News of the day via the BBC World Service Newshour from November 16, 1997. Top stories included Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng released from prison and sent to the U.S. in exile. French Communist Party leader Georges Marchais dies in Paris. Kuwait voices opposition to lending support to a U.S. led action in Iraq. Kenya elections and the first woman running for President. The Sleaze factor rampant in Parliament and Tony Blair answers charges. And 42nd street and Times Square undergoes a dramatic change.
November 16, 2011

Wei-Jingsheng--resized.jpg
Wei Jingsheng - exiled to the U.S. - perceived as punishment.


Looking at the world for this day in history via the BBC World Service and their in-depth program Newshour for November 16, 1997.

The news on this day was the release from prison of Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng and his subsequent exile to the U.S. - even though Weng wanted to stay, the Chinese insisted he pack his bags and go Capitalist. Meanwhile, from Paris came news that French Communist Party leader Georges Marchais had died. From the Middle-East came news that Kuwait, once the bone of contention over its invasion by Iraq and the subsequent Desert Storm that ensued, voiced a strong veto to a Kuwaiti involvement in any military action against Iraq, as Saddam Hussein was busy rattling swords in the region yet again.

In Parliament the operative word was Sleaze as members of Tony Blair's ruling party were charged with a variety of dirty and unethical dealings. Blair summoned up a hurried defense of his party, denying his kids were up to anything nasty.

The Presidential elections in Kenya were witnessing a first - a woman running for the office of President. Though not expected to grab the coveted seat, all eyes were on this new and revelatory turn of events for the African nation.

And New York was wrestling over the image change brought about by the recent facelift on 42nd Street and Times Square. In what was once a haven for X-rated movie houses and 7-foot Trannies, the former dens of inequity were transformed into a Disney-esque fun zone, with kid friendly stores and G-rated Legit houses running The Lion King.

The times, they were a-changin' and it was reported by the BBC on November 16, 1997.

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