Beijing jails tycoon for 13 years

Today'sheadlines: In the Philippines a film sparks criticism over historical revisionism; Bhutan will ban the import of non-commercial vehicles; Glasgow will return artifacts to India; Russia risks running out of alcohol for New Year's.


Xia Jianhua, a billionaire with Chinese and Canadian citizenship, was sentenced to 13 years in prison and his company fined billion. He was last seen in 2017 when he was taken from a luxury hotel in Hong Kong. The Canadian Embassy was denied access to the trial, which began in July.


A film released this month in the Philippines is drawing criticism for historical revisionism: the film, titled "Maid in Malacanang" (the presidential palace) is set in 1986 and would show the last three days in power of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, father of the current president. Grosses were .5 billion, the highest since the pandemic.


Bhutan will ban the import of all but commercial vehicles because of dwindling foreign exchange reserves. The country is grappling with rising oil prices and a two-year absence of tourists due to anti-covid measures.


The Glasgow museum will return seven artifacts to India. "We don't know how the objects will be used once they are returned to India, " said manager Duncan Dornan. "But they are significant objects and it's as important a time in India as it is in Glasgow, so I'm sure they will get a lot of public attention."


Russia is in danger of heading toward a teetotal New Year, due to a growing deficit of high-alcohol beverages and "Russian champagne" wine, as warned by the Association of Retail Companies, which has officially asked the government to extend illegal parallel exports to spirits, to avoid a situation that would be catastrophic for Russians.


To support the military operation in Ukraine among the Crimean population, which is proving very skeptical about it, a mass sale of any kind of object with President Putin's face on it has been arranged: carpets, paintings, medals, statuettes, matrioške and many other propaganda gadgets.