Violence continues in Xinjiang province (in pink on the map), where a gang of Uighurs killed two police officers and wounded five others last Wednesday. Police responded by shooting six suspects Saturday.
The officers killed Wednesday were also Uighur, underscoring the division in Xinjiang between Uighurs on both sides of the conflict. A perceived failure to share the fruits of an oil boom in the region has fueled Uighur resentment toward Beijing, but some have sought employment in security forces or local government.
The death toll in the spate of attacks has reached 39, and the thousands of security troops deployed in Xinjiang to keep peace during the Olympics are not likely to be leaving any time soon.
An earthquake in southwestern China killed at least 38 people and downed 180,000 homes Saturday. Officials say it was not an aftershock of the May 12 earthquake in the same region. Premier Wen Jiabao warned of further hardship in Sichuan as winter approaches.
China plans to launch its third manned spacecraft by the end of the month.
Village laws for the recall of local officals, an experiment in democracy, are proving difficult to enforce.
Police in Beijing have reportedly harassed the 73-year-old mother of an Olympic protestor.
Iraq's cabinet approved a $3 billion oil-service deal with the Chinese National Petroleum Company.
Cheap Chinese lanterns are catching on in Egypt during Ramadan, to the dismay of local craftsmen.
Chinese officals say the appreciation of the renmibi does not need to be accelerated, to the dismay of the United States.
A jury in Las Vegas convicted two former Bank of China officials on charges of racketeering and fraud.
Enjoying blue skies and clear roads, Beijing residents want the emergency pollution measures enacted for the Olypmics to stay for good.
Thousands marched in Taipei Saturday to protest President Ma Ying-jeou's efforts to improve relations with the mainland.
Beijing's Central Propaganda Department banned criticism of China's soccer team, which had a disappointing showing during the Olympics.
Silvio Burlusconi's appearance with Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi over the weekend seemed to be a historic first: the Italian prime minister formally apologized and agreed to offer financial compensation for decades of colonial occupation. An elaborate ceremony -- complete with the repatriation of an ancient statue of Venus that had been relocated to Rome -- marked the signing of a "friendship and cooperation agreement" between the two countries.
Yet it wasn't a completely altruistic measure for the Italians, who stand to benefit from their "reparations" to the former colony:
“We have written a page in history. Now we will have fewer illegal immigrants leaving from the coast of Libya and coming to us, and more Libyan oil and gas,” declared Mr Berlusconi, according to Italian reports
Indeed, the $5 billion Italy will pay in annual installments of $200 million will largely come in the form of investments in Libyan infrastructure. While the agreement marks the first time a former colonial power offered compensation to an Arab country, special economic ties between former colonies and mother countries are, of course, nothing new.
The question now is whether Italy will follow suit with its other, less resource-rich, former colonies like Ethiopia and Eritrea.
“I am pleased to see Senator Obama acknowledge the huge potential Alaska’s natural gas reserves represent in terms of clean energy and sound jobs,” Palin says in the release. “The steps taken by the Alaska State Legislature this past week demonstrate that we are ready, willing and able to supply the energy our nation needs.”
Politico's Ben Smith also noted at the time that Palin was less enthused about Obama's plan to tax oil company profits, which is somewhat strange, considering that she's instituted a similar tax in Alaska.
A cursory search for Sarah Palin's foreign policy credentials comes up with, well, nothing. It seems that John McCain figures he's got that avenue covered, and has picked Palin to please the conservative base, add some youth to the ticket (she's 44), and reach out to female voters.
More importantly for McCain, one of Palin's strengths may be energy. She's in favor of drilling in ANWR, but has been careful to consider environmental concerns. An interview from July reveals some potential Republican talking points on energy independence:
Alaskans are frustrated because there is opposition in Congress to developing our vast amount of natural resources. We want to contribute more to the rest of the United States. We want to help secure the United States, and help us get off this reliance of foreign sources of energy."
Later, she even comments on the vice presidential speculation, and once again brings up energy:
I think that any kind of national profile, if there is any elevation of that, it's for Alaska itself. People are looking up here (and saying) we need you as leaders for energy policy. We have a willingness to develop responsibly and supply the rest of the United States, and that's why we are being looked at. I just happen to be in a position of leadership where I get drawn into that."
She can boast about standing up to big oil, having won a state tax increase on oil company profits. But, like McCain's summer gas tax holiday, she's been prone to gimmicky energy strategies, such as a botched plan to offer $100-a-month energy debit cards to Alaskans.
As governor of Alaska, she hasn't had anything to say about national security. Her oldest son will deploy to Iraq next month, which puts her in the same position as her new rival, Joe Biden. Other than that, her only statements have been vague offerings of support for Alaska's national guard. And I don't buy the argument that because Alaska borders Canada and Russia, her experience as governor should count for something there.
I think it's safe to say McCain will handle national security for the ticket. He'll use Palin's credentials on energy to hammer away at a message that served Republicans well over the summer -- more drilling.
Sure enough, McCain's official statement seems to follow this exactly.
Dmitry Medvedev may have hoped the Shanghai Cooperation Organization would evolve from a loose security bloc into an anti-NATO counterweight, but so far things don't look like they're going in the Russian president's favor.
On Thursday, Medvedev asked the group, which also includes China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, to back Russia's response to Georgian "aggression." Instead, while the group welcomed "Russia's active role in contributing to peace and co-operation in the region," it condemned the use of force and reaffirmed its support for the sovereignty of the countries involved:
The SCO states express grave concern in connection with the recent tensions around the South Ossetian issue and urge the sides to solve existing problems peacefully, through dialogue, and to make efforts facilitating reconciliation and talks," their statement said.
That China and the others spoke of respecting territorial integrity should come as no surprise. From its relations with Sudan abroad to its concerns with seperatists in Tibet and Xinjiang at home, China has long expressed a policy of non-intervention.
Russia, too, was often a strong opponent of Western interventions -- in Iraq and Kosovo, among others -- which makes its military action in Georgia all the more galling. Its Asian allies, though, haven't jumped on board. That, at the very least, should be a comforting sign for the West amid cries of a new Cold War.
For more on how Russia's recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia may backfire, check out FP's interview with regional expert and CIA veteran Paul Goble.
We're still a year away from learning who will host the 2016 Summer Olympics. But, while Beijing is fresh in our minds, I thought it'd be high time to consider the lessons and legacies of the 2008 games with an eye on the future.
If we learned one thing from Beijing 2008, it's that the Olympics are a perfect pretext for a massive security crackdown. So why not award the 2016 games to a city that could actually use a massive security crackdown?
The murder rate in the state of Rio de Janiero is down to 39 per 100,000, from a high of 64 per 100,000 people in the mid-1990s. That's still high, and one still encounters machine guns while browsing shopping stalls. Some think meditation may do the trick, but an Olympic effort to crack down on petty crime (not political opposition, mind you) could do wonders.
The other finalist host cities are Chicago, Tokyo, and Madrid. The United States recently hosted in 2002 and 1996, Japan in 2006, and Spain in 1992. South America has never hosted the Olympics. Considering Brazil's growing economic clout, the time seems to be about right to finally change that.
Plus, India is gearing up for a 2020 bid of its own. With Beijing 2008, Sochi 2014, Rio 2016, and New Delhi 2020, all of the BRICs would get the recognition they deserve as the 21st century's rising powers.
Of course, it is important that Rio be truly ready. As my colleague Josh Keating argues in today's Web exclusive, hosting international sporting events can do more harm than good for a country's reputation. The 2010 World Cup in South Africa, for one, appears to be headed toward disaster. But Brazil insists that it successfully hosted the 2007 Pan America Games, and would have proper practice after hosting the 2014 World Cup. Here's hoping Rio gets a good look from the IOC next fall.
China passed the Olympic torch to Britain Sunday, bringing an end to a controversial Olympics marked both by spectacle and suppression. On the sporting field, China achieved its goal of winning the gold medal count. The United States, however, dubbed the games a "missed opportunity" for progress on human rights, and expressed disappointment that the Olympics didn't bring more "openness and tolerance" to China. In the face of diplomatic pressure, Chinese authorities freed eight Americans who had been detained for pro-Tibet demonstrations during the games.
China now faces uncertainty over its economic future, hoping to avoid the infamous Olympic hangover.
President Hu Jintao visited South Korea Monday, agreeing to expand ties between the two countries.
Facing increasing costs, manufacturers are beginning to look outside China.
China overtook the United States as Japan's largest export market.
The Bank of China is fighting allegations of supporting terrorism.
Air quality in Beijing is the best in 10 years, and a top environmental official expects the blue skies to continue.
The Olympics diverted water from thousands of farmers, causing a man-made drought that cost locals in Hebei province their homes and land.
Prosecutors ordered the son and daughter-in-law of Taiwan's former president, Chen Shui-bian, not to leave the island. The former president, his wife, son, daughter-in-law and brother-in-law are all facing investigation for alleged money laundering.
Explosions at a chemical plant in Guangxi province killed 20 Wednesday.
Tropical Storm Nuri showered Shanghai with its heaviest rains in 100 years.
Boris Johnson may have ruffled some feathers in Beijing by declaring London the "sporting capital of the world" and boasting about Britain inventing ping pong. But the London mayor still had some kind words for China after his Olympic visit.
Chinese bloggers and members of the Chinese media, on the other hand, did not take kindly to the performance of Britain -- and Johnson in particular -- during the Olympic changeover ceremony. One blogger blasted Johnson for not buttoning his suit jacket, while another said the mayor appeared "rude and arrogant" while interacting with his counterpart from Beijing.
Some of the harshest words, however, were reserved for Jimmy Page and David Beckham:
Unfortunately, the singer and Jimmy Page are absolutely not famous enough to be known or recognised by millions of the Chinese audiences. As for David Beckham, he was supposed to kick the football towards the red circle in the centre of the Bird's Nest, in the end, just like any of his penalties at a football match, he totally missed it.
Ouch. The Brits may not be rallying for Chinese press freedom anytime soon.
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