China

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A relative comforts Liu Xia (left), wife of imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, as she cries outside Huairou Detention Centre  in Huairou district, on the outskirts of Beijing, where her brother Liu Hui was jailed yesterday. Photograph: AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan

A court in suburban Beijing sentenced the brother-in-law of Liu Xiaobo, the imprisoned winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, to 11 years in prison yesterda(...)

An employee wearing a cardboard mask works in a bicycle factory in Zaozhuang in the Chinese province of  Shandong yesterday. China’s growth could slow further after data released yesterday showed subdued activity across the economy in May in the face of sustained global weakness, raising the possibility of interest rate cuts. Photograph: Reuters

Slower Chinese inflation in May, combined with below-expectation bank lending, added to a downbeat picture of the world’s second-biggest economy in th(...)

South Korea’s senior unification ministry official and head of working-level delegation Chun Hae-Sung (right) shakes hands with his North Korean counterpart Kim Song-Hye (left) during their meeting at Freedom House in Panmunjom, South Korea today. The sides  have agreed to hold working-level talks to prepare for a Cabinet-level meeting between the two divided countries. Photograph: South Korean Unification Miniatry via Getty Images

North and South Korea have agreed to hold a minister-level meeting on Wednesday as the two sides seek limited rapprochement following ratcheted-up (...)

Smoke spirals from a bus on fire   in Xiamen, Fujian province, yesterday, in which dozens of people were killed. Photograph: Reuters

The suspect in a commuter bus fire that rattled a prosperous Chinese port city wrote a suicide note saying he was unhappy and angry before dying in th(...)

US president Barack Obama meets with Chinese president Xi Jinping at The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California, yesterday. Mr Obama said  he welcomed the “peaceful rise” of China and that, despite inevitable areas of tension, both countries want a cooperative relationship, as he and Chinese President Xi Jinping kicked off two days of meetings. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

US president Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have begun a two-day informal summit in California. It is the first meeting between t(...)

German exports rose in April and imports surged even more, data showed today, suggesting Europe’s largest economy is regaining some momentum after it contracted at the end of 2012. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/Files/Reuters.

German exports rose in April and imports surged even more, data showed today, suggesting Europe’s largest economy is regaining some momentum after it (...)

Roll-your-own tobacco disguised as tea and valued at some €102,000 was seized by Revenue Customs officers. Photograph: Revenue

Roll-your-own tobacco disguised as tea and valued at some €102,000 was seized by Revenue Customs officers yesterday.The quarter tonne of tobacco was c(...)

Services sector continues to enjoy momentun

Ireland’s services sector continued to enjoy positive momentum in May, experiencing a tenth successive month of growth although the picture was not as(...)

A boy holds a Chinese national flag as he sits on the shoulders of a man in front of a portrait of   Mao Zedong at Tiananmen Square in Beijing this week.  Photograph:  Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

In Beijing, yesterday, the smog and a looming thunderstorm combined to generate darkness at noon, an eerie visual effect on what is a strange day ever(...)

A salesman displays a bottle of French Cotes de Bourg wine to a customer at a wine expo in Beijing, this week. Photograph: Reuters

China has launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probe in European wine in response to the European Union’s decision to impose duties on imports o(...)

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