ARI SHAPIRO, host: Good morning, I'm Ari Shapiro. She was an Occupy Wall Streeter in tears from pepper spray. He was a volunteer medic who rushed to her side. Their eyes met, and the energy between them felt like a show of excessive force. The cooing new couple told the New York Daily News, nothing strengthens a relationship like a chemical agent. The police officer who fired the pepper spray was stripped of ten days vacation. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Blind activist Chen Guangcheng with his wife and son outside their home in northeast China's Shandong province in 2005. He's been held incommunicado at his home for more than a year and has become the focus of a microblog campaign by human-rights activists.
Credit Courtesy of Zhu Mingyong
Yang Jinde says he was tortured in a police dog training center, leaving him blind in one eye and deaf in one ear. These pictures were taken by lawyer Zhu Mingyong inside a detention center, where the lawyer also shot a video of Yang that has gone viral.
In China, microblogs are transforming the way activists draw attention to human-rights cases. Despite strict Internet controls, netizens are using Chinese Twitter as a powerful tool.
Two recent cases show just how effective microblogs can be in shaping the debate over human-rights abuses and driving citizen activism.
One case involves a chilling video that was recently released online. In it, a man lies under a green quilt, apparently naked. His left eye and right ear are covered with bandages; the skin on his feet is discolored and peeling.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao meeting in Berlin on June 28. During Europe's economic crisis, both China and the United States have stayed mostly on the sidelines.
Credit Lionel Cironneau / AP
U.S Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (left) speaks to French Finance Minister Francois Baroin (right) during talks in Marseille in September. While the U.S. has been concerned about Europe's debt crisis, the Americans have not been major players.
When Columbus sailed west in the late 15th century, he launched a long and lucrative relationship between Europe and the Americas. Family ties, economic bonds and shared military goals continue to knit us together.
But as the European debt crisis has deepened, it has highlighted this early 21st century shift: The United States is becoming more of a Pacific Rim country and less of a North Atlantic partner.
Stone elephants line a newly inaugurated park dedicated to Dalit, or lower caste, leaders in a suburb of New Delhi, India. Mayawati, a politician known as the "Dalit queen," says previous governments did nothing to honor the leaders who fought for Dalit rights.
Credit STR / AFP/Getty Images
Mayawati, chief minister of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, gestures as she prepares to open the newly built Dalit memorial on the outskirts of New Delhi on Oct. 14.
Greek's economic problems work their way down the supply chain to people like Kosta Bouyoukas, who imports olives and other foods from Greece. He says suppliers are changing the terms of contracts, and sometimes products don't show up at all.
The so-called millionaires tax on New York's top wage earners is set to expire at the end of the year, even as the state struggles to balance its books. A poll released Thursday shows that New Yorkers favor extending the tax by more than 2 to 1.
But the millionaires tax also has its opponents, including the state's popular and powerful governor, Democrat Andrew Cuomo.
John Samuelsen, president of New York City's transit workers union, called on lawmakers to extend the millionaires tax during a rally this week outside City Hall in Manhattan.