After China's new leadership came in, some thought Communist Party control might be relaxed. But fallout from a newspaper's weeklong standoff over censorship and the resulting widespread protests seem to signal the opposite.
In Afghanistan, governors are not elected, they are selected — and more often than not due to family or political connections. But in an attempt to curb graft, the country has just sworn in a batch of governors — including the first female district governor — selected through a new merit-based program.
The Venezuelan president remains in Cuba, receiving treatment for cancer. His supporters — with the backing of the Supreme Court — say that he can be sworn in at a later date.
Taiwan technology giant Foxconn said it is under investigation by Chinese authorities. It is also conducting its own probe into allegations that some of its managers had solicited bribes from suppliers.
It happens after every disaster. People want to help, but their donations often turn out to be a burden. Newtown, Conn., for example, was so inundated with gifts, it asked people to stop sending them. Instead, disaster aid groups are trying to figure out a better way to channel good intentions.
In Mexico City, the government is offering cash, new bikes and computers for guns. The mayor says the buyback program is taking dangerous weapons out of commission. But mayors of some cities overrun by drug traffickers say law-abiding citizens need guns for protection.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is scheduled to be sworn in for a fourth term on Thursday, but he remains in Cuba undergoing treatment for cancer. In a very loose interpretation of the constitution, the government is prepared to inaugurate him later. The opposition says the constitution is being violated.
One of the world's most basic cooking ingredients could be the key to protecting some of Europe's most stunning buildings. The limestone used in England's 800-year-old York Minster is particularly vulnerable to pollution. The oleic acid in olive oil, British researchers say, may provide the protective coating needed to prevent further decay.