The US cites China’s complicity in North Korean forced labor as a reason for its downgrade.
Local sources say state media have been ordered to focus on the rescue effort rather than the 100 or so people buried at the disaster site.
Liu Xiaobo is in a hospital in northeastern China receiving treatment for late-stage liver cancer, with family permitted to visit him.
Lu Yuyu, who blogged under the handle @wickedonnaa, has maintained his innocence at all times, while his supporters are under police surveillance.
Gender-testing of unborn babies is banned in mainland China amid a massive gender imbalance following decades of sex-selective abortion.
Yangjindolma was detained in May after planning an event to mark the sixth anniversary of the killing of Mongolian herder Murgen.
But critics say Beijing and Hong Kong officials are trying to force greater loyalty to the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
U.S.-based animal rights activist Gong Zengheng says an outright ban on the annual festival was never on the cards, and hopes shifting mindsets will end the consumption of dog meat in China.
Scholars and social activists in Kazakhstan call on their government to put pressure on Beijing to allow Kazakhs to move freely across the shared border.
Attempts to reform the system with a new law are unlikely to succeed under the current system, where existing laws are routinely flouted, they say.
Local government officials have fenced off the surrounding area, denying access to ethnic Mongolian herders.
Eight are reported dead and 65 injured as police clear the area following a suicide blast that left eight dead and more than 60 injured.
The family issued a statement strongly criticizing the forced appointment of government lawyers for Jiang Tianyong, who faces subversion charges in the northern city of Tianjin.
Traders are simply posting phone numbers to work around a loosely enforced verbal ban ahead of the controversial dog-meat festival, local people say.
Reports that Wu Xiaohui is assisting a government investigation come from a publication backed by the top ruling Chinese Communist Party graft-buster.
An exile group cites reports of more than 100 punishments handed down to ethnic minority Uyghurs in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.
His existing defense team say the government has no right to terminate their instructions, and that they will continue to fight to be allowed to represent him.