But friends who had planned to visit Chen Guangcheng in New York are blocked by authorities.
Official media say the explosions are the result of 'self-made' bombs in a location often thronging with petitioners.
Police detain 17 protesters after villagers blame local industry for elevated levels of lead in their blood tests.
Thousands of petitioners descend on Beijing seeking to resolve complaints against the Communist Party.
And in Fujian, a woman drinks pesticide after being taunted by a local official.
One activist is formally arrested, while another says he was kept in chains for days.