This week's best reads include an investigation into how the Obama administration chooses targets for drone attack, a stirring defense of dictator intelligence, and a scientific explanation of optimism.
Chen Guangcheng arrived in the US Saturday, after fleeing mistreatment by local Chinese officials. The case highlights the central government's imperfect oversight of the provinces.
China’s deal to allow blind dissident lawyer Chen Guangcheng to exit the country to study in the US, the Bo Xiliai purge, successful bilateral talks with the US, and other developments indicate that Beijing may be committed to some reforms – and warming relations with Washington.
Chinese dissident Chen's escape is inopportune. President Obama is in a tough election battle. China faces a leadership change. Washington's angst over how to protect Chen without infuriating Beijing is matched by Beijing's desire to silence him without incurring world disdain.
Just how politician Bo Xilai's stunning fall from grace might modify the mysterious manner in which power is shared and wielded in Beijing is still hard to discern.