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Chinese authorities are investigating a private company that is accused of taking payments from local officials to imprison and abuse disgruntled constituents. China has a long tradition of oppressed provincials making pilgrimages to seek redress in the capital.

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Taking cues from past Olympic protests and the U.S.'s notoriously ironic "free speech zones," the Chinese government has declared its openness to dissidents criticizing the state -- so long as dissent is contained in one of three areas, does not threaten vague notions of national unity, and is submitted five days beforehand to the local security bureau.

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Ever a fan of failed policy, President Bush has reiterated his support of the embargo against Cuba, which, one might recall, was enacted more than four decades ago to force Fidel Castro from power. Bush also praised the patient (and sometimes violent) Cuban dissidents, who, he said, one day "will be the nation's leaders."

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The National Security Archive at George Washington University has posted documents on its website that expose ugly activities by the CIA before reforms were made in the 1970s. The secrecy watchdog says the agency violated its charter for 25 years by spying on journalists and political dissidents, in addition to engaging in other nefarious activities.

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A human rights organization is suing Yahoo for assisting the Chinese government in arresting dissidents by providing information on its users. Like Google and Microsoft, Yahoo has defended the practice of handing over data to China as a necessary evil mitigated by the benefits of the Internet, crippled and corrupt though it may be.

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