Olympic Games / Du Baihua

Every four years, the world comes together for the Olympics. We set aside our differences of race, religion, and nationality and are, for a brief moment, just citizens of the world. The event itself says it promotes "peace, friendship and understanding in the world." Now, top Muslim group, Emgage, is saying the location of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Beijing, China, violates the ideals of the Olympics.

Emgage works to increase Muslim American involvement in politics. They held the first Muslim-American presidential forum, and released a report showing a 25% increase in Muslim voters in swing states from 2014 to 2015. Now, they want the U.S. Olympic National Committee to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, saying that the Chinese government has been persecuting Uighur Muslims (ethnically Turkic Muslims).

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Breathe In. Breathe Out.

China's most important green activist, Ma Jun, just wants some transparency.

In winter, the Beijing haze is often so thick that cars will turn on their head lights to navigate at midday. Meanwhile, the sidewalks exhibit a post-apocalyptic vision: bundled Beijingers, heads down as they walk or cycle through the streets, their faces covered by surgical masks. Those who can afford better protection choose respirators that don’t look much different from what World War I troops used to ward off mustard gas. The precautions are understandable: One recent study estimated that air pollution was responsible for 1.2 million premature Chinese deaths in 2010.

Ma Jun, China’s most important and influential environmental activist of the past three decades, thinks it doesn’t have to be this way. “The conclusion I’ve come to is that the problem isn’t technology,” he says, “but lack of motivation.”

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Glowing Pollution Sensor Equipped Kites Replace Beijing's Stars

A scrappy citizen-science experiment to spark conversation (and action) around air quality.

Urban air quality in China has been miserable for years, but the issue really came to the foreground in June when China’s vice minister for environmental protection put foreign embassies on blast for publishing national air pollution data online. The U.S. Embassy, whose hourly Twitter updates on Beijing's air quality have helped spread awareness of the dangers of pollution among the Chinese public, was the likely target of the criticism.

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Picture Show: Modernity Meets Antiquity in Beijing's Hutong Neighborhoods

There are few places on the planet as inviting and abuzz as Beijing's Hutong neighborhoods, where crowds of residents move...

There are few places on the planet as inviting and abuzz as Beijing's Hutong neighborhoods, where crowds of residents move through clustered, narrow alleyways against a backdrop of diminutive courtyard homes. But during the massive effort to modernize Beijing for the 2008 Olympic games, many of these neighborhoods were razed and replaced. "For some residents this provides a chance for a better standard of living," writes the photographer Dan Eckstein. "For others it means the end of a way of life."

Eckstein's multimedia series "Beijing Huton" (some of which originally ran for PBS) offers a glimpse at these neighborhoods before, during, and after their transformations. What follows is a selection of Eckstein's work on these vanishing cultural spaces.

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