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Even Soccer Teams Are Feeling The Pinch In Spain

Spaniards love their soccer, and it has provided a diversion during the economic crisis. But a government desperate for cash is now demanding that teams pay taxes they were evading.

A Tweet, A Year In A Labor Camp, And Now An Appeal

One irreverent tweet about a powerful Chinese politician was enough to get Fang Hong sent to a Chinese labor camp for a year. Encouraged by the recent fall of that politician, Bo Xilai, Fang is appealing his case and attacking the system of re-education through labor.

Spaniards Withdraw Money Over Bank Failure Fears

Any rescue of Spain's banking system could exceed the cost of Greece's total bailout. That has investors worried, after Madrid was forced to nationalize its largest real estate lender. The previous government's strategy was to force mergers among the small banks, to try to combine assets and strengthen them against debts. But what has resulted is simply bigger banks with bigger debts.
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Confucius Institutes In The United States

China has been promoting Chinese language and culture through "Confucius Institutes" in partnerships with universities around the world. Many cash-strapped universities welcome the support, but critics worry that there may be too many strings attached.


What A Show! China's Movie Theaters Have Improved Dramatically

NPR's Frank Langfitt can't get over how much things have changed for movie fans such as him. In only a decade or so, China's theaters have gone high-tech. And they've gotten expensive.

Egypt May Be Headed To Runoff Between Islamist And Former Mubarak Aide

As officials count ballots from this week's first-ever free presidential election, the Muslim Brotherhood is claiming its candidate got the most votes and will be in a runoff next month against ousted President Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister.

Legendary Rats Return To German Town

Hamelin was the setting for the tale of the Pied Piper who lured the town's rats into a river and then led away its children when he wasn't paid. Some 700 years later, the rats have returned and chewed through the electric cable powering the town's fountain.