China to Launch Corruption Probe Into Former Senior Politician: Report
A Hong Kong newspaper says China has decided to start a corruption investigation into retired politician Zhou Yongkang, who until last year was one of the country's elite leaders.
The South China Morning Post on Friday said the decision to launch the investigation was confirmed by sources "familiar with the leadership thinking" of China's Communist Party.
The 70-year-old Zhou was a member of the elite Politburo Standing Committee, China's highest governing body, from 2007 to 2012. He also oversaw China's sprawling state security apparatus.
China's government has not commented on any investigation. If confirmed, it would be the first time in decades that the party has investigated economic crimes by a former or current Standing Committee member.
Joseph Cheng, a professor of political science at the City University of Hong Kong, tells VOA he thinks it is not likely that President Xi Jinping, who just came to power last year, would pursue graft charges against such a prominent, well-connected ex-official.
Nearly 5,000 Firefighters Battling California Wildfire
Firefighters in ((the western U.S. state of)) California say inaccessible, steep terrain and extreme fire behavior are hampering efforts to contain a massive wildfire that is threatening a famous national park.
Nearly 5,000 firefighters are battling the Rim Fire but have had to rely heavily on aircraft to slow the spread of the fire.
The U.S. Forest Service said Friday the massive blaze has swelled to more that 800 square kilometers and consumed about 82,000 hectares of land, including some of Yosemite National Park.
The fire is about one-third contained. Authorities are using an unmanned military Predator drone, similar to those used in Afghanistan, to provide information on new fires they would otherwise not be able to see.
The U.S. Forest Service says firefighters expect to fully contain the Rim Fire by September 20.