade leadership change, came from Bo's ex-wife Li Danyu.

She told the New York Times -- which described the saga as "Shakespearean" -- that months before Bo fell, he told her brother he had forensic evidence of a plot to kill Gu, his current wife.

Bo reportedly said the suspected mastermind was his own son with Li, Li Wangzhi who is also known as Brendan Li. He is a graduate of Columbia University and works in finance in Beijing.

The New York Times said Bo's brother-in-law described the suspicions as outlandish and the politician appeared relieved.

Li Danyu said she believed the source of the accusations against her son was Gu herself. "She can be that paranoid," the paper quoted her as saying.

Official accounts of Gu's conviction for poisoning Briton Neil Heywood said she believed he was a threat to her own son Bo Guagua. She was given a suspended death sentence, which is normally commuted to life in prison.

The allegations against her became public earlier this year after Bo's former key aide and Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun fled to a US consulate to seek asylum. They have since spiralled into the Communist Party's worst scandal in decades.

State media said late last month that Bo had been expelled from the party and would be tried on charges including corruption and abuse of power.

It also announced that a key party congress, when a new generation of leaders will take over, would begin on November 8.

Bo was once seen as a top candidate for promotion to the party's highest echelons of power. His fate and the congress date had been the subject of intense speculation over whether the scandal would unsettle the transition.

No date has so far been set for Bo's trial.

Li and Bo met in 1975, towards the end of the Cultural Revolution. Their son was born in 1977 but their divorce was finalised in 1984.

The New York Times cited Li Xiaolin, a lawyer linked to Gu who is no relation to Bo's first wife, as saying the family believed Gu was poisoned years ago using a heavy metal.

The lawyer did not immediately respond to requests for comment by AFP on Sunday.

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Protest planned for British badger cull
London (UPI) Oct 5, 2012 - Opponents of a proposed cull of badgers in Britain say they'll set up a protest camp on property owned by the royal family.

Britain's Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has given the go-ahead for a pilot cull to test whether shooting free-running badgers can help stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis.

Farmers claim badgers can spread the cattle disease and want to kill off the disease in wildlife.

Dunster Estate, owned by the Crown, is included in the proposed cull area in West Somerset, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

A spokesman for Stop the Cull said a protest camp would be set up on the 3,800-acre estate, which includes a number of historic properties.

"As soon as the cull starts we are going to set up protest camp on the Crown Estate," he said. "They can come and evict us but it will be very costly."

A spokesman for the Crown Estate, which manages the Queen's property, said farmers on the estate have been given permission to take part in the cull.

"The Crown Estate recognizes that Bovine TB is a major problem for farmers, including our tenants, and is cooperating with Natural England to allow access to our land for the pilot schemes, where required," the spokesman said.


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Ai Weiwei gets first big US show, shaped by his plight
Washington (AFP) Oct 2, 2012
The first US survey of the work of Ai Weiwei opens this weekend in Washington, shaped - in the words of the dissident artist himself - by his ongoing struggle with the powers that be in Beijing. "Ai Weiwei: According to What?" takes up an entire floor of the Hirshhorn Museum with photographs, videos, sculptures, installations and, on the bare white walls, thought-provoking quotations from ... read more

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