Rather lost in the Southern Weekly kerfuffle - which looks to be drawing to a sort-of-happy-ending, about which I'm pleasantly surprised, though I fear petty vengeance against the people involved later* - has been a pretty important piece of news; reform, possibly abolition, of the reeducation-through-labor system, which allowed the police to hand out up to four year sentences without trial or, for the most part, legal recourse.
GT and the Guardian both have decent coverage. This doesn't mean an end to labor camps, since the regular judicial system also hands down labor sentences. But it's a significant blow to arbitrary power, and might mean reform of the treatment of petitioners - a common target of "reeducation" sentences.
The obvious fear, however, is that the system will stay in place, but with a new legal veneer - like the "secret detention" laws passed last year. Reform would still make it more difficult for the local governments to use, and would allow some kind of legal challenges, as limited and dangerous as those are. Local governments want to hang onto the system not only to control petitioners and "troublemakers" but also because there's a powerful financial motivation - plenty of official collusion in just what that labor's used for.
*I've also been cheered by the solidarity shown, whenever possible, by other papers, with a certain glaring exception.