Two stories out of China — the escape of a blind dissident from house arrest and the corruption scandal involving a top politician and his family — have attracted international attention. But inside China, the picture is different. The government has successfully suppressed the story about the dissident, Chen Guangcheng, such that most Chinese have never even heard of him. The Communist Party has waged a smear campaign against the fallen official, Bo Xilai, whom citizens see as a loser in a power struggle, a corrupt politician or both.
In the second part of his interview, Steve Inskeep talks to author Robert Caro about the process he goes through in writing his biographies of Lyndon Baines Johnson. The Passage of Power is the fourth volume of Caro's massive biography of Johnson.
Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire is the latest politician to appear on the campaign trail with presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. That's fueled speculation that Ayotte is being considered as a running mate.
Microsoft is committing $300 million to the venture with Barnes & Noble. They are working to create a new subsidiary of the bookseller. The two companies are hoping to energize sales of the Nook tablet.
Peggy McAlpine wasn't happy when she lost her world record. The Scottish woman was 100 when she became the oldest person to paraglide. That title was recently taken away by an American woman. So at age 104, McAlpine took the the skies again and regained the record.
China is clamping down on social media as it grapples with a crisis over the escape of a high-profile dissident, apparently to U.S. protection. The case presents new difficulties for a Chinese leadership already struggling to deal with the scandalous downfall of a powerful politician, and it complicates U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Beijing this week.
Yet China's use of social media in dealing with these two recent crises has been a study in contrasts.
Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 6:26 am
Tuesday marks one year from the day President Obama announced to the nation that Osama bin Laden had been killed. To underline the significance of the anniversary, the administration sent its counter-terrorism expert out on the airwaves Sunday. It also launched a controversial campaign ad about the raid against the al-Qaida leader.
And let's turn now to Africa and a story we'll be following this week. Sudan has declared a state of emergency along its border with South Sudan, the new country there, further raising fears that these two nations are heading toward all-out war. Earlier this month, South Sudan invaded and briefly occupied Sudan's main oil field. This followed aerial bombardments of South Sudan's border regions by the Sudanese air force.