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SIMMERING RESENTMENT Claims of injustice spur wave of unrest in China


McClatchy News Service

ZENGCHENG, China — Pulling out his camera, Zhu Bin grinned and pointed as he scrolled through the images. Two cars sat ablaze against a dark sky in one picture, and in the next, thick rows of police tried to keep order with riot shields. There, on the street next to the Sun City Hotel and a karaoke bar, it looked like all hell was breaking loose on a sweltering Sunday night. Underneath the streetlights, a mob of hundreds wandered among the smoke and broken glass. The chaos last weekend that shook this city in Guangdong province, one of China’s key industrial bases, was another in a string of especially volatile demonstrations that have swept the country in recent weeks. The details vary, but the out-

break points to serious challenges for the Chinese Communist Party on the eve of the 90th anniversary July 1 of the party’s founding. At its root is the fact that after 30 years of rapid economic development the average Chinese has almost no legal or political means to pursue grievances against the government and those it protects. That’s led to simmering resentment in a nation where there are profound gaps in income and privilege amid a political system whose rigid ways often fuel the very instability the system is designed to avoid. Public discussion about the causes of the violence in Zengcheng has followed a familiar line: low wages and bad working conditions for migrant laborers — who make up more than half of Zengcheng’s 818,000 residents

— whipped up by criminal gangs. But interviews here show that the chaos was stoked by anger that had been building for years at the bullying tactics of both the “chengguan”, meter maid-like guards who are charged with enforcing municipal ordinances, and the “public security teams”, ad hoc officers cobbled together by neighborhood or village committees. The trigger for last weekend’s rioting was the news that a pregnant migrant had been pushed to the ground — initial rumors said killed — during an altercation with security. It was a report with which migrants could easily identify. “It’s very common for them to beat people. They’ll do it for very petty reasons,” said Zhu, 28, who came here from Anhui • TURN TO CHINA, 2A

TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2011


Justices rule for Walmart in class action bias case BY ADAM LIPTAK

New York Times Service

could not show that they would receive “a common answer to the crucial question why was I disfavored”. He noted that Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, operated some 3,400 stores, had an express policy forbidding discrimination and granted local managers substantial discretion. “On its face, of course, that is just the opposite of a uniform employment practice that would provide the commonality needed for a class action,” Scalia wrote. “It is a policy against having uniform employment practices.” The case involved “literally millions of employment decisions”, Scalia wrote, and the plaintiffs had to point to “some glue holding all those decisions together”. The plaintiffs sought to make that showing with testimony from William T. Bielby, a sociologist specializing in “social framework analysis.” Bielby told the trial court he had collected general “scientific evidence about gender bias, stereotypes and the structure and dynamics of gender inequality in organizations”. He said he also reviewed extensive litigation materials gathered by the lawyers in the case. He concluded that two aspects of Walmart’s corporate culture might be to blame for pay and other disparities.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday threw out the largest employment discrimination case in the nation’s history. The suit, against Walmart Stores, had sought to consolidate the claims of as many as 1.5 million women on the theory that the company had discriminated against them in pay and promotion decisions. The lawsuit sought back pay that could have amounted to billions of dollars. But the Supreme Court, in a decision that was unanimous on this point, said the plaintiffs’ lawyers had improperly sued under a part of the class action rules that was not primarily concerned with monetary claims. The court did not decide whether Walmart had in fact discriminated against the women, only that they could not proceed as a class. The court’s decision on that issue will almost certainly affect all sorts of other class-action suits, including ones asserting antitrust, securities and product liability violations. In a broader question in the Walmart case, the court divided 5-to-4 along ideological lines on whether the suit satisfied a requirement of the class-action rules that “there are questions of law or fact common to the class”. Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, said the plaintiffs • TURN TO WALMART, 2A

Cash-strapped al Qaeda turns to kidnapping high walls in Abbottabad, Pakistan, bin Laden kept tabs on how his network moved its money. The al Qaeda founder was killed last month by U.S. Navy SEALs. “There are clearly times for them when money is tight,” said Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. “We’ve seen that their donors have been less dependable and we’re seeing them turning more to kidnapping as a way of keeping the money coming in.” Experts from the CIA’s National Counterterrorism Center, the Treasury Department and the FBI and military are trying to learn more from the recovered files about al Qaeda’s money sources and the impact of bin Laden’s death on the group’s financial future. They hope

BY STEPHEN BRAUN Associated Press


A burned out car is abandoned in the Dadun Village area of Zengcheng, a city shaken by riots last weekend.

Politicians raise millions with ‘money blurts’ BY DAN EGGEN AND T.W. FARNAM Washington Post Service

ance, for example, Bachmann took in nearly $1 million. The use of money blurts could have a significant impact on the strength of some candidates’ fundraising efforts, which will come into focus next month with the release of fresh disclosure forms for GOP presidential campaigns. Bachmann aides have said she received a major boost with her appearance at a Republican debate in New Hampshire, though they did not release numbers. The phenomenon marks another phase in the quest for money in politics, fueled by the eternal hum of the Internet, social media and 24-hour cable news. The tactic could prove especially valuable for insurgent candidates such as Bachmann who are likely to rely heavily on smaller donations for their 2012 campaigns. “It’s a great way to attract a

In the ever-evolving world of campaign fundraising, some politicians have stumbled on yet another way to bring in buckets of cash. Let’s call it the “money blurt.” Here’s how it works: An upand-coming politician blurts out something incendiary, provocative or otherwise controversial. The remark bounces around the blogs and talk shows and becomes a sensation. And in the midst of it all, the politician’s fundraisers are manning the phones and raking in the donations. Consider Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., the Tea Party favorite and newly minted presidential candidate, who has made a specialty of raising money in the wake of bold and well-placed remarks. Shortly after accusing U.S. President Barack Obama of having “anti-American views” during one cable-news appear- • TURN TO BLURTS, 2A


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WASHINGTON — Pressured by increased scrutiny of terrorist money sources and strikes aimed at its financiers, al Qaeda’s core organization in Pakistan has turned to kidnapping for ransom to offset dwindling cash reserves, according to U.S. officials, some of whom cited information in files retrieved from Osama bin Laden’s compound. Bin Laden’s interest in kidnapping as a cash-raiser bolsters accounts that the financial squeeze has staggered al Qaeda, forcing it to search for alternative funding sources. Officials would not detail al Qaeda’s role in specific crimes, but the group’s affiliates have targeted diplomats, tourists and merchants. His awareness of al Qaeda’s growing use of kidnapping is evidence that even in isolation behind • TURN TO AL QAEDA, 2A

Hipsters acquire taste for nectar of Aztecs BY WILLIAM BOOTH

Washington Post Service

MEXICO CITY — The ancient booze of the Aztecs has been losing its buzz over the past century, the victim of changing tastes, slander — and beer. But salvation may yet come for

the slightly viscous, naturally fizzy fermented juice of the maguey cactus, still peddled over the counter from big glass jars in the megametropolis of Mexico City, where on a warm Saturday afternoon, hazy old-timers can be found slurping down plastic buckets of the brew in

a place where you urinate down a hole in the corner. Yes, what might still save pulque (pronounced pull-kay) from the cultural rubbish heap are not its traditional consumers — the poor, the old, the rural — but young urban hipsters, who have taken to the antique drink as a kind of retro, subversive return to their preColumbian roots. At the Pulqueria Las Duelistas in the shadow of the San Juan food market here — where butchers skin pigs and where sweet baby goats lay on the tile in their pre-taco state — a young crowd was packed inside, getting its Azteca on. “It is cooler than beer and a lot cheaper than tequila,” said Jaime Torres, a 22-year-old design student and computer tech for an advertising agency who was getting pleasantly toasted with a table of friends. “It’s old Mexico.” Ancient, actually. Pulque comes from the heart of the blue maguey, or agave, cactus, which — when punctured at maturity — produces a sweet sap called aguamiel, or


Big jars of pulque await customers at a pulqueria in Mexico City.





INDEX U.S. NEWS ..................5A WORLD NEWS ...........6A PEOPLE .........................8A COMICS & PUZZLES ..6B

6/21/2011 4:38:29 AM


Edition, 21 june 2011