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Michelle Obama tells Chinese students internet freedom's a universal right

BEIJING (Reuters) - U.S. first lady Michelle Obama told an audience of college students in the Chinese capital on Saturday that open access to information - especially online - is a universal right. But Obama stopped short of calling on China to offer its citizens greater freedoms on a visit in which she is expected to steer clear of more complicated political issues, but rather try to build goodwill through soft diplomacy.

Michelle Obama touts equality, religious rights in China

US First Lady Michelle Obama promoted ethnic equality, the civil rights movement and religious freedom in China on Tuesday, raising the sensitive issues on a tour meant to avoid politics. "In America, we believe that no matter where you live or how much money your parents have -- or what race or religion or ethnicity you are -- if you work hard and believe in yourself, then you should have a chance to succeed," she told hundreds of students at a high school in Chengdu, the capital of the southwestern Sichuan province.

Thirty-two hurt in train derailment at Chicago's O'Hare airport

By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - A passenger train crashed through the end of the line early Monday at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and barreled up an escalator and stairs, leaving 32 people with non-life threatening injuries, officials said. The Chicago Transit Authority train, a mass transit train that ran on electricity, is expected to remain in place for at least a day while investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board try to determine how it jumped a bumper at the end of the line.

Obama, Xi affirm commitment to partnerships on N. Korea, other issues

By Lee Chi-dong WASHINGTON, March 24 (Yonhap) -- Voicing optimism, U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday emphasized the need for close cooperation between the two nations on regional and global issues. The leaders used their first meeting this year to discuss the North Korean nuclear problem, the Ukraine crisis, climate change and other world issues.

Michelle Obama meets Chinese educators

Visiting US first lady Michelle Obama held a meeting Sunday at the US embassy with Chinese educators and families, after her arrival there sparked a minor security alert. Two people just outside the embassy began shouting as her motorcade pulled in, while police and men in gray sweatshirts and pants ran to subdue them. It was unclear what they were shouting about. Obama is making a week-long trip to China focused on education and "soft" issues.

Michelle Obama sees Great Wall, Chinese educators

Visiting US first lady Michelle Obama toured China's Great Wall on Sunday, after her arrival at the US embassy in Beijing earlier in the day sparked a minor security alert. She and her daughters strolled along a popular section of the wall and rode down a toboggan on a smoggy afternoon, as part of a week-long visit focused on education and "soft issues" rather than politics.

In China, Michelle Obama touts freedom of speech, religion

US First Lady Michelle Obama on Saturday emphasised the importance of universal rights, telling a crowd of students in Beijing that freedom of expression and religion should not be determined by one's country of birth. Obama, who is on a week-long trip to China with her daughters and mother, has sought to focus on "soft" issues since her arrival in Beijing Thursday night, playing table tennis with students and touring the Forbidden City with her Chinese counterpart, Peng Liyuan.

In China, U.S. first lady encourages freedom of expression

BEIJING, March 22 (Yonhap) -- U.S. first lady Michelle Obama stressed the importance of freedom of expression, open access to information and religion, saying Saturday that they are "the birthright of every person on this planet. Obama, on the second day of her week-long trip to China that is widely expected to steer clear of sensitive issues, however, stopped short of calling for China to offer greater freedom to its people.

Illinois speaker eyes millionaire tax for school funding

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Illinois' powerful speaker of the House of Representative on Thursday unveiled a plan that would slap a tax surcharge on millionaires in the state in an effort to raise $1 billion a year for schools. Chicago Democrat Michael Madigan's plan surfaced just two days after voters in the Republican primary election chose multi-millionaire venture capitalist Bruce Rauner to face incumbent Democratic Governor Pat Quinn in the November general election.

US, China first ladies in Beijing's Forbidden City

US First Lady Michelle Obama took her daughters and mother to Beijing's former imperial palace Friday, on a China tour the White House emphasises will be light on politics and heavy on personal diplomacy. Obama, her daughters Malia and Sasha, and her mother Marian Robinson along with China's own first lady Peng Liyuan took a guided tour of the sprawling Forbidden City, waving to onlookers outside the central pavilion known as the Hall of Supreme Harmony.
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