Melinda Liu


The only thing a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science did for Amit Nanavati was make him overqualified for most of the available jobs in his hometown of New Delhi.


On the surface, the article was unremarkable. The China Youth Daily recently reported that the Sichuan town of Wanyuan had laid on a lavish concert to commemorate a 1934 Red Army battle.

Unearthing The Bible


China's Glasnost

The country's communist leaders are beginning to embarace the avant-garde art and literature they once considered taboo


Wang Zhonghua was almost giddy with excitement. As head of a private think tank in China that studies efforts at grass-roots democracy, he has traveled across the mainland monitoring local political movements.


On a teeming street in the gritty Hong Kong neighborhood of Mong- kok, vendors peddle everything from driving lessons to cable-TV subscriptions to Citibank accounts ("and get a free cordless phone!").


The Taiwan Strait has long been at the center of a war of words. Beijing and Taipei frequently exchange statements full of vitriol--each accusing the other of bringing them closer to the brink of war.


Politics doesn't get much spookier than the way it's played in Iraq. Back when Saddam Hussein ruled, the opposition consisted of numerous sworn rivals, each with his own team of covert operatives and dirty-tricks artists.

A Longing For Normalcy

Just six weeks before American occupation authorities are due to transfer sovereignty to Iraqi institutions, the killing of Ezzedine Salim has intensified a heated debate inside Iraq: just who is responsible for the country's escalating spiral of violence?People knew him as Ezzedine Salim, but that was a pseudonym.

Questions Of Justice

One by one, the reasons for sending America to war in Iraq seem to have crumbled. Investigators found no weapons of mass destruction and no proof of claims that Saddam Hussein was plotting with Al Qaeda's terrorists.

Culture Of Impunity?

The efforts at damage control are picking up steam. Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the man sent to clean up Iraq's U.S. Army-run prisons, today announced that the number of detainees held at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison will be reduced by more than half.

Hungry For Power

Indonesia has long been a playground for the West's oil giants. The names are familiar enough: Unocal, Caltex, BP, ExxonMobil, to name a few. For decades these Western majors have staked out turf in the Southeast Asian archipelago, hauling in billions in black gold.

War of Perceptions

Even as U.S. warplanes attacked targets in Fallujah again tonight, Marine officers were working up a proposal to end their month-long siege of the city. At first blush, the outlines of the "solution" seem dicey: up to 1,000 Iraqi soldiers, led by a former major general from Saddam Hussein's army, will enter Fallujah and provide security there.


Iraq is almost under control. The men in charge are trying to pretend so, anyway. But after the past two weeks of bloodshed, "control" is a slippery term.

Mean Streets

Sadr City has always been a volatile community, even in Saddam Hussein's day. The bloodshed and confusion that erupted there today are reminders to U.S. troops that people tend to blame America for anything and everything that goes wrong, even when it doesn't make sense.


Bearish and surly, Sheik Hamza al Taie wanted revenge. In a shoot-out the day before, Coalition troops had killed one of his comrades in arms and wounded several others.

Mutiny in the Ranks

During his prime-time press conference last week, George W. Bush promised that, someday, "Iraqi security is going to be handled by the Iraq people themselves."That day isn't coming any time soon.As fierce fighting erupted in parts of Iraq in early April, the U.S.-led coalition tried to deploy U.S.-trained Iraqi units to quell the fighting.

Occupational Hazards

The gruesome scenes from Fallujah--the corpses of four U.S. civilians being burned, mutilated, dragged behind vehicles and hanged from a bridge by jubilant Iraqis--are grimly familiar.

A Year On, 'Everyone Is Torn'

One of my last visits with Amal Murad Ali, almost exactly a year ago, was cut short by an explosion. She and I were huddled in the dank basement of her antiques shop, across from Baghdad's Palestine Hotel, waiting for the fighting to stop, when a huge blast shook the building.

Soft Target, Hostile Crowd

The site of the huge explosion in central Baghdad on Wednesday looked like Dante's Inferno. I happened to be just a few blocks away when the blast occurred, so photographer Kristen Ashburn got there within 15 minutes of the blast.


Late last year, when many experts were bracing for a resurgence of the SARS virus, Klaus Stohr's thoughts were elsewhere. The head of the World Health Organization's global influenza program was worrying about the bird flu.

Baghdad: 'Now We Are Free'

I've reported on many conflicts, but I had never before been trapped in a city bombarded by my own government. The Palestine Hotel was a ringside seat for the deafening spectacle of gigantic fireballs exploding during the night of "shock and awe." Not many Americans were there to share the experience; most U.S. reporters had been pulled out by their jittery editors.

China Breaks Out

Scheduled for just 20 minutes, the meeting went on for two hours. U.S. Commerce Secretary Don Evans had traveled to China to meet with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and press a stern message: Beijing's "unfair" trade practices and refusal to revalue its currency were "undercutting American workers." Wen heard him out during the November sit-down but, according to a Chinese diplomat familiar with the meeting, had a retort at the ready.

Finding Peace Of Mind

When strangers visit, Shang Zhijun is on his best behavior. The 22-year-old Hebei peasant only seems a little pushy--talking too loudly, asking for cigarettes too often. "He doesn't admit he's mentally ill," says his adoptive mother, Zhao Shulan. "If my husband and I refuse to give him money, he flies into a rage.

Stirring Up A Hornet's Nest

Tian Fengshan never seemed like ministerial material. The eldest son of a peasant family in Heilongjiang province, he spoke with a thick rural accent that still makes him the butt of jokes among locals.

The Mahathir Mystique

The architectural hodgepodge that is Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital, is testament to the country's dazzling cultural diversity. In the city center, not far from the Islamic Sharia court, is the British-built former cricket club--nicknamed "the Spotted Dog" for the Dalmatians that colonial planters used to tether out front.

In Outer Space We Trust

Before space-shuttle launches were suspended early this year, even the most routine missions would attract diehard fans, who gathered along Route 1 in Titusville, Florida, in the wee hours to peer over the water at Cape Canaveral.