World

3:23am

Mon April 30, 2012
Asia

Two Crises Highlight China's Social Media Struggles

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 7:13 am

Blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng, seen in this image from a YouTube video, escaped last week after 19 months under house arrest. Searches for his name are banned on China's Twitter-like services.
AP

China is clamping down on social media as it grapples with a crisis over the escape of a high-profile dissident, apparently to U.S. protection. The case presents new difficulties for a Chinese leadership already struggling to deal with the scandalous downfall of a powerful politician, and it complicates U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Beijing this week.

Yet China's use of social media in dealing with these two recent crises has been a study in contrasts.

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1:36am

Mon April 30, 2012
Opinion

Living To 100: The Story Of India's Pocket Hercules

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 6:39 am

Centenarian Manohar Aich sits at his home in Kolkata, India. Aich stood 4 feet 11 inches at his tallest, earning him the nickname "Pocket Hercules."
Bishan Samaddar

A fad that has been sweeping through middle-class India might look familiar to some Americans — it's a craze for fancy gym equipment. But when commentator Sandip Roy visited India's first Mr. Universe (who is known as the "Pocket Hercules") he found that the body builder has little patience for the new trend.

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1:34am

Mon April 30, 2012
Asia

Drama Amid Indonesia's Disappearing Mangroves

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 5:36 am

A man gathering firewood to sell cuts down mangrove trees in the coastal area of Medan city on Indonesia's Sumatra island on Jan. 31. The country, which has one-quarter of the world's mangroves, is losing them at a rate of 6 percent a year. The coastal forests play important ecological and environmental roles.
Suntanta Aditya AFP/Getty Images

The rising tide laps at the feet of local children and fishermen and submerges all but the tops of the mangrove trees of Tiwoho village in Indonesia's North Sulawesi province. At one degree of latitude north of the equator, the climate here is about the same all year round: hot, wet and perfect for the forests of salt-tolerant trees that grow along sheltered coastlines.

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3:09pm

Sun April 29, 2012
The Two-Way

State Of Emergency Raises The Stakes In Sudan

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 4:42 am

Tensions are rising between Sudan and it's recently-indepedent neighbor, South Sudan.
Adriane Ohanesian AFP/Getty Images

Sudan has declared a state of emergency as tensions mount along the disputed border it shares with its new neighbor, South Sudan.

As the AP reports, declaring a state of emergency gives the government expanded powers of arrest. On Saturday, Sudanese officials claimed they had arrested four people, including three foreigners.

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7:38am

Sun April 29, 2012
Asia

Chinese Activist's Escape Quickens A Quiet Diplomacy

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 10:31 am

Chinese activist Chen Guangchen is believed to be under U.S. protection, possibly at the U.S. embassy in Beijing.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

A senior U.S. official, Kurt Campbell, has arrived on an unscheduled trip to Beijing, apparently to negotiate over Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, believed to be under U.S. protection. The fate of the activist puts both China and the U.S. in a tricky diplomatic bind, with no easy answers.

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