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China soul searching after kindergarten massacres

BEIJING, China — Not so long ago, it was popular in China to point at school shootings in the United States as evidence of major problems in American society. These days, after spate of horrifying mass murders at primary schools across this country, China is doing some soul-searching of its own into what leads to random school killings. Voicing an ever-common sentiment in China, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the recent outbreak of deadly school violence is indicative of underlying social problems.

Thailand protests: A battle with no clear victors

BANGKOK, Thailand — Just one week ago, the political strife crippling Bangkok was poised to end. But Friday, the city’s main thoroughfares were lit by burning tires. Masked men in motorbike helmets yanked soldiers from trucks. Ambulances idled outside conflict zones, waiting for the next protesters to fall dead from live rounds. More than 37 have died and well over 1,000 have suffered injuries. Here's a taste of what parts of Bangkok looked like Friday night:

Karzai's US visit yields cold comfort

KABUL, Afghanistan — The glittering receptions, the warm smiles, the high-level talks — all the diplomatic accoutrements of President Hamid Karzai’s visit to Washington pointed to a renewed relationship between firm friends, albeit ones who have had a bit of a dust-up. But underneath the bonhomie, tensions simmered as fiercely as ever. Nothing in the four-day political show could conceal the very real cracks in the U.S.-Afghan “partnership,” which increasingly seems to be based more on codependency than on any shared vision or common purpose.

Video: Molotovs and Machine Guns in Bangkok

In Bangkok tonight, anti-government protesters and soldiers remain locked in an ugly standoff. Young Thais, faces cloaked with bandanas, are chucking molotov cocktails at troops. Small caliber bullet holes are punched through street signs. Old tires are set aflame and rolled toward troop positions and barbed wire is strung across what should be busy thoroughfares.

Boats and plaints, bindis and budgets have Aussies atwitter

Top news: Australians are water people.

On Location — Battleground Okinawa

Shot in the head: Thailand's renegade general

  That's not Maj. Gen. Khattiya "Seh Daeng" Sawisdipol, the renegade Thai army general shot in the head tonight while chatting with reporters. That's one of his many disciples, wearing a mask of his likeness and toting a mock grenade launcher. Tonight, as the general lies in an intensive care and surgeons pick fragments from his skull, many are wondering when — not if — his followers will strike back.

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan? Who cares, exactly?

When President Barack Obama told his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai, that the United States was fully committed to reducing civilian casualties, he had obviously not consulted his rank-and-file. With all due respect to the Commander in Chief, he is not the one pulling the trigger.

Analysis: Why Singapore went into the casinos industry

NEW YORK — First they legalized dancing on bar tops. Then they tried Formula One night racing. But this year, Singapore — where the government is known for its strict moral code — took an even more surprising plunge into yet another tourist attraction: casinos. As the first Singaporean casino, Resorts World Sentosa, opened its doors in January, Southeast Asia watched in shock. Then, just two weeks ago, Singapore opened its second casino, Marina Bay Sands. It was the world’s second most expensive casino, built at a whopping cost of $5.5 billion.

A Romance: Two Belles in Love

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