China's late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平) "resolutely backed" the Tiananmen Square Massacre 15 years ago, former premier Li Peng (李鵬) said in a rare commentary on the bloody incident he has long been blamed for. \nLi was premier when Chinese soldiers were ordered into Tiananmen Square in Beijing to quell a month-long rally by students demanding more democracy in communist China. He and Deng have been the target of blame for the resulting massacre on June 4 and June 5, 1989. \nBut in an article in the Communist Party magazine Seeking Truth cited widely by Hong Kong media yesterday, Li said it was Deng who made the decision to send in the troops. \n"In the spring and summer of 1989, a serious political disturbance took place in China," Li reportedly wrote. "Comrade Deng Xiaoping -- along with other party elders -- gave the party leadership their firm and full support to put down the political disturbance using forceful measures." \nLi's comments are among the most explicit made about the event, on which Chinese authorities maintain a strict gag. \nIt follows reports authorities had blocked his efforts to publish memoirs that sought to clear him from blame for the massacre. \nIn March, the Chinese-language magazine Yazhou Zhoukan claimed Li's nearly 300,000-word manuscript, entitled The Key Moment, detailed how important decisions at the time were not made by him as widely believed. But he was told it was inappropriate to publish the book for the time being. \nIn his article, Li also said Deng decided to ignore opposition in Hong Kong and push for the construction of the country's largest nuclear power plant at nearby Daya Bay on the coast of southern Guangdong Province. \nThe plan caused a stir in Hong Kong, where environmentalists were worried over possible radioactive leaks. \nLi, who became premier in 1988, also recalled how Deng advised him, then a timid apprentice, to deal with the daunting job. \n"Comrade Xiaoping said: What I am worried about is that you are not bold enough to carry out your work. You have to study hard and train yourself in work in order to make yourself more mature," Li was quoted as writing. \nOther former leaders also wrote articles for Seeking Truth to mark the centenary of Deng's birth this Sunday, but only Li referred directly to the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
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Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
LIFELONG LOSS: Jiro Hamasumi, who was not quite born when an atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, lost his father and other relatives, but said he thinks about his father daily As Japan marks 75 years since the devastating attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the last generation of nuclear bomb survivors is working to ensure their message lives on after them. The “hibakusha” — literally “person affected by the bomb” — have for decades been a powerful voice calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. There are an estimated 136,700 left, many of whom were infants or soon to be born at the time of the attacks. The average age of a survivor now is a little over 83, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health, lending an urgency as they share their testimonies