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With his death, former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin leaves behind a very different China than the one he tried to shape. Now it’s Xi Jinping’s nation. It’s also a country in the throes of protests against “zero-COVID” lockdowns that saw protesters take to the streets of Beijing and Shanghai and call for an end to Communist Party rule. Jiang’s exit came smack in the middle of the most visible demonstrations since the 1989 bloodshed on Tiananmen Square. Looking at his leadership underscores the difference between the China of the late 1990s and early 2000s and today’s more insular and, in some cases, more authoritarian society.

Congress is moving urgently to head off the looming U.S. rail strike. The House passed a bill Wednesday that would bind companies and workers to a proposed settlement reached in September that failed to gain the support of all 12 unions involved. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. It would impose a compromise labor agreement brokered by President Joe Biden's administration. That agreement was ultimately voted down by four of the 12 unions representing more than 100,000 employees at large freight rail carriers. The unions have threatened to strike if an agreement can’t be reached before a Dec. 9 deadline.

A Hong Kong court has postponed a pro-democracy newspaper publisher's trial. Jimmy Lai faces a possible life sentence if convicted under a national security law imposed by Beijing. Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee asked Beijing to decide whether foreign lawyers who don't normally practice in Hong Kong could be rejected for national security cases. The objection came after judges on Monday approved Lai’s plan to hire British human rights lawyer Timothy Owen. The trial is being delayed from Thursday until Beijing makes a decision. If Beijing intervenes, that would mark the sixth time the Communist-ruled government has stepped into the city’s legal affairs.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) _ These Pennsylvania lotteries were drawn Wednesday:


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