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October 29, 2011 | By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times
Perched atop the U.S. Embassy in Beijing is a device about the size of a microwave oven that spits out hourly rebukes to the Chinese government. It is a machine that monitors fine particulate matter, one of the most dangerous components of air pollution, and instantly posts the results to Twitter and a dedicated iPhone application, where it is frequently picked up by Chinese bloggers. One day this month, the reading was so high compared with the standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that it was listed as "beyond index.
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WORLD
December 26, 2013 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING -- China marked the 120th anniversary of Mao Tse-tung's birth Thursday, feting the communist revolutionary with concerts of patriotic songs, visits to his mausoleum in Tiananmen Square, broadcasts of TV docudramas and exhibits of calligraphy and photography. President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Li Keqiang and other senior leaders paid respects at Mao's mausoleum, where his body first went on view in 1977, a year after his death. Xi, who has been championing an anti-corruption campaign, said that this year's Mao commemorations should be “solemn, austere and practical,” but some of the commemorations have been extravagant.
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WORLD
December 6, 2013 | By Nicole Liu and Barbara Demick, This post has been corrected as indicated below
BEIJING -- A videotaped assault of a toddler by an 11-year-old girl in a high rise in Chongqing has in recent days riveted Chinese, inviting comparisons to some of the world's most brutal child murders. The boy was snatched by the girl in the building's elevator Nov. 27 as the boy's grandmother tried to maneuver his tricycle out of the closing elevator doors at the ground floor, apparently planning to take him outside. Closed-circuit television showed the girl, her hair in pigtails and  wearing a backpack, throwing the small boy repeatedly onto the floor and kicking him. The 18-month-old later either fell or was thrown from the girl's 25th-floor balcony.
WORLD
December 6, 2013 | By Nicole Liu and Barbara Demick, This post has been corrected as indicated below
BEIJING -- A videotaped assault of a toddler by an 11-year-old girl in a high rise in Chongqing has in recent days riveted Chinese, inviting comparisons to some of the world's most brutal child murders. The boy was snatched by the girl in the building's elevator Nov. 27 as the boy's grandmother tried to maneuver his tricycle out of the closing elevator doors at the ground floor, apparently planning to take him outside. Closed-circuit television showed the girl, her hair in pigtails and  wearing a backpack, throwing the small boy repeatedly onto the floor and kicking him. The 18-month-old later either fell or was thrown from the girl's 25th-floor balcony.
WORLD
May 7, 2013 | By Barbara Demick
BEIJING -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu toured Shanghai on Tuesday, paying tribute to the city's role sheltering Jews during World War II and conveniently avoiding Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who was visiting Beijing. The concurrent visits to China of the Middle East antagonists created some diplomatic awkwardness. Although the official Chinese Communist Party newspaper Global Times suggested the two might hold an impromptu meeting, Netanyahu's itinerary apparently was arranged to avoid that possibility.
BUSINESS
April 29, 2011 | By David Pierson, Los Angeles Times
Three years after China was rocked by a scandal over deadly tainted milk, the country is once again grappling with concerns over food safety. In recent weeks, reports of tainted food have surfaced throughout China. The list includes diseased pigs used for bacon; noodles made of corn, ink and paraffin; rice contaminated with heavy metals; sausages made of rotten meat and fertilizer; and pork described as "Tron blue" because bacteria made it glow in the dark. The central government implemented a sweeping food-safety law in 2009 after at least six infants died and tens of thousands of people were sickened by milk adulterated with melamine.
BUSINESS
February 18, 2011 | By David Pierson, Los Angeles Times
The man known as the father of the so-called Great Firewall of China is defending his invention, which blocks access to hundreds of thousands of foreign websites, and says he uses privacy software to test the holes in the censorship technology he helped create. In a rare English-language interview published Friday, Fang Binxing, president of the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, told the state-owned Global Times that he owned six virtual private networks, or VPNs, to scale the firewall and determine what was and wasn't accessible in China.
BUSINESS
January 6, 2012 | By David Pierson
In a case that highlights the perils that await foreigners doing business in China, two Indian traders who were allegedly beaten and detained for two weeks by Chinese businessmen are set to stand trial, accused of owing $1.58 million in debts after their Yemeni boss fled, according to news reports. Deepak Raheja and Shyamsunder Agarwal were reportedly seized Dec. 14 in the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu, a massive trading center, and held captive in a hotel by local businessmen demanding to be paid back.
WORLD
May 10, 2013 | By Barbara Demick
BEIJING -- One of China's most prominent film directors, Zhang Yimou, is under investigation for fathering seven children -- a violation of the country's strict family-planning laws. The 61-year-old Zhang directed the opening spectacle of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and some of China's best-known films. Zhang's success could expose him to fines of up to $26 million, according to Chinese state media, because penalties is such cases are assessed on the basis of income. The Global Times, a Communist Party newspaper, reported Friday that Zhang has one daughter who is about 30 years old with his first wife, and three children ages 7 to 12 with his current wife, actress Chen Ting.
WORLD
April 7, 2011 | By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times
Chinese authorities accused Ai Weiwei, one of the nation's most celebrated artists and dissidents, of "economic crimes" Thursday as criticism poured in from the United States and elsewhere about Beijing's crackdown on dissent. The 53-year-old Ai, designer of the "Bird's Nest" stadium built for the 2008 Summer Olympics, was seized by border police Sunday at the Beijing airport as he prepared to board a flight to Hong Kong. He is the most renowned of the dozens of writers, intellectuals, bloggers and activists who have been swept up by authorities since mid-February.
WORLD
July 19, 2013 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - The death of a watermelon seller in China's south-central Hunan province, allegedly at the hands of law enforcement officials known as chengguan , has touched off a new flood of outrage over the often-thuggish municipal code enforcers. Deng Zhengjia and his wife were attempting to sell melons Wednesday morning near a bridge in Linwu county when a dozen chengguan appeared and fined them for selling without a license, state-run media reported. The couple then moved their cart to a different area.
WORLD
June 25, 2013 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING -- Hitting back at Washington over the Edward Snowden case, China said Tuesday that Hong Kong had handled the matter lawfully, and it rejected U.S. suggestions that mainland officials had improperly intervened to allow him to flee to Moscow. "The accusations against the Chinese government are groundless," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said. "It is unreasonable for the U.S. to question the Hong Kong government's handling of affairs in accordance with the law. " Hua's comments were part of a broad Chinese retort to White House complaints Monday that China had made a "deliberate choice" to let the wanted former National Security Agency contractor escape and that the move would negatively affect Sino-U.S.
WORLD
June 8, 2013 | By Barbara Demick
BEIJING -- Chinese media coverage of the two-day summit between President Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping has glossed over cyber hacking concerns, clearly not an issue that Beijing wishes to emphasize. Instead, Chinese commentary is stressing the need for the two nations to forge a “new relationship" -- a phrase officials here used repeatedly in advance of the summit. "Not to deny each other's legitimate interests and to cooperate as much as possible in ways that will promote our mutual interests," is how Shen Dingli, an American studies professor at Shanghai's Fudan University defined it. The two countries "should not deny each other's social systems.
WORLD
May 20, 2013 | By Don Lee and Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times
DALIAN, China - Among fishermen in this historic seaport city, the danger of steering their boats near North Korean waters is well known. North Koreans took three Chinese ships and their crews hostage a year ago, and Chinese maritime officials have repeatedly warned fishing operators over the last several years that they would be slapped with heavy fines if they got too close. Still, the Korean waters were highly attractive for their abundance of fish. And so it came as little surprise to fishermen like Cao Zhanyuan when he and many others in China learned Monday that a boat off the coast here had been seized by North Koreans this month.
WORLD
May 10, 2013 | By Barbara Demick
BEIJING -- One of China's most prominent film directors, Zhang Yimou, is under investigation for fathering seven children -- a violation of the country's strict family-planning laws. The 61-year-old Zhang directed the opening spectacle of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and some of China's best-known films. Zhang's success could expose him to fines of up to $26 million, according to Chinese state media, because penalties is such cases are assessed on the basis of income. The Global Times, a Communist Party newspaper, reported Friday that Zhang has one daughter who is about 30 years old with his first wife, and three children ages 7 to 12 with his current wife, actress Chen Ting.
WORLD
May 7, 2013 | By Barbara Demick
BEIJING -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu toured Shanghai on Tuesday, paying tribute to the city's role sheltering Jews during World War II and conveniently avoiding Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who was visiting Beijing. The concurrent visits to China of the Middle East antagonists created some diplomatic awkwardness. Although the official Chinese Communist Party newspaper Global Times suggested the two might hold an impromptu meeting, Netanyahu's itinerary apparently was arranged to avoid that possibility.
WORLD
June 8, 2013 | By Barbara Demick
BEIJING -- Chinese media coverage of the two-day summit between President Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping has glossed over cyber hacking concerns, clearly not an issue that Beijing wishes to emphasize. Instead, Chinese commentary is stressing the need for the two nations to forge a “new relationship" -- a phrase officials here used repeatedly in advance of the summit. "Not to deny each other's legitimate interests and to cooperate as much as possible in ways that will promote our mutual interests," is how Shen Dingli, an American studies professor at Shanghai's Fudan University defined it. The two countries "should not deny each other's social systems.
WORLD
December 17, 2012 | By John Hannon, Los Angeles Times
BEIJING - For members of a doomsday cult in China, the end may indeed be near. Authorities have in recent weeks arrested more than 100 members of a fringe Christian-inspired group known as Almighty God that is prophesying the world will end Dec. 21, according to state media. Members of the group had been distributing apocalyptic literature and sending text messages throughout China when the government began detaining them this month. On Dec. 8, police arrested 34 members in Fujian province, which lies on China's southeastern coast. On Thursday, they arrested 37 members, including seven leaders in Xining, a city in the west-central province of Qinghai.
NEWS
July 2, 2012 | By Karin Klein
California passed its ban on shark fins last year despite the protests that shark-fin soup was a traditional delicacy among people of Chinese descent. On Sunday, Illinois joined a growing number of states and nations by banning shark fin. And now, it seems, the government of China no longer considers tradition to be an acceptable excuse for killing tens of millions of fish each year, many of which are from endangered species.  Shark finning is a particularly wasteful and cruel practice: after the fins are cut off the shark, the animal is thrown back into the water to die slowly.
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