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Goings-on in Urumqi

Xinjiang Metropolis Daily, November 5, 2010

Like many of today's newspapers, the Xinjiang Metropolis Daily features the latest developments in the "360 vs. QQ" affair (also known by the shorthand "3Q"; see yesterday's front page).

Topping the front page is a headline about a report concerning a development plan for Urumqi, the capital of the autonomous region. Party secretary Zhang Chunxian spoke in favor of making the city a "bright pearl of the western region."

As shown in the front-page image, the pearl was waterlogged last night from the first snow (mixed with rain) of the season.

Today's human interest story involves a six-year-long spat between neighbors. In 2004, Mrs. Yan, now seventy years old, had her second-floor apartment broken into. She blamed a sign and rain awning belonging to her downstairs neighbors, the Chen family, for providing the thief with ready access to her balcony. In the years that followed, the neighbors traded lawsuits over the awning, an iron cage that Mrs. Yang put up, and property damage on both sides. Now both neighbors have removed their respective additions.

Mrs. Yang has hung up a banner heralding the decision: "Fully carry out the Three Represents; Build a Harmonious Society." A nice thought, but will that banner kick off a new argument?

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