14 Stories

Tibetans' Genetic Edge Didn't Come From Homo Sapiens

High-altitude fitness hails from an extinct hominid cousin, the Denisovans

(Newser) - Tibetans are largely unique among humans for their ability to live comfortably at high altitudes. The Tibetan Plateau, nicknamed the "roof of the world," stands an average of 15,000 feet above sea level. That's just shy of 3 miles—making it the highest plateau on the... More »

Tibet Nun, 18, Sets Self Ablaze

Free Tibet says teen died from injuries as tension escalates

(Newser) - An 18-year-old Tibetan nun has set herself on fire in western China in the latest such protest against Beijing's handling of the vast ethnic Tibetan regions it rules, an overseas activist group said today. Free Tibet said in a statement that the nun had died after setting herself ablaze... More »

Tibetan Nun Sets Self Ablaze

Woman dies after 9th clergy self-immolation since March

(Newser) - A Tibetan nun protesting China's policies has died after setting herself on fire outside a nunnery in Sichuan province, the Free Tibet group says. The 20-year-old woman, who called for religious freedom in Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama, is the ninth Buddhist clergy member—and the... More »

New Tibetan Prime Minister Sworn In

Lobsang Sangay will follow Dalai Lama's policies

(Newser) - A Harvard-trained legal scholar was sworn in today as the new head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, taking over from the Dalai Lama as leader of his people's fight for freedom. Lobsang Sangay, who was elected in April by tens of thousands of Tibetans in exile, was surrounded by hundreds... More »

Dalai Lama Giving Up Political Role

Spiritual leader making way for elected head of exiled government

(Newser) - The Dalai Lama is relinquishing his role as political leader of Tibet's government-in-exile to make way for an elected figure. The 75-year-old leader—speaking in India on the anniversary of a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule—stressed that he isn't retiring and will remain as his people's spiritual guide... More »

Tibetans 'Fastest-Evolving People on Earth'

Mutations allow Tibetans to thrive at high altitude

(Newser) - The Tibetan people have evolved to suit their high-altitude home with astonishing speed, say researchers. Biologists who compared the genomes of Tibetans living in villages up to 3 miles above sea level with Han Chinese found that 30 genes had undergone adaptive mutations in the 3,000 years since lowland... More »

China Isolates Town After 2 Die of Plague

10,000 quarantined in Tibetan region after outbreak at funeral

(Newser) - China has quarantined a remote town of 10,000 after two people died of pneumonic plague, one of the world's deadliest diseases. The Times of London reports that the first victim died after burying his dog, and 11 people at the funeral then fell ill, one fatally. Pneumonic plague is... More »

It's Time for China, Tibet to Cut a Deal

Dalai Lama backs off demand for autonomy, opening window

(Newser) - The Dalai Lama is willing to accept Chinese rule in Tibet, providing Beijing with a major concession in an attempt to preserve the cultural character of the region, writes columnist Nicolas D. Kristof in the New York Times. The Chinese government must recognize the Dalai Lama's willingness to compromise and... More »

Chinese Police Kill 8 Protesters

Clash in Sichaun province comes as officials try to search Tibetan monastery

(Newser) - Chinese police killed eight protesters and wounded dozens more overnight in Sichuan province when they opened fire on a demonstration led by Tibetan monks, the Times of London reports. The altercation started when police searched a Tibetan monastery, confiscating phones and images of the Dalai Lama. After arresting two, the... More »

Protesters Follow Olympic Torch to Acropolis

Demonstrations in Greece remain mostly peaceful

(Newser) - Olympic torchbearers made their way to the Acropolis in Greece today with the help of heavy security that kept protesters at arm's length, the AP reports. Activists have set up camp by candlelight outside the stadium—site of the first modern Olympics in 1896— to protest China's human rights record... More »

Olympic Flame Lit Amid Brief Protest

Torch lit in grand style at Olympia

(Newser) - The Olympic flame was lit this morning in Greece, in a ceremony briefly interrupted by human rights protesters. As the Chinese Communist Party secretary—also the head of the Beijing Olympics—spoke, three demonstrators evaded massive security to run onto the field at the stadium in Ancient Olympia. One managed... More »

China Admits Police Shot Tibetan Protesters

State's claim of 13 dead, 4 wounded at odds with exiles' estimate of 99 killed

(Newser) - China admitted today its police opened fire on Tibetan protesters, wounding four in “self-defense,” the BBC reports. The statement from state-run Xinhua news agency is China’s first admission to hurting anyone since protests began last week. Chinese officials say rioters have killed 13; Tibetan activists reported security... More »

Tibetans Begin Trek Home to Protest China Policies

Thousands bid farewell to marchers as they leave Dharamsala

(Newser) - Cheering thousands bid farewell to more than 100 Tibetan exiles as they began a trek today from India back to their homeland to protest China's rule over Tibet.  "Everybody is pumped up," said one marcher. "Many people were in tears as they said goodbye." ... More »

Tibetan Villagers Riot Over Monks' Arrest

190 people demanded alleged thieves' release

(Newser) - Simmering ethnic tensions between Tibetans and Chinese boiled over into a riot in a remote Tibet province, Reuters reports. After 3 monks were arrested following an altercation with a Chinese shop owner, hundreds of Tibetan herdsmen converged on the town to demand their release. When authorities failed to comply, they... More »

14 Stories