With Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner due in China for economic talks that start on Thursday, the U.S. and China are rushing to avert a diplomatic crisis over the fate of blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng.

China is clamping down on social media as it grapples with a crisis over the escape of a high-profile dissident, apparently to U.S. protection. The case presents new difficulties for a Chinese leadership already struggling to deal with the scandalous downfall of a powerful politician, and it complicates U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Beijing this week.

Yet China's use of social media in dealing with these two recent crises has been a study in contrasts.

"CIA drone missiles hit militant targets in Pakistan on Sunday for the first time in a month, as the United States ignored the Pakistani government's insistence that such attacks end as a condition for normalized relations between the two perpetually uneasy allies," The Washington Post writes.

On a recent Friday night, 30 men and 30 women gathered at a hotel restaurant in Washington, D.C. Their goal was love, or maybe sex, or maybe some combination of the two. They were there for speed dating.

The women sat at separate numbered tables while the men moved down the line, and for two solid hours they did a rotation, making small talk with people they did not know, one after another, in three-minute increments.

The rising tide laps at the feet of local children and fishermen and submerges all but the tops of the mangrove trees of Tiwoho village in Indonesia's North Sulawesi province. At one degree of latitude north of the equator, the climate here is about the same all year round: hot, wet and perfect for the forests of salt-tolerant trees that grow along sheltered coastlines.

Every presidential nominee going back to 2000 has revealed the names of influential supporters known as "bundlers" because of the way they persuade others to give money to a candidate. Every nominee, that is, until Mitt Romney.

The most anyone can give directly to any presidential campaign is $5,000, and everyone who gives that much is listed in the Romney campaign's monthly disclosures.

When it comes to the bundlers, though, the campaign chooses to keep those names secret.

Voluntary Disclosure

As high school seniors wrestle with big decisions before Tuesday's deadline about which college they want to go to, some of the nation's top liberal arts colleges are dealing with big decisions of their own. Many of the most elite private schools are trying to figure out how they may have to adapt at a time when they're seen as a more expensive — and less direct — path to landing a job.

President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda are meeting at the White House on Monday — the first such meeting between U.S. and Japanese leaders in three years.

Political turmoil in Japan has led to a constant turnover in leadership: There have been six prime ministers in as many years.

According to columnist Rex Huppke, there was a recent death that you might have missed. It wasn't an actor, musician or famous politician, but facts.

In a piece for the Chicago Tribune, Huppke says facts – things we know to be true – are now dead.

Sudan has declared a state of emergency as tensions mount along the disputed border it shares with its new neighbor, South Sudan.

As the AP reports, declaring a state of emergency gives the government expanded powers of arrest. On Saturday, Sudanese officials claimed they had arrested four people, including three foreigners.

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NPR Headlines

A month after a Missouri judge found Ricky Kidd innocent of a 1996 double murder and released him from prison after 23 years, Kidd's case has officially been dismissed.

Five Things To Know About Virtual School Funding

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With the ongoing probes and debate over Epic Charter Schools, state legislators held an interim-study hearing Wednesday on how virtual charter schools are funded. Are changes in the wind?

Democrat Chris Bell, the former Houston congressman and gubernatorial nominee, is formally announcing his U.S. Senate campaign.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a sweeping new labor law Wednesday extending wage and benefit protections to about a million workers and aimed primarily at drivers contracted by ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft.

Newsom had argued that when workers are misclassified as independent contractors rather than as employees, they lose basic benefits such as minimum wage, paid sick days, and health insurance.

Beto O'Rourke may not be running for statewide office anymore, but it's been difficult to tell in recent days.

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