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China admits “long way to go” for citizens to enjoy human rights

BEIJING (Reuters) – China still has “a long way to go” before its citizens can enjoy full human rights, a senior Chinese official said in a rare admission of the challenges ahead, pointing to social conflict and even rising house prices as stumbling blocks. Wang Chen, head of the State…

Prominent Chinese blogger charged as crackdown deepens

Prominent Chinese blogger charged as crackdown deepens BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese police have arrested prominent writer Ran Yunfei for challenging the ruling Communist Party, people close to the blogger said on Monday, the latest in a string of arrests in a deepening crackdown on dissent. Ran, a writer and literature…

US overdue for huge Pacific quake: experts

WASHINGTON – The western United States is overdue for a huge earthquake and tsunami much like the one that devastated Japan last week, and is nowhere near ready to cope with the disaster, experts say. A volatile, horseshoe-shaped area known as the Pacific Ring of Fire has recently erupted with…

Are plant hydraulics a path to adaptive dream machines?

WASHINGTON – Airplanes might soon have flexible wings like birds and robots could change shape as they please thanks to research under way on mimosa plants, researchers said. The shrub’s leaves, which can retract at the slightest of touches, could inspire a new class of structures that can twist, bend,…

China’s online population hits 450 million

China’s number of Internet users rises to 450 million _ more than one-third of its population China’s number of Internet users — already the world’s largest — rose to 450 million this year, more than a third of the country’s population, a senior official said Thursday. Official statistics show that…

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