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March 1, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
SHANGHAI - At least 28 people died and more than 113 were injured Saturday when a group of assailants wielding large knives stormed into a railway station in southern China and apparently attacked people at random, state-run media reported. President Xi Jinping vowed swift action to punish those responsible for the bloody attack and "suppress terrorists' rampant momentum," the official New China News Agency reported. The agency said separatists from the far western region of Xinjiang were behind the highly unusual and terrifying attack in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province.
March 1, 2014 | By Barbara Demick
China's state media called Saturday night's knifing attack at a train station in Kunming “China's 9/11” and called for a crackdown on terrorism. The death toll from the attack rose to 33 with four of the perpetrators among the dead. One suspect is in custody, a woman, who was reported to be hospitalized. The perpetrators were said to be Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority from northwestern China's Xinjiang region. Chinese authorities showed on a television station a black flag recovered at the scene which they said was calling for independence for the region that some Uighurs refer to as East Turkestan.
February 28, 2014 | By David Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Yiyun Li begins her second novel, "Kinder Than Solitude," in a place of endings: a crematorium. The time is the present, more or less, and a Beijing resident named Boyang waits for the ashes of his childhood friend Shaoai, dead at 43 after having been poisoned (accidentally or otherwise) 21 years before. "Who wanted her to die?" Boyang's mother asks when he visits after dropping off the woman's cremains with her family. "Who wanted to kill her back then?" These questions resonate throughout this novel, which moves fluidly between past and present, among Beijing, Massachusetts and the Bay Area, in tracing the intersecting lives of four people - Boyang, Shaoai and two other women, Ruyu and Moran - as they wrestle with both their complicity and their heritage.
February 28, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - Fresh out of college and facing a mountain of debt, the 21-year-old woman was searching online for jobs when she hit upon a listing that sounded perfect: administrative assistant at a tutoring school in Beijing. She sent in her resume, then reread the ad and noticed that only men were asked to apply for the position. "I got no response, so I called and asked: If I'm qualified but I'm not male, will I still be considered? The woman who answered said if the ad says men only, it's men only," she recalled.
February 28, 2014 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
Air China will take you from LAX to New Delhi and back for $926, including all taxes and fees. New Delhi, in north-central India, co-exists with Old Delhi, and together the area is home to about 16 million people. Summer-like weather generally begins in the middle of March, and temperatures frequently hover around 100 degrees during the day. Summer ends toward the end of June, when monsoon season begins. During the season, the area can get as much as 2 feet of rain.  The coolest month generally is January with highs in the 60s and 70s. This fare will put you in the city in April, in time for hot summer weather.
February 28, 2014 | By Patrick Tyler
Israelis and Palestinians are facing their most difficult negotiation since Menachem Begin flew west to face Egyptian President Anwar Sadat a generation ago at Camp David. If Israel were to end its long occupation, if Palestinians were to unite and forswear violence, if two states were able to share an eternal capital in Jerusalem and bind up the wounds of their long enmity, then a viable Palestinian state could emerge to live in peace with its most prominent and powerful neighbor. Sadly, the final hurdles that diplomats, chief among them Secretary of State John F. Kerry, face in organizing a new negotiation are shaped by preconditions.
February 27, 2014 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before asking Madonna for an invite to her Oscar party. The Skinny: "The Americans" lived up to my expectations and we all know how picky I am. Also good to have "Modern Family" back. I got through ABC's "Mixology," but after the first act I wanted to return my drink. Thursday's roundup includes a report on China's red-hot box office. Also, the Motion Picture Assn. of America is trying to woo more GOPers to its side. Daily Dose: If there is one pay-TV provider in particular that is unlikely to strike a deal to carry the new Dodger channel SportsNet LA it is Dish.
February 27, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING -- As the United States' first Chinese American ambassador to China, Gary Locke made an impression on many ordinary people here with his down-to-earth ways - carrying his own backpack, paying for his Starbucks with a coupon and flying economy class. His man-of-the-people demeanor, honed as two-term governor of Washington state, provided a sharp contrast to the often-remote and sometimes corrupt ways of the Chinese ruling class. Many netizens approved of his style, but a number of media organs affiliated with the Communist Party were discomfited by the unassuming envoy.
February 26, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING -- Not even two months into 2014, China's box office has topped $900 million, a blistering pace far ahead of last year, when receipts for the entire first quarter were about $830 million. The strong results are being powered by a number of films, including “The Monkey King,” which in the week that ended Sunday became only the fifth film to cross the 1-billion-renminbi milestone at the mainland box office, consulting firm Artisan Gateway said. That puts “Monkey” in rare company.
February 25, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING -- Smog seems to have helped Smaug at the Chinese box office this last weekend. "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug," raked in about $33.7 million from Friday to Sunday, consulting firm Artisan Gateway said Tuesday, putting it in first place. Intense air pollution covering much of northern China may have helped drive patrons to theaters, as the government advised people to limit outdoor activities. "Smaug" far outperformed the opening weekend of director Peter Jackson's first installment in the Warner Bros.
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