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Could 'Thunder God Vine' Extract End Obesity?

Mice fed extract from Chinese plant lost weight, big-time

(Newser) - Could a Chinese plant make our lifestyle of dieting, exercise, and rampant obesity a thing of the past? Well, a new study says that mice given an extract from the plant—known as "thunder god vine"—ate as much as 80% less than their counterparts and lost 45%... More »

Why It's Hard to Learn Math in English

Words like "eleven" mess us up

(Newser) - When it comes to learning math, English speakers face a disadvantage that has nothing to do with the classroom environment. Research suggests that the English language simply makes it hard to talk about numbers, the Wall Street Journal reports. A key reason comes when kids reach the number 11: A... More »

Chinese Hack Data of Feds With Top-Secret Clearance

'NYT': Office of Personnel Management was hit in March

(Newser) - Hackers gained access to the Office of Personnel Management, which houses the personal data of all federal employees, and an official tells the New York Times that the hit was traced to China—though it's not clear whether Beijing sanctioned it. The March breach appeared to target the files... More »

House Apologizes for 1882 Anti-Chinese Law

Resolution expressing regret passes unanimously

(Newser) - The House has issued a rare apology for an anti-Chinese law it passed 130 years ago. The Chinese Exclusionary Act of 1882 banned immigration from China, and barred existing Chinese residents—who numbered close to 100,000 at the time—from citizenship and voting. The act remained in place until... More »

Chinese Siri Draws Blank on Tiananmen

Even if it's not censoring searches, it's not very good

(Newser) - Siri is learning Chinese, but it looks like there are some things she's specifically not learning. Ask Chinese Siri about the Tiananmen Square incident, and she'll respond with answers like "I couldn't find any appointments related to 'Do you know about Tiananmen,'" or... More »

This Tiny Dish Just Sold for $26.7M

Sotheby's gets hefty price for 900-year-old Chinese piece

(Newser) - Handle with care: A 900-year-old ceramic dish dating back to China's Song dynasty has sold for $26.7 million at a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong, reports the AP . It was probably used to clean brushes by a Song scholar back in the day, notes Bloomberg . Only about... More »

Premier to Chinese: Get Ready to Buy, Buy, Buy

Consumer spending is what China needs now: Wen Jiabao

(Newser) - China's premier today called on his countrymen to spend big to boost the national economy because international markets aren't up to the job. "Expanding domestic demand, particularly consumer demand, is essential to ensuring China's long-term, robust economic development, and is the focus of our economic work... More »

Foxconn Workers Vowed to Jump Off Roof in Protest

Chinese employees take action against assembly line conditions

(Newser) - Close to 150 Chinese workers gathered on the rooftop of their Foxconn factory in Wuhan and threatened to leap to their deaths in a "suicide protest" against poor working conditions. The workers were talked down by the local mayor and company officials after spending two days on top of... More »

Has Google Earth Stumbled on China Satellite Targets?

What are those things in the Gobi Desert?

(Newser) - The weird giant hen scratches spotted in the Gobi Desert by Google Earth might be Chinese—and not proof of aliens from outer space. Observers have been puzzled by the strange markings seen from space. But now some experts believe the marks were painted on land to help calibrate China'... More »

China Detains Christians at Easter Service

At least 30 detained, church member says

(Newser) - Chinese police detained at least 30 Christians belonging to an unregistered Beijing church as the congregation gathered today for an Easter service, a church member says. Police stopped the worshippers from the unregistered Shouwang church as they gathered near a public plaza in the city's university district, then bused... More »

Limbaugh Mocks Chinese Leader, Language

Language 'all sounds like one word,' Rush whines

(Newser) - Stay classy, Rush: In what some critics are calling a new low even for the radio host, Limbaugh mocked Hu Jintao and the Chinese language while discussing the Chinese leader's joint press conference with President Obama, the Huffington Post reports. Limbaugh—noting that translation wasn't provided until after the leader... More »

Are We Ready to Parent Like 'Superior' Chinese Mothers?

Amy Chua pushes the Chinese method of parenting

(Newser) - Amy Chua—and her method of parenting—is creating quite a stir. The Wall Street Journal published an except from the Yale law professor's new memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, over the weekend, and the 3,494 comments (and counting) include reactions like: "I am in disbelief... More »

Our Kids Don't Need to Learn Chinese

Spanish, however, would benefit them

(Newser) - Nick Kristof and his family speak Chinese, and “let’s be frank,” he writes in the New York Times , “if your child hasn’t started Mandarin classes by third grade, he or she will never amount to anything.” Oh, actually … “just kidding,” continues... More »

Passenger: I Warned Crew About 'Two-Faced' Flier

But no one paid any attention, scared traveler complains

(Newser) - A passenger warned the flight crew about a disguised "two-faced" flier who slipped on board and rattled security staffs around the world—but they shrugged off her concerns, she says. Passenger Nuray Kurtur-Balas said she immediately spotted something amiss and feared the 22-year-old, dressed as an old man, planned... More »

Morrissey: Chinese Are a 'Subspecies'

Racism accusations after singer criticizes 'animal abuse'

(Newser) - Another racism flap for Morrissey: The singer called the Chinese people a "subspecies" because of their treatment of animals, and he won't back off from the remark. "Did you see the thing on the news about their treatment of animals and animal welfare? Absolutely horrific," he says... More »

Headache Gives British Woman a Chinese Accent

'Foreign Accent Syndrome' apparently a real thing

(Newser) - As if migraine sufferers didn't already have enough to worry about, a woman in Plymouth, England, recently had a headache so powerful that it replaced her British accent with a Chinese one. As ridiculous as it sounds, doctors say she actually has a rare condition known as Foreign Accent Syndrome,... More »

This Kid Sings Like Whitney Houston

Lin Yu Chun is the latest viral video star

(Newser) - This Chinese boy could be the next Susan Boyle. Gawker points to a video that is quickly making the rounds on the Internet, showing reality show contestant Lin Yu Chun—“an overweight teenager with an awkward haircut,” writes Maureen O'Connor. Surprisingly enough, he does a dead-on Whitney Houston... More »

Web Addresses Will Gain International Flavor

Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew domains, among others, will have support by 2010: ICANN

(Newser) - In the biggest change ever to the system, Web domains will soon be available in the native scripts of Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew, and other non-Latin-based languages. A proposal expected to be approved this week means “Internationalized Domain Names” could be up and running as soon as mid-2010. China and... More »

Mandarin Becomes Talk of Chinatown

Cantonese-speakers sidelined by new generation of immigrants

(Newser) - Goodbye "Leih Hou Ma," hello "Ni Hao Ma." The language most often heard in New York's Chinatown and in Chinese communities across America is quickly changing from Cantonese to Mandarin as new immigrants from mainland China outnumber those from Hong Kong. Even Cantonese-speaking parents are pushing... More »

In China, Binge Drinking Is All in a Day's Work

(Newser) - Getting wasted is all part of the job for many Chinese bureaucrats, and it's becoming such a serious problem that it has led to illness and death, reports Reuters. Government officials are required to offer large amounts of alcohol at public functions and drink frequent toasts to honor guests. "... More »

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