In the rarefied air of China's leadership circle, anything that strays from strict protocol becomes grist for the rumor mill.
So it is with the mysterious and sudden disappearance of Xi Jinping, the presumptive heir to President Hu Jintao.
Xi, 59, has inexplicably missed a series of important meetings with foreign dignitaries in the past week, including one with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Beijing. The last time anyone saw him in public was Sept. 1.
Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 4:15 pm
By Eyder Peralta
Many times what happens far away ends up coded in numbers and officialdom.
Like this weekend, a blast near NATO headquarters in Afghanistan killed at least six. NPR's Dana Farrington noted that a suicide bomber blew himself up near the entrance of Camp Eggers, where many children who work on the streets set up to sell trinkets.