The current case of a prominent Chinese activist seeking U.S. protection has echoes of a similar episode in 1989. Then, physicist Fang Lizhi took refuge at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. He spent a year there before the U.S. and China reached a deal allowing him to move to the U.S. He died this month in Arizona, at age 76. John B. Carnett/Popular Science via Getty Images hide caption

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European leaders keep getting driven from office by voters upset with the continent's ongoing economic problems. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, shown here at a campaign event on Thursday, is trailing in opinion polls in advance of a May 6 runoff election. Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir visits the southern town of El-Obeid on April 19 amid rising tensions with South Sudan. The countries have been skirmishing, and there are fears of a full-scale war. Bashir says South Sudan's leaders only understand "the language of the gun." Ebrahim Hamid/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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The Formula One Grand Prix Race set for Sunday in Bahrain has drawn attention to the island nation that was rocked by protests last year. Demonstrators are being kept away from the racing circuit. Driver Nico Rosberg of the Mercedes team is shown here during a practice session Friday. Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Argentine President Cristina Fernandez holds a petroleum sample as she announces plans for her government to nationalize a giant oil company that is largely owned by a private Spanish company, Repsol. Behind her is an image of the country's former first lady, Eva Peron. Daniel Garcia/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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The U.S. now imports far more oil from Canada than from any other country. Persian Gulf imports now account for less than 15 percent of the oil consumed in the U.S. This photo shows the Syncrude oil sands extraction facility near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, in 2009. Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Tuareg rebels eat a meal last month near the Malian city of Timbuktu, which they recently captured. The rebels have taken control of northern Mali, raising concerns about stability in the broader region. Ferhat Bouda/DPA/Landov hide caption

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A patient is treated at the Nord Hospital in Marseille, France, in February. European countries have also been engaged in intense debates on the future of their health care systems, where universal coverage is the norm. Anne-Chrisine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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The leader of the junta that seized power in Mali, Army Capt. Amadou Sanogo, announces a curfew in the capital, Bamako, on Thursday, in this photo taken from television.The coup ousted an elected president who was due to step down after a new election next month in the West African nation. Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who is accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians, will have the case heard in the military justice system, which has significant differences from the civilian courts. Here, Bales is shown in a training exercise in Fort Irwin, Calif., last August. Spc. Ryan Hallock/AP hide caption

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Iran has been denied access to the worldwide messaging system used to arrange money transfers, a move that is expected to affect Iran's oil exports and economy. The South Pars gas field in Assalouyeh, Iran, is shown here in 2010. Vahid Salemi/AP hide caption

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Russia's unmanned Progress space freighter, headed for the International Space Station, blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Oct. 30, 2011. A string of mission failures has raised concerns over the reliability of Russia's space program. STR/Reuters /Landov hide caption

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Russian tanks drive through Moscow's Red Square during a military parade in May 2011, in commemoration of the end of World War II. Russian leader Vladimir Putin has called for revamping Russia's military for years, but the results have been limited. Dmitry Kostyukov/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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There were widespread allegations of fraud in Russia's parliamentary polls in December. In advance of Russia's presidential election Sunday, Russian citizens abroad have been allowed to vote early. This woman casts a ballot in Kyrgyzstan on Feb. 26. Vyacheslav Oseledko /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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