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.