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.
The writer Robert Caro has spent about 35 years writing about President Lyndon Johnson and he still isn't done. As we heard on the program yesterday, Caro has come out with his fourth book on Johnson's life.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Years ago, one reviewer noted that Caro's research was so exhaustive that his book on Johnson's youth in Texas described the average annual rainfall in the Texas hill country in the years before Johnson was even born.
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.
South Sudan is the country that voted to break away from Sudan. They've been jostling for control of border zones, including oil fields. And just as the two sides were sitting down to negotiate, fighting broke out.
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.
Every day more than a quarter billion dollars worth of goods passing over a single U.S. border crossing - the Ambassador Bridge - which stretches across the Detroit River, from Detroit to Canada. U.S. and Canadian officials say traffic jams on that bridge are hampering the flow of international commerce and they say a second major crossing from Ontario to Detroit is needed. The question, now, is who would control that bridge. We have a report from Quinn Klinefelter of WDET.
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.