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China

Li Na Lets Loose: China's Tennis Star Test Limits Of Speaking Her Mind

Analysis: Li Na became a national hero after she became the first Chinese player to win a Grand Slam singles final at last year's French Open. But she has enraged many after declaring that she plays tennis for herself, not her country. Patriots a

Li Na at last year's French Open (Frédéric de Villamil)
Li Na at last year's French Open (Frédéric de Villamil)
Liu Hongbo

BEIJING - Earlier this week at the Indian Wells Masters tournament in California, tennis star Li Na spoke after a victory over her fellow Chinese player Zheng Jie. Though it was the usual post-match press conference, her words have landed back in China with a thud. "I'm just a tennis player," she told reporters. "I'm not here at the tournament for my country. I just want to play my tennis. It's my job to do my very best. If in the past I've had to lie, now I want to say that actually I haven't been comfortable doing that. Because if you've lied your first lie, then you'll have to lie many more times to cover up that first lie. And I really don't want to do that anymore. I know many people are going to start hating me for speaking the truth, but does it matter anymore? I've finally found my own happiness."

This might sound normal enough to you and me, but not in China -- or at least not for some people in China. Li's words have sparked a major uproar in the Chinese media and blogosphere. With reactions both favorable and unfavorable, from praise to fanatical indignation, vivid emotions are on display.

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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