UN confirms Sudan out of border region. Reuters: 'Sudan's army has withdrawn from the disputed region of Abyei bordering South Sudan, the United Nations confirmed on Wednesday, removing an obstacle to talks between the neighbors to end hostilities. Sudan said on Tuesday its forces had left the border region, one of the main bones of contention between Khartoum and South Sudan. Sudan seized Abyei a year ago after an attack on a military convoy blamed by the United Nations on southern forces. ...'
Al-Shabaab in East Africa. Also from Reuters, a special report on Al-Shabaab.
"They were good fighters. I saw the way they would advise us to fight, to defend ourselves," Abdullahi said of his two years in al Shabaab, during which time he fought Somalia's weak United Nations-backed government. "I fought one battle outside Mogadishu. Half of us died... (The Kenyans) were very brave, the way they ran towards gunfire."
That's exactly what worries Kenyan and Western security agencies. Al Shabaab has been waging an insurgency against Somalia's fragile interim government since 2007 and formally became part of al Qaeda earlier this year. Abdullahi's account is part of a mounting body of evidence - including intelligence picked up by security agencies, research by the United Nations and accounts by Muslim Kenyans interviewed for this story - that suggests al Shabaab is mentoring a new and increasingly multi-ethnic generation of militants in the region. ...
China clamps down on online double-entendres. Via Meadia:
Chinese citizens have been using microblogging sites to get around government censorship, and the Bo Xilai and Chen Guangcheng affairs have increased the frequency of covert, critical conversation. Users evade the authorities by discussing politics in code, playing with homonyms and puns. Wen Jiabao, for instance, has been dubbed ‘Teletubby”; ‘Tomato” is often associated with Bo Xilai.
But as the New York Times reports, even these words can now get users banned. ...
Mead also notes that "140 Chinese characters can convey more information than 140 English letters."