China's Ai Weiwei loses appeal against tax fine

Activist artist Ai Weiwei says Chinese authorities have rejected his second attempt to appeal a $2.4 million tax fine, meaning his design company will have to pay the penalty.
Ai and his supporters have interpreted the fine as official retaliation against his activism.
Ai says he wasn't surprised by Thursday's ruling by the Beijing No. 2 People's Intermediate Court but is disappointed and considers the judgment a "bad omen" for the development of China's legal system.
Ai says authorities have yet to return his passport, effectively barring him from leaving the country. The passport was taken after Ai was detained for three months last year. Authorities had said they would give it back after a probationary period that ended in June.