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Insider fire

"Insider fire" Continued...

All in the family

A New York Times exposé of possible corruption surrounding China’s prime minister, Wen Jiabao, proved embarrassing to the country’s Communist Party. Though “Grandpa Wen” has crafted himself a reputation as a populist and spoken of his impoverished childhood, Times reporter David Barboza uncovered a partially disguised network of investments indicating Wen’s family members—including his wife, son, brother, and 90-year-old mother—have controlled assets worth $2.7 billion or more. Much of the family wealth accumulated after Wen became vice prime minister in 1998, suggesting family members used clout to land lucrative business deals. (Lawyers for the family called the report “untrue” and denied Wen influenced any deals.)

Wen has previously condemned the abuse of government power by officials’ family members, and Communist Party officials are trying to cultivate a reputation for rooting out corruption. Government censors tried to stop the report from reaching Chinese citizens: Only hours after the Times posted the story, they blocked the paper’s English and Chinese-language websites.

Save the date(s)

Many Christians pray for persecuted believers year-round, but advocacy groups mark particular days each year for focused prayer. The World Evangelical Alliance, a N.Y.-based group, encouraged Christians to observe the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church on Nov. 4 (See “Not forsaken,” Nov. 3, 2012). Other advocacy groups—like Open Doors USA—designated Nov. 11 as a day for American churches to observe the day of prayer, while still others used Nov. 1, All Saints’ Day. Said D.C.-based International Christian Concern: “What matters is that you take the time to educate your congregation about the plight of their persecuted brothers and sisters.”

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