Halloween is just around the corner, and whether or not you partake in the trick-or-treating and pumpkin carving, who doesn't love a spooky story? Maybe you're a fan of the tale of The Flying Dutchman, the phantom ship that is doomed to sail the oceans forever, or maybe you're more into the Headless Horseman, who famously terrorized the residents of Sleepy Hollow.
The frail 79-year-old in a pale brown shirt with close-cropped hair sitting at a fast-food restaurant table looks absolutely unremarkable. But Bao Tong has a lightness in his eyes, a confidence that speaks of a man whose conscience is clear, a man with nothing to fear.
"I have become my own person," he says. "When I was a Communist Party member, I had to follow party discipline. When they threw me out of the party, my brain was set free."
China is about to get new leaders for the first time in a decade, and it comes at a sensitive moment for the world's most populous nation. Economic growth, which surged for decades, has slowed. Demands for political reform have increased and the Communist Party has been hit by scandal. In a series of stories this week, NPR is examining the multiple challenges facing China. In our first story, Louisa Lim looks at how the Chinese view the Communist Party in the place where it took shape.
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 11:48 am
Before you brave the rain, wind and inevitable lines at the already depleted grocery store today in the Mid-Atlantic region, take a deep breath.
If you're a moderately good grocery shopper, you probably already have the food you need on hand to make it through the next few days if (when) we lose power because of Hurricane Sandy. (If not, best to find a shelter near you.) But you do need to take extra precautions that what you're preparing is safe.
"Personal income increased $48.1 billion, or 0.4 percent," in September from August, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says, while "personal consumption expenditures" — consumer spending — rose 0.8 percent.