Since normalizing relations with Communist China back in 1979, the U.S. government and its companies that do business with the country have, for the most part, turned a blind-eye to its numerous human rights abuses.

In China's Muslim-majority province of Xinjiang, it's believed that over a million members of its Uighur population are being arbitrarily imprisoned and tortured in concentration camps. Female Uighurs in detention are being given forced abortions and subjected to sexual mistreatment.

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This Adorable Panda Daycare Seeks to Save Endangered Species

There are less than 2,000 giant pandas in the world. A daycare seeks to bring this dying species back to life.

Image via

To say that pandas are cute is to say nothing at all. Next to cats and dogs with neck problems, they’re one of the most posted about animals on the internet. But they’re also deeply endangered, with about 1,826 left in the wild. That’s why the Chengdu Research Base in China decided to come up with their very own giant panda daycare, seeking to breed, nurture, and release pandas into the wild. The base hopes to slowly re-populate a rapidly diminishing species.

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Ten Other Independence Movements You Should Know About This Fourth of July

Americans are lucky enough to celebrate independence with beer and fireworks, but people around the world are still fighting for their freedom.

This Saturday, countless Americans will flock to parks with burgers and beers to celebrate our nation’s independence. It’s easy for us to celebrate our struggle for freedom in a cheery, light manner today, given how far in the past the Revolutionary War is for us. But that distance also means that it’s easy for us to forget about the many valid, ongoing struggles for freedom around the world. Some of these struggles resonate with our own history, or even greatly surpass the slights Americans suffered under the British. Yet even on independence-sensitive days like the fourth, many of these struggles often go overlooked.

Granted, ever since Scotland’s independence referendum last September, there’s been a renewed interest in separatist movements. Despite Edinburgh’s failure to break away from London, the publicity and success of their campaign had the English quaking and scrambling. And beyond the U.K., the Scottish wave seems to have inspired a number of other separatist movements, from Catalonia in Spain to the Kurds in the heart of the Middle East, to make their own new ripples in the pool of global politics.

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Indonesia’s Dynamite Deterrent to Fish Poaching

President Joko Widodo will risk angering his neighbors to protect his country’s fishing industry.

Screen shot from slideshow posted by Yanu ari, via YouTube

On December 5, 2014, a group of Indonesian officials and press stood looking out at three ships on the water. Each of the vessels was a Vietnamese fishing boat, captured operating in Indonesia’s waters illegally, cleared of its crew and impounded. Suddenly, they all blew up.

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Should North Carolina Neighbors Mention “China” in Their Pig Poop Lawsuit?

Is Asia’s appetite for pork to blame for North Carolina’s pig poop problem?

Photo by (cc) flickr user andjohan

We’ve all dealt with lousy neighbors before, but the North Carolina residents suing Smithfield Foods can say theirs are literally pigs. In 25 separate nuisance suits brought against the company–America’s largest provider of pork—over 500 North Carolinians claim that sub-par pork waste disposal methods are resulting in a disgusting mist of pig feces and urine that wafts over into nearby homes. But, what at first seems like an ordinary, albeit super-gross, dispute between neighbors, is actually just the latest sign of just how intertwined our global economy has made us.

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Watch Chinese Air Pollution Work Its Way Around the World in This Scary NASA Animation

New research shows that when it comes to air pollution, what happens in Asia doesn’t stay there for long.

image via (cc) flickr user vtpoly

Baoding, a heavily industrialized city in China’s northeast, has been awarded the dubious honor of having that country’s most polluted air. It’s an impressive, if disheartening, achievement, considering that in 2014 90 percent of Chinese cities failed to meet national air quality standards—ones put in place to combat the growing pollution created during the past thirty years of Chinese industrial growth. But while Baoding’s dirty atmosphere represents a major environmental and health concern for that city’s 11 million residents, climatological research shows that industrial air pollution in China doesn’t stay in China for long. This newly released NASA animation demonstrates how fast and far air pollution, much of it from Asia, flows through the planet’s atmosphere in just a matter of months.

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