China carried out a swift death sentence against the former head of its food and drug administration today, in an apparent reaction to concerns about the safety of its exports. Zheng Xiaoyu was killed just over 2 weeks after the supreme court rejected his appeal on a May conviction for accepting bribes while head of the watchdog government arm.
China accounts for more than half of the world's executions, but justice against Zheng was severe and expeditious even for the autocratic superpower. The Times reports that the move was meant as a display both of China's sincerity in combating the tainted food scandal that has rocked trade markets recently and, paradoxically, of its increasingly meticulous review of executions. (Read more China stories.)