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from Photographers' Blog:

The most wanted photograph in China

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Jinan, China

By Carlos Barria

As the morning approached, reporters, photographers and cameramen from national and foreign media organizations gathered outside the Jinan Intermediate People's Court to cover the final chapter in the trial of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai.

The stage for this story was Jinan, in the northeastern coastal province of Shandong. This story had all the elements of a great thriller: power, corruption, romance and murder. With no access to the courtroom itself, the foreign media and the general public relied on images provided by the court for glimpses of the trial. Also, for the first time China’s judicial system provided court transcripts, published on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.

The opportunities for photographing Bo Xilai stood at about zero. Authorities only allowed media to stake out the courthouse from a fenced area across the street, and even there we had to go through a security scan to get in. Some journalists complained that during the first morning of the trial police denied them movement in and out of this area to cover protests that were going on nearby.

With little room to move, photographers started to think about how to photograph Bo, who hadn’t been seen since March of 2012 during a political event. The only chance we could see was his arrival to and exit from the court. But all the vehicles coming and going from the building used tinted glass.

from India Insight:

India takes calm approach to Arundhati Roy’s Kashmir remarks

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Prize-winning author and activist Arundhati Roy gestures during an interview with Reuters in New Delhi. REUTERS/B Mathur

After initial signs that India's government might move to censure controversial remarks by novelist and activist Arundhati Roy, it appears New Delhi has sidestepped a potential political minefield with U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to the country only a week away.

On Sunday, Roy told a conference in New Delhi that Kashmir has "never been an integral part of India", sparking a strong backlash.

from India Insight:

Back to the Lalit Modi saga

Lalit ModiIn India, a thin line separates bravado from infamy. In a country that swears by its Bollywood potboilers, it does not take long to turn a one-time hero into a villain.

And the perfect example is Lalit Modi -- once head of India's $4 billion cricket premier league, he was first removed from his post after a tax scandal and later booted out of the cash-rich Indian cricket board.

from The Great Debate (India):

Who should open the 2010 Commonwealth Games?

The latest controversy to hit the Delhi Commonwealth Games is the question of who is going to inaugurate it.

A labourer stands in front of boards advertising the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi September 23, 2010. REUTERS/Mansi ThapliyalThe opening ceremony for the two-week sporting event, held every four years for former British colonies, is on Oct 3.

from The Great Debate (India):

A relook at moral policing: Khushboo’s case

(Pinky Anand is a Supreme Court lawyer who fought the case on behalf of Khushboo. The views expressed here are her own)

Pinky AnandThe recent Supreme Court judgement in Khushboo's case addresses interesting questions with far-reaching impact. In a short span, we have witnessed various episodes of moral policing ranging from violent physical attacks, to criminal complaints, to Public Interest Litigation (PILs) in courts.

from India Insight:

Has Shashi Tharoor dug his own political grave?

Is it too early to write the political obituary of Shashi Tharoor, who over the weekend resigned from the post of junior foreign minister not even a year into holding the post?

Shashi TharoorSome commentators have already written him off. Others, including a report in the Hindustan Times on Tuesday, cite Congress party sources to say Tharoor has not lost all the goodwill of the leadership and could one day make a comeback.

from India Insight:

Amitabh Bachchan and politics of celebrity

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Amitabh Bachchan is caught in a political controversy yet again. The 67-year old-actor finds himself in the middle of a row over his presence at government functions in Mumbai and Pune.

Amitabh BachchanWhile no official reason has been given, Bachchan’s presence at a government function in Mumbai last week has raised hackles in the Congress party, ostensibly because of Bachchan's bitter relationship with the Gandhi family.

from India Insight:

Applaud and preserve Sachin-like champions — can we?

Tendulkar's batting magnificence has been chronicled so much over the years that anything written about him generates as much passion as he does on any cricket field.

Sachin Tendulkar celebrates his double century during the second one-day international cricket match against South Africa in Gwalior February 24, 2010.  REUTERS/Punit ParanjpeHis 200-run spectacle against South Africa was another opportunity for his fans to erupt, cheer, sing and write praises.

from India Insight:

Much ado in Kashmir over Padma Shri for Mir

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It has come as a surprise to many that Ghulam Mohammad Mir, often described as Kashmir's first counter-insurgent, has been honoured with the Padma Shri, one of India's highest civilian awards.

Mir alias Momma Kana, 60, who was awarded for public service, has been accused of involvement in cases of extortion and attempted murder.

from India Insight:

Himalayan glacier meltdown: gospel truth?

Kashmiri horsemen walk over a glacier near Sheshnag, 130 km southeast of Srinagar, June 12, 2006. REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw/FilesTwenty-five years from now, the Himalayan glaciers would have almost disappeared. Almost.

Perhaps that foreboding has been stifled. The U.N. body which issued an alarmist warning that the Himalayan glaciers might vanish by 2035 due to climate change is re-examining its report.

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