Chinese Reactions To The American Government’s Shutdown

US Congress shutdown as seen in Chinese media
The US government shut down on Tuesday as Congress failed to pass the necessary bills to keep it operational -- "it" being the government. If you want a quick-and-dirty primer on the situation, CNN has you covered, as does Washington Post, and James Fallows offers wise analysis as always over at his blog. But what does China think?

The CBA Has A New Team, The Sichuan Blue Whales

Sichuan Blue Whales
On Sunday, the 25-member Chinese Basketball Association committee unanimously approved the league's newest team, the Sichuan Blue Whales, who will begin play this fall. Last year the Whales competed in the National Basketball League, China's second-tier basketball association, and finished fourth with a 12-6 record.

Chinese Rethink Capital Punishment After Execution Of Street Vendor Xia Junfeng

Street vendor Xia Junfeng
“I won’t comply!” Those were reportedly the last words of Xia Junfeng, a street vendor who ran a kebab stall in Shenyang, Liaoning province, just before his excution on Wednesday. Four years ago, in what he insisted was an act of self-defense, Xia stabbed to death two urban city management enforcement officers -- chengguan -- and wounded another. Most Chinese, including many law professionals, believed Xia should have been charged with "excessive defense," but after four years of appeals, the Supreme Court finally approved his death sentence.

Li Tianyi Found Guilty, Sentenced To 10 Years For Gang Rape

Li Tianyi guilty of gang rape
Seventeen-year-old Li Guanfeng -- alternately called Li Tianyi, problem child, brat, and rapist -- was found guilty of gang rape by Haidian District People’s Court in Beijing earlier this morning. His high-level connections -- his father is renowned PLA singer Li Shuangjiang, and his mother is singer Meng Ge -- apparently weren't enough to get him off the hook for allegedly sexually assaulting a young woman with four of his friends in a Beijing hotel on February 17.

Man Attacks Nurses With Knife After Failed Beard Implant Surgery

Knife attack in Hunan hospital 2
A 20-something year-old man reportedly disgruntled over the results of his "beard implant surgery" resorted to violence on Monday morning. Xinhua reports that the man armed himself with a knife and walked into the plastic surgery department of the Affiliated Hospital of Hunan Academy of Chinese Medicine and attacked three nurses, one of whom was pregnant.

Today In Totally Safe River Crossings

Pengzhou wading and fording through river 5
The city of Pengzhou, Sichuan province is "urgently" building a bridge, reports China Daily. Why so urgently? Because check out the river that the townsfolk are currently fording. Does that look like something you'd be interested in doing?

Baby Killer’s Defense: I Thought It Was A Shopping Cart [UPDATE]

Baby killer suspect 1
On July 23, Han Lei grabbed a 34-month-old baby out of her stroller in Beijing and threw her to the ground, killing her. This fact is not in dispute, as there is apparently surveillance footage of this sequence. Han, who had exited his friend’s vehicle from the passenger side, was reportedly upset at the toddler’s mother, who was standing in a parking space. Yes, a baby died due to a parking dispute.

Charles Xue Apologizes On National TV For Being An Internet Celebrity

Charles Xue apologies on news
Several places have reported on this, but Global Voices wins top-link for its headline: "Opinion Leader Charles Xue Forced to Prostitute Himself on Chinese State TV." Indeed, above, you'll see Xue, an investor and influential social media presence, issuing one long self-criticism about the pratfalls of celebritydom. Remember, this was a guy who was arrested ostensibly for solicitation. Everyone has always speculated that it was actually for his outspokenness, which Xue seems to have confirmed with his 10-minute self-flagellation.