China's offer to hold talks with aides to the Dalai Lama is unlikely to bring a breakthrough on Tibet, experts cautioned on Saturday, saying it was a PR exercise ahead of the Beijing Olympics. Chinese state media said on Friday that government officials would meet soon with a representative of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.
The muezzin's call to prayer at Kashgar's main Id Kah mosque is a loud reminder that millions of Muslims here in China's far west answer to a higher authority than the Communist Party. Muslim residents of this 2 000-year-old Silk Road city express quiet anger when asked about recent clashes in a nearby city between Muslims and Chinese police.
Beijing Olympic organisers on Monday sought to play down security concerns looming over the Games, a day after authorities said two "terrorist" plots from its Muslim-majority north-west had been foiled. "We are confident that we will be able to have a safe Olympics," said Sun Weide, a spokesperson from Beijing's Olympic Organising Committee.
The West cast doubt on Russia's presidential election on Monday after Dmitry Medvedev won a landslide victory and vowed to follow the course set by outgoing leader Vladimir Putin. Near complete results gave Medvedev 70,2% of Sunday's vote, crushing his nearest rival, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, who won 17,8%.
Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, whose victory in Sunday's presidential election is all but assured, on Wednesday took a day out from his unofficial campaign ... in order to campaign. National television showed Medvedev responding to the audience's queries about pensions and salaries.
China was facing a major international crisis linked to the Olympics on Thursday amid mounting pressure over its role in Darfur after United States filmmaker Steven Spielberg severed his links to the Games. So far neither the Foreign Ministry nor the Olympic organising committee has responded to the decision by Spielberg.
Russians voted on Sunday in a parliamentary election expected to hand President Vladimir Putin's party a crushing majority and boost his bid to retain authority after leaving the Kremlin. Polling stations opened in a wave across the world's biggest country, starting on the Pacific coast.
Asia's space race heated up on Wednesday as China launched its first lunar orbiter, an event hailed in the world's most populous nation as a milestone event in its global rise. China's year-long expedition kicks off a programme that aims to land an unmanned rover on the moon's surface by 2012 and put a man on the moon by about 2020.