A mysterious explosion at a port in Tianjin, China shook the city around midnight local time. The blast—which state media attribute to hazardous goods at the port, triggered a second explosion and shock waves that reached up to 6 miles away. The explosions killed at least seven people and injured up to 400. Several videos of the explosion showed up on social media, and they are pretty terrifying.


This week at the APEC Summit in Beijing, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the terms of a historic agreement to collectively slow their nations' carbon emissions. The deal between the nations—the world’s two biggest greenhouse gas emitters—has been in the works behind-the-scenes for nearly nine months. According to the agreement, the U.S. will decrease their emissions by up to 28 percent by 2025 (compared to 2005) and China will begin to reduce their overall emissions by 2030. President Obama told the Chinese leader, “When the U.S. and China are able to work together effectively, the whole world benefits" ... Discuss

The spiritual sea of change taking place in China will not be without its challenges—some more complex than others.

While China is officially an atheist country, it is undergoing one of the most dramatic religious overhauls in modern memory. In 1949, the country was home to an estimated 1 million Christians. In 2010, that number was more like 58 million. And some studies are saying that by 2030, China could be home 247 million Christians—the most of any nation in the world. Read More

This year, for the first time since 2002, Hollywood’s box office revenues for July failed to hit the billion dollar mark. June managed to make just over $1 billion, but totals were still down 16 percent from 2013.

The fourth Transformers movie was supposed to save Hollywood’s summer in America, but it only pulled in about $245 million—easily the lowest in the franchise’s clattering, baffling history. Read More

Tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators were subjected to tear gas, batons, rubber bullets and pepper spray, after police in Hong Kong attempted to disperse massive protests and sit-ins across the region this weekend. The crackdown has led for calls for Hong Kong’s leader Leung Chun-ying to resign as democratic movement spokespeople demand free elections. In a state-run newspaper, Chinese officials called the protests a threat to “social order,” and experts believe they may have even threatened to send in the Chinese army.

The Occupy Central movement and student groups organized the sit-ins that began on Friday, and have drawn massive crowds who are demanding democratic reforms. Though the region is a part of China, it operates semi-independently. However, despite being promised free-elections by 2017, China is only allowing candidates who they’ve individually approved of. The Democratic Party chairwoman told Time, “The people have spoken, and we will work with them to try to secure democracy … Not a single window has been broken. I challenge you to go around the world and to find such huge demonstrations where there is no looting, there is no rioting” ... Discuss

A senior religious affairs official in China recently revealed in a state-backed newspaper that the government may soon establish a “Chinese Christian theology” that will conform to “China's national condition and integrate with Chinese culture.” Christianity, particularly Protestantism, is growing rapidly throughout the country, and in some cases, has caused tension between the government and churches. The government only allows Christians to worship together in approved churches, though “underground” house churches are pervasive in China. So far no details about what the new “theology”—which will be created by a government that is officially atheist—would look like ... Discuss