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First the Tibetans, now the Uighurs, are challenging China's central authority. Can 56 very different cultural and linguistic groups continue to get along? Also, questioning begins in confirmation hearings of Judge Sonia Sotomayor. On Reporter's Notebook, President Obama threatens a veto to stop building the F-22 warplane in favor of weapons he says US troops "actually…need."  Republicans—and Democrats are worried about jobs. 

Banner image: Ethnic Uighurs go about their daily lives in Xinjiang's famed Silk Road city of Kashgar in China's far northwestern, mainly Muslim Xinjiang region. Photo: Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

Dislocating China

Dru Gladney

Making News First Day of Questioning in Sotomayor Confirmation Hearings 7 MIN, 35 SEC

Under grilling by Republican Senators at her confirmation hearing today, Judge Sonia Sotomayor firmly denied racial bias. Once again, she found herself responding to challenges about her famous comment that "wise Latinas" would make better decisions than judges with other backgrounds.  Alex Kingsbury is associate editor at US News and World Report.

Alex Kingsbury, Associate Editor, US News and World Report

Main Topic Is China Really a Melting Pot? 36 MIN

Last week, Prime Minister Hu Jintao rushed home from the G-8 summit to deal with massive unrest and deadly violence in what's called the Shin-jung Uighur Autonomous Region in China's far west. For the first time, the government announced that paramilitary police opened fire, killing two Uighurs and injuring a third. That violence has been followed up by a security crackdown, a scenario much like that in Tibet before the Olympics. Muslim Uighurs once were the majority in a province the size of Texas. Now they're being squeezed by a government-sponsored migration of Han Chinese. But Tibetans and Uighurs are by no means alone among 56 ethnic groups whose cultural and linguistic differences are exaggerated by economic inequality. As the government prepares to celebrate what it calls 60 years of “harmony,” we hear about potential threats to central authority.

Barbara Demick, Author, "Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea" (@BarbaraDemick)
Dru Gladney, President of the Pacific Basin Institute, Pomona College
Yan Sun, Professor of Political Science, CUNY
Wenran Jiang, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Alberta

Reporter's Notebook The Fate of the F-22 Fighter Jet 6 MIN, 45 SEC

President Obama says if Congress votes to spend more money on the F-22, he'll veto the $680 billion military spending bill for next year. The dispute over the warplane has created strange bedfellows. Senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry of Massachusetts oppose the President's insistence on shutting it down. Obama's principal ally is John McCain of Arizona. Gordon Adams is Professor of US Foreign Policy at American University and distinguished fellow at the Stimson Center.

Gordon Adams, American University / Foreign Policy magazine (@Gadams1941)

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