Xinjiang slave labor boss captured
A factory boss has been captured, after allegedly enslaving mentally ill workers in Xinjiang.
Li Xinglin who runs a chemical factory in Toksun county, northeast Xinjiang, has been picked up with his son after the pair fled to Sichuan. Li's wife is also in police custody and the factory has been shut down.
The owner of an unauthorized charitable organization in Sichuan who allegedly sold the people to the factory has also been detained.
Authorities believe that a dozen mentally ill workers were being forced to live in squalid conditions without any pay.
Deputy Head of Toksun County Yang Jin says the authorities are looking to see if there are similar cases in the county.
"We are now probing the work conditions of companies around the county, mines in remote mountainous regions. as well as lime and coal factories. We will also launch a thorough investigation to dig out any possible similar illegal behaviors."
In 2007, 32 people, many of them children, were found to have been enslaved in a brick kiln in Shanxi. Their captivity eventually led to the death of one of them.
Experts: Wen's Indian visit repairs mutual trust
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is to begin his South Asian trip to India today.
Diplomats and experts say on top of the expected big business deals, the Premier's visit is also expected to boost mutual trust and help find new collaborative opportunities.
Wen Jiabao is scheduled to hold talks with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh.
The Premier will also visit Pakistan where the leaders of both countries are expected to focus on energy cooperation.
China relaxes restrictions on private institutions offering medical services
The Chinese government is now relaxing the restrictions on private institutions offering medical services in the country.
A new circular issued by the State Council, China's cabinet, says governments at all levels should simplify their procedures to try to facilitate private and foreign investment in the healthcare sector. Private medical agencies are now also going to receive the same preferential tax policies as public hospitals.
China launched a three-year healthcare reform program last year designed to meet the growing demand for healthcare services in a more affordable way.
Assange bailed, but release delayed
The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, will have to remain in custody for at least a couple more days, despite having been granted bail by the courts in London.
Swedish authorities are now appealing the bail application, meaning Assange will have to remain behind bars until the appeal is sorted out.
Assange is fighting extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted in connection with a pair of sexual assault cases.
He denies the charges against him, saying they are politically motivated.
Wikileaks has published a series of US diplomatic cables revealing secret information on topics such as terrorism and international relations, and has been an embarrassing setback for the United States and its diplomatic relations.
Baghdad bombing targeting Shiites kills three, wounds 18
Five people have been killed and forty others wounded in two separate bomb blasts in Iraq.
A roadside bomb targeting Shiite pilgrims in Western Baghdad has killed at least three people, and injured 18 others.
The second blast, also said to be targeting a gathering of Shiite pilgrims, has reportedly killed two people and injured up to 22 others in the Eastern Province of Diyala.
The attacks come as Shiites in Iraq mark the annual Ashura mourning rite, the holiest time on the Shiite religious calendar.
China, U.S. start trade talks in Washington
The Chinese and US governments have now began their annual trade talks.
Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan is co-chairing the 21st Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade with U.S Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
As well as discussing investment, trade and intellectual property rights, both sides are expected to sign a number of bilateral agreements on cooperation between the two governments.
Berlusconi vote win sparks Rome clashes
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has narrowly won a vote of confidence in the lower house of parliament, which have subsequently prompted street protests.
In Rome, violent clashes have left 50 police officers and at least 40 protesters injured.
Over 400 vehicles stranded by snow in north China
More than four-hundred vehicles filled with people are now stranded on a national highway in Inner Mongolia because of heavy snow in the region.
The vehicles have been stranded on three different sections of the highway around the city of Tongliao, in the area north of Liaoning, since yesterday afternoon.