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May 31, 2013

China’s Tiananmen Mothers criticize Xi for lack of reforms

BEIJING (Reuters) – A group of families demanding justice for the victims of China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown has denounced new President Xi Jinping for failing to launch political reforms, saying he was taking China “backwards towards Maoist orthodoxy”.

The Tiananmen Mothers activist group has long urged the leadership to open a dialogue and provide a reassessment of the 1989 pro-democracy movement, bloodily suppressed on June 4 that year by the government which labeled it “counter-revolutionary”.

May 22, 2013

China’s Ai Weiwei launches musical career with heavy metal “Dumbass” single

BEIJING (Reuters) – Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei made his first foray into the musical world on Wednesday with the release of the top single from his debut album, a song called “Dumbass” that takes inspiration from his detention in 2011.

The video for the heavy metal song, which was directed by Ai with cinematography by acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Doyle, depicts Ai’s 81 days in secretive detention in 2011, which sparked an international outcry.

May 19, 2013

Greying China taps rural elderly to care for those even older

QIANTUN, China, May 19 (Reuters) – Two years short of 70,
Zhang Guosheng spends his days caring for an 81-year-old fellow
villager – washing his clothes, bringing meals to his bed, and
keeping him company – a routine he’ll keep up until he himself
needs the type of care he is now giving.

“Living here is better than staying at home alone. We help
each other and have a common language,” said the spritely Zhang,
an enthusiastic dancer. “We are very happy here.”

Apr 21, 2013

Rescuers struggle to reach China quake zone as toll climbs

LUSHAN, China (Reuters) – Rescuers struggled to reach a remote corner of southwestern China on Sunday as the toll of the dead and missing from the country’s worst earthquake in three years climbed to 203 with more than 11,000 injured.

The 6.6 magnitude quake struck in Lushan county, near the city of Ya’an in the southwestern province of Sichuan, close to where a devastating 7.9 temblor hit in May 2008 killing some 70,000.

Apr 12, 2013

North Korean helicopter puts on lonely show of force

DANDONG, China, April 12 (Reuters) – A single,
ancient-looking North Korean helicopter dropped five
paratroopers on their side of the Chinese border on Friday in a
rather less-than-defiant, lonely show of force following weeks
of angry war rhetoric from Pyongyang.

North Korea has ramped up its threats after being hit by new
U.N. sanctions since carrying out a third nuclear test in
February, prompting the United States to fly stealth jets over
the peninsula and to prepare anti-missile systems for Guam and
Alaska.

Apr 10, 2013

China halts some overland tourism to North Korea-travel agencies

DANDONG, China (Reuters) – Some Chinese tour operators have halted travel to North Korea at the behest of local authorities and because of rising safety concerns as Pyongyang whips up war rhetoric following weeks of tension on the Korean peninsula.

Authorities in the northeastern city of Dandong have told tour agencies to halt overland tourism into North Korea, local travel agents said on Wednesday.

Oct 12, 2012

China Nobel winner Mo Yan calls for jailed laureate’s freedom

GAOMI, China (Reuters) – Chinese Nobel Literature Prize winner Mo Yan unexpectedly called for the release of jailed compatriot Liu Xiaobo, who won the Nobel Peace Prize two years ago, having come under fire from rights activists for not speaking up for him.

The author, a portly 57-year-old whose adopted pen name Mo Yan means “don’t speak”, said he had read some of Liu’s literary criticisms in the 1980s, but that he had no understanding of Liu’s work once it had turned towards politics.

Sep 15, 2012

Anti-Japan protests erupt in China over islands row

BEIJING, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Thousands of protesters
besieged the Japanese embassy in Beijing on Saturday, hurling
rocks and bottles at the building as police struggled to keep
control, amid growing tensions between Asia’s two biggest
economies over a group of disputed islands.

Paramilitary police with shields and batons barricaded the
embassy, holding back slogan-chanting, flag-waving protesters
who at times appeared to be trying to storm the building.

Jul 21, 2012

Judo “wrestler” mining for more gold for Mongolia

ULAN BATOR (Reuters) – Mongolian judoka Naidan Tuvshinbayar begins the day jogging through the glistening grasslands he says helped make him the country’s first Olympic gold medalist.

Back in the training centre, set in verdant hills 1,400 meters above sea level, he wiggles his hefty frame to thumping house music, as he slams younger athletes into the ground one-by-one with a sly grin, occasionally giving them a playful headlock for good measure.

Jul 21, 2012

Olympics-Judo ‘wrestler’ mining for more gold for Mongolia

ULAN BATOR, July 21 (Reuters) – Mongolian judoka Naidan
Tuvshinbayar begins the day jogging through the glistening
grasslands he says helped make him the country’s first Olympic
gold medallist.

Back in the training centre, set in verdant hills 1,400
metres above sea level, he wiggles his hefty frame to thumping
house music, as he slams younger athletes into the ground
one-by-one with a sly grin, occasionally giving them a playful
headlock for good measure.