Is China's Communist Party Putting Itself on Trial?
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Is China's Communist Party Putting Itself on Trial?

A former candidate to be leader of China went on trial today on corruption charges minor compared to things he's widely known to have done.  But Bo Xilai is staging a spirited defense. We learn why the trial is a major event for China's new leadership and what domestic and foreign consequences are likely. Also, the world reacts to the latest attacks in Syria, and one of Turkey's most influential figures -- in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains.

Banner image: Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai stands trial inside the court in Jinan, Shandong province August 22, 2013, in this photo released by Jinan Intermediate People's Court. Photo: Jinan Intermediate People's Court/Handout via Reuters


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Grisly videos of dead children and people gasping for breath are reportedly evidence that Syria's al-Assad regime attacked a neighborhood near Damascus yesterday using chemical weapons. The big question is whether UN weapons inspectors will be allowed to go to the scene. Colum Lynch is UN correspondent for the Washington Post.


Main Topic

Is China's Communist Party Putting Itself on Trial? ()

China's trial of the century is not following the political script that was widely predicted. On Day One, former Communist Party honcho Bo Xilai vigorously defended himself, and claimed his bribery confessions had been coerced. It's a crucial event for new Party Chief, Xi Jinping, against a background of public outrage over corruption and demands to restore the era of Mao Tse Dung. Will a trial that dramatizes graft and economic inequality lead to reform?  Will it make any difference in China's relations with the US and the rest of the world?


Today's Talking Point

The Reclusive Preacher Who Holds Sway over Turkish Politics ()

Fethullah Gülen is an Islamic spiritual leader said to influence millions of Turks, including members of the police and the judiciary. He has followers all over the world, and they've established 130 charter schools here in the US. But for 14 years, he's lived in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains and gives no interviews, until he spoke to Jamie Tarabay. A senior staff writer at Al Jazeera America and former Baghdad Bureau Chief for NPR, she's author of A Crazy Occupation: Eyewitness to the Intifada. Her rare interview with Gülen appeared last week in the Atlantic.


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