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Chinese media asks, why are Tibetans so happy?

Everything's coming up roses in the Tibetan capital, according to the government-run China Daily, which has the largest circulation of any English-language newspaper in China:

"Lhasa, the city of sunlight, topped an annual survey of residents' sense of happiness in Chinese cities. The capital of the Tibet autonomous region has ranked at the top of the survey conducted by China Central Television for five consecutive years."

There have been at least 50 self-immolations in Tibet and Tibetan areas of China since March 2009 and massive riots shook Lhasa in 2008. Many Tibetans resent the arrival of Han Chinese into the region as well as restrictive policies that prohibit freedom of religion, freedom of assemgly, or even mentioning the Dalai Lama. Western journalists have been denied access to Lhasa for months, if not years; in all likelihood the current situation in Lhasa is pretty grim.

The survey doesn't mention any of these things. The article states that of the 100,000 households polled from 104 cities "the results showed income level most affected people's sense of well-being (55.5 percent), followed by health (48.9 percent) and quality of marriage or love life (32 percent)." The article doesn't specifically explain why residents of Lhasa are so happy.

In other Lhasa happiness news, on Aug. 19th the city  hosted the "2012 Happy City Mayor Forum" where mayors and experts from more than 20 cities and came up with a "Happiness Action Promise" to make residents more joyful.

Good times!

EPA/NG KONG

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For only $315, you, too, can kill Osama bin Laden

Wish you could have been a part of the SEAL Team 6 raid that killed Osama bin Laden? Now's your chance. Former SEAL Larry Yatch has reconstructed the Abbottabad complex in a 10,000-square-foot studio in New Hope, Minnesota and for $315 a pop you can unload your M16-style paintball gun on a guy dressed like OBL. It's not quite Abottabad, but it should still get your chest thumping.

So far, participants seem pleased with the experience. "This is so cool! My adrenaline is, like, so spiked right now!" reported one role player who spoke to KSTP, the local ESPN affiliate.

But cheap thrills are not the only thing Yatch is peddling. Sealed Mindset Firearms Studio, Yatch's business venture, is devoted primarily to empowering the mild-mannered and the meek. "The biggest thing we're trying to accomplish is giving people a sense of empowerment," Yatch told KSTP.

"It's the people that maybe might be a little intimidated around a gun or don't necessarily feel comfortable having to fight with someone, those are the people who we can make the biggest difference in their lives," he said.

The experience is also available as part of a romantic couples package, so fear not if it's date night and you're jonesing for a targeted killing fix.

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