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National flags of China and Maldives fly on Tiananmen Square. Photo: VCG / VCG via Getty Images)

A newly declassified cable from the British Ambassador to China at the time, Sir Alan Donald, describes the civilian deaths at the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre as at a "minimum estimate" of 10,000, The Independent reports. The document was reportedly written on June 5, just about 24 hours after the massacre.

Why it matters: That's much higher than previous estimates and disclosures; the Chinese government claims between 200 and 300 were killed and the Chinese Red Cross claims about 2,700 were killed. The document also provides more gruesome details than previously disclosed. In 2014, NTDTV reported that a Chinese informer reported 10,454 fatalities. The Chinese government has said the response to the protests at Tiananmen Square was a legitimate defense against a riot or rebellion.

The details described in the secret document:

  • Wounded female students were bayoneted while begging for their lives.
  • Students were "mown down" at "65kph," about 40 mph, run over "time and time again to make, quote 'pie' unquote, and remains collected by bulldozer."
  • "Remains incinerated and then hosed down drains," the cable reads. "27 Army ordered to spare no one."
  • The cable indicates the massacre didn't end after the first wave of killings.

Sir Alan Donald's source: A "good friend" in China's State Council, who had "previously proved reliable and was careful to separate fact from speculation and rumour."

Go deeper

Momentum builds to ban lawmakers from trading stocks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Some progressive Democrats and MAGA Republicans are uniting on a proposal to ban sitting lawmakers from trading individual stocks, although it's unlikely that leadership will bring the bill up for a vote.

Why it matters: Members of Congress have great power to move stock prices, and great financial incentives to do so.

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: The Weather Prediction Center said in a storm summary Monday that winter storm warnings are still in effect for portions of the Central Appalachians, Ohio Valley, interior Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, while portions of the Central Appalachians and coastal New England are under high wind warnings.

Colleyville Rabbi credits survival to active-shooter training

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, one of the people taken hostage in a synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, said in an interview with CBS Monday that he initially took in the man because he thought he needed shelter.

The big picture: Cytron-Walker said he spoke to the hostage taker, identified by the FBI as 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram, for several minutes and made him tea before Akram took the rabbi and three other people hostage during Shabbat services for around 11 hours in Colleyville, Texas.

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