High School OT.com - Three Holiday Invitational alums taken in NBA Draft
"We would spend up to 1,000 yuan ($160) on a single meal."'Stability maintenance'China's ruling Communist party keeps a tight grip on power, frequently detaining those who speak out against government abuses.Over the last decade domestic security spending has soared, regularly exceeding Beijing's declared military outlays.It has built a vast "stability maintenance" apparatus and President Xi Jinping has sought to further stifle dissent since his 2012 ascension to the top of the ruling party.State-enforced travel spiked this year ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown -- where the army killed hundreds of protesters -- on 4 June.According to US-based advocacy group Human Rights in China, 15 people were taken on forced vacations beforehand."I've just returned from Beijing after being travelled," Yan Zhengxue, a painter and government critic, told AFP.Police "went with me everyday, and paid for everything" on a trip to Ningxia in the northwest, including the towering dunes of the Tengger desert."If you refuse to go travelling, there will be consequences," he said. "You have to go. Even though you are at tourist sites, you have been forced to go, so you're not in the mood to enjoy it."Government personnel relish the trips, some regular forced travellers suggest."We ate the best food, and drank the best alcohol. The security officials enjoyed it too. Not just any security official can go on this kind of trip, they need to be above a certain rank," said environmental campaigner Wu Lihong, adding he was taken to the ancient city of Xian for two weeks in March."Quite a few" officials from Beijing's secretive ministry of state security accompanied him, he said.They stayed at Xian's "best hotel", he said, and saw the Unesco-listed Terracotta Warriors, as well as the "Wild Goose Pagoda", a Tang dynasty tower that hosts night-time laser shows."They are usually stuck inside using their computers and reading the papers, but by accompanying me they have a chance to travel and eat well," he added.'Moving jail'When Chinese citizens travel to Beijing seeking redress from higher authorities for local government abuses they risk detention in makeshift "black jails", where they are sometimes beaten before being sent home.More persistent ones, though, are targeted for holidays."If you're really grassroots you'll be held in a black jail. Forced travel is for fairly well-known activists," said Maya Wang, of US-based campaign group Human Rights Watch."It's a form of illegal detention," she added. "This kind of forced travel depriving people of their freedom is unlawful."China's foreign ministry often says that detained activists are treated according to the law. The public security ministry did not respond to a request for comment.Wang Rongwen, a longtime petitioner from Sichuan in the southwest, had her third trip ahead of the Tiananmen anniversary, with six officials taking her to the majestic peaks and gurgling waterfalls of the Tiantai mountains.During the Communist party's 2012 Congress she was brought to a hotel that boasts a chandeliered restaurant, marble-floored lobby and king-sized beds.But she did not enjoy the experiences, she said."Being travelled is no better than being in a moving jail."AFP
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Word of God Champions over New Hampton 58 to 53. Photo by CHRIS BAIRD E-mail Story The HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational brings in top high school basketball talent every year, and on Thursday night a few past players advanced their careers to the NBA. Three Holiday Invitational alumni were selected in the NBA Draft on Thursday, and all three went in the first 14 picks. The three selected players were Nik Stauskas, Noah Vonleh and T.J. Warren. Stauskas (Michigan) was selected eighth overall by the Sacramento Kings. He came to the Holiday Invitational in 2011 with Southborough (Mass.) St. Mark's.
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