<p>Blind activist Chen Guangcheng with his wife and son outside their home in northeast China's Shandong province in 2005. He's been held incommunicado at his home for more than a year and has become the focus of a microblog campaign by human-rights activists. </p>
Credit STR / AFP/Getty Images
<p>Yang Jinde says he was tortured in a police dog training center, leaving him blind in one eye and deaf in one ear. These pictures were taken by lawyer Zhu Mingyong inside a detention center, where the lawyer also shot a video of Yang that has gone viral. </p>
In China, microblogs are transforming the way activists draw attention to human-rights cases. Despite strict Internet controls, netizens are using Chinese Twitter as a powerful tool.
Two recent cases show just how effective microblogs can be in shaping the debate over human-rights abuses and driving citizen activism.
One case involves a chilling video that was recently released online. In it, a man lies under a green quilt, apparently naked. His left eye and right ear are covered with bandages; the skin on his feet is discolored and peeling.
<p>German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao meeting in Berlin on June 28. During Europe's economic crisis, both China and the United States have stayed mostly on the sidelines.</p>
Credit Markus Schreiber / AP
<p>U.S Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (left) speaks to French Finance Minister Francois Baroin (right) during talks in Marseille in September. While the U.S. has been concerned about Europe's debt crisis, the Americans have not been major players.</p>
When Columbus sailed west in the late 15th century, he launched a long and lucrative relationship between Europe and the Americas. Family ties, economic bonds and shared military goals continue to knit us together.
But as the European debt crisis has deepened, it has highlighted this early 21st century shift: The United States is becoming more of a Pacific Rim country and less of a North Atlantic partner.
<p>Stone elephants line a newly inaugurated park dedicated to Dalit, or lower caste, leaders in a suburb of New Delhi, India. Mayawati, a politician known as the "Dalit queen," says previous governments did nothing to honor the leaders who fought for Dalit rights.</p>
Credit Pankaj Nangia / AP
<p>Mayawati, chief minister of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, gestures as she prepares to open the newly built Dalit memorial on the outskirts of New Delhi on Oct. 14. </p>
<p>Greek's economic problems work their way down the supply chain to people like Kosta Bouyoukas, who imports olives and other foods from Greece. He says suppliers are changing the terms of contracts, and sometimes products don't show up at all.</p>
The so-called millionaires tax on New York's top wage earners is set to expire at the end of the year, even as the state struggles to balance its books. A poll released Thursday shows that New Yorkers favor extending the tax by more than 2 to 1.
But the millionaires tax also has its opponents, including the state's popular and powerful governor, Democrat Andrew Cuomo.
John Samuelsen, president of New York City's transit workers union, called on lawmakers to extend the millionaires tax during a rally this week outside City Hall in Manhattan.
U.S. stocks had one of their best days in weeks Thursday: The Dow jumped nearly 3 percent and prices in Europe went through the roof. The surge came after the announcement that European leaders finally agreed on a comprehensive plan to tackle their debt problems. Does the rally mean investors think the crisis is over?
ARI SHAPIRO, host: And, of course, this crisis stretches far beyond Greece. French President Nicolas Sarkozy went on national television last night to explain his country's part of the deal. He said the French people must expect further belt-tightening measures. Eleanor Beardsley reports that it was a chance for Sarkozy to assert control just six months ahead of a presidential election.
ARI SHAPIRO, host: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Ari Shapiro. Renee Montagne and Steve Inskeep are away. In Oakland, California, protestors with the Occupy Wall Street movement continue to stand vigil in a downtown plaza in front of City Hall. This week, police fired teargas and bean bags at protestors. The incident is under investigation, and NPR's Carrie Kahn reports that the confrontation has reignited criticism of the Oakland police.
CARRIE KAHN: In the downtown park in front of City Hall, the protestors have changed their tune.
<p>Illinois farmers harvest corn crops near Monticello, Ill. An unseasonably hot summer likely damaged much of this year's corn crop, which means farmers may seek support through their crop insurance.</p>
Originally published on Fri October 28, 2011 2:36 pm
Farming nowadays is risky business — it's not uncommon for a farmer to invest $500,000 in 1,000 acres of corn or soybeans, and run the risk of losing a chunk of their income to pests or fickle weather events like droughts and floods.
That's why farmers say crop insurance is "the most important safety net program" for them, says Joe Glauber, chief economist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
As expected, King Abdullah of Egypt has appointed his half-brother, 78-year-old Nayef bin Abdulaziz, crown prince. The news comes, after the heir to the throne, Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdel Aziz Al Saud died on Saturday.
There are some fresh insights from Australia that help explain why it's so difficult for dieters to keep off the weight they lose.
Willpower will only take you so far, in case you haven't run that experiment yourself. Turns out our bodies have a fuel gauge, not entirely unlike the gas gauge on our cars, that tell us when it's time to tank up on food.
From cubicle farms to auto factories, accommodating larger and heavier employees has become a fact of life. One in three U.S. adults is obese, and researchers say the impact on business can be boiled down to a number: $1,000 to $6,000 in added cost per year for each obese employee, the figure rising along with a worker's body mass index.
<p>Residents wade along a flooded street on the outskirts of Bangkok Thursday. Clambering aboard bamboo rafts and army trucks, residents fled their homes as high waters moved closer to the heart of the city. </p>
Credit Aaron Favila / AP
<p>Residents drive through a flooded street close to the overflowing Chao Phraya River Bangkok on Thursday. About 400 people have died from floods in the country since late July. </p>
Thailand's capital Bangkok is facing the imminent threat of widespread flooding after three months of unusually heavy rain.
Panic buying has left grocery shelves empty of basics. Many are fleeing the city, and many areas are virtually empty. The government has declared a five-day holiday to encourage people to leave Bangkok for higher ground. Thursday, the government said it was no longer a question of if, but when the floods would come.
<p>A teacher walks by during a parade in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki on Thursday. Parades were held across Greece on Thursday to mark the 61st anniversary of the country's resistance to Axis forces, which dragged Greece into World War II. Some bystanders also seized the opportunity to shout anti-austerity slogans.</p>
World markets rallied Thursday after European leaders agreed on a plan to deal with the eurozone debt crisis. But in Greece, the most imperiled country, there was skepticism that the deal will do much to help the country out of recession.
In addition, many Greeks also fear that they are losing their sovereignty, and are uncomfortable about the role Germany will be playing in the country's financial future.
The Nuntius stock brokerage firm is, unlike similar offices in New York or London, deathly quiet. So many people have been laid off that the offices are nearly empty.
<p>To encourage healthy choices, Dow's corporate cafeteria features color-coded utensils. Healthy foods like broccoli, spinach and beets have green handles. Yellow handles mean caution, and red is for temptations like bacon bits and high-fat dressing.</p>
For the first time, 100 of America's biggest corporations are being rated on the transparency of their political activities.
On Friday, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the nonpartisan Center for Political Accountability will release an index that ranks the S&P 100 companies. The rankings come as politicians employ new loopholes — and the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision — to solicit secret, million-dollar contributions from corporate donors.
Originally published on Thu October 27, 2011 4:56 pm
A pro-gun group announced yesterday that it had obtained a permit to hold a protest at the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. The university was the site of one of the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, where a gunman killed 32 students and faculty.
The health program, funded jointly by the feds and the states, was devised to cover the poor. But if a provision in last year's health law isn't changed that could be the case for people with pretty healthy incomes.