The developing world

Where a road is built through a mountainous region, young children have run uphill to watch automobiles. An Ge, 1983. (From "Humanism in China: A Contemporary Record of Photography," at New York City's China Institute through Dec. 13)

Where a road is built through a mountainous region, young children have run uphill to watch automobiles. An Ge, 1983. (From "Humanism in China: A Contemporary Record of Photography," at New York City's China Institute through Dec. 13)

Six have been sentenced to death in the first convictions after mobs of Muslim Uighurs rampaged through a western Chinese city in July, leaving nearly 200 dead in China’s most violent riot in decades. The Uighurs, feeling marginalized, had become ever resentful of Beijing rule and an influx of the dominant Han Chinese to the region. (Times Online)

Taliban claims responsibility for a weekend siege on Pakistani army headquarters and a market suicide car bombing that killed 41 on Monday. The moves come on a lip of an expected military offensive on the al-Qaida and Taliban stronghold of South Waziristan. (AP)

BBC map of the Turkish-Armenian border. The two countries signed a historic accord to ease relations after a century of hostility.

BBC map of the Turkish-Armenian border. The two countries signed a historic accord to ease relations after a century of hostility.

After a century of hostility, Turkey and Armenia took steps toward peace on Sunday by establishing diplomatic ties and reopening their shared border, which Turkey had closed for 16 years to protest the Armenian invasion of Nagorno Karabakh. (BBC)

In effect, this is bound to also reopen that looming, contentious issue of whether the killing of as many as 1.5 million Armenians during the final days of the Ottoman Empire counted as a genocide — a term the UK, US and Israel dodge, but one which a million and a half Armenian Americans and more than 20 countries recognize. (BBC)

Senate Dems grow bolder in finding success for the public option, and expect to win by watering down its definition. (Politico)

Perhaps that’s why health insurers are suddenly angered that just too many people may be covered by the U.S. if a public option takes shape. So, the industry — which has largely cooperated as Congress approaches a decision — reacted to possible legislation with a report stating that the typical family premium in 2019 could cost $4,000 more than expected, rather than driving down costs. (WaPo)

Early in his quest, Obama wooed industry leaders in the hopes of neutralizing many of the players who helped defeat a similar effort by President Bill Clinton. Yet as the process has moved from high-minded concepts to legislative details, the tension has mounted. Hospitals and doctors have increasingly grumbled that the administration is not keeping bargains it struck over how many Americans would be covered under reform and what payment changes would be made.

But no industry has reacted with the same intensity as the insurance lobby.

The United States — ever fearful of terrorism — still has no reliable system of tracing foreign visitors with expired visas. New concerns are emerging as, last week, a 19-year-old Jordanian overstaying his U.S. welcome was accused of plotting to blast a Dallas skyscraper. Last year, some 2.9 million foreign visitors on temporary visas like his checked in to the country but have never officially checked out, officials say. (NYT)

Clinton to Karzai: If Afghanistan’s incumbent president is declared victor of the widely disputed election (first round’s results expected later this week), he must work harder to ensure stability alongside world powers with thousands of troops in the country. (Reuters)

After the Palestinian government decided to not back a U.N. report on Israeli war crimes, hopes are fading over the Fatah-Hamas deal that was to be signed this month and was expected to spark cooperation in rebuilding war-damaged Gaza — and prep for Palestinian elections in early 2010. (Al Jazeera)

Staff

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