A new report by Washington watchdog group Freedom House says a clampdown on political rights made 43 countries 'not free' in 2007.
Chinese officials are treating the Games as proud confirmation of their country's emergence as a global force to be reckoned with.
A growing number of connected youth nationwide are involved in philanthropy, according to experts.
Monitor correspondents and experts suggest what to watch for in eight international conflicts.
Grass-roots giving for the solar cooker, donated to women who fled Darfur, takes root in the US.