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The iPad started it. When Apple introduced its new tablet device on Jan. 27, it also announced an iBook store where publishers could set their own prices for e-books. Publisher Macmillan responded by demanding that online retailer Amazon sell Macmillan e-books for as much as $14.99, up from $9.99. Amazon did not agree with that idea. The website removed "buy" buttons from e-texts published by Macmillan, angering authors and customers. Some prospective buyers, however, sided with Amazon, vowing that they would not pay more for Macmillan e-books. The freeze began to thaw Jan. 31, when Amazon started selling certain Macmillan titles at the higher price. As of Feb. 3, though, some books were still not available as talks continued.
6 | China
BEIJING UP IN ARMS
U.S.-China tensions flared anew on Feb. 2 as the Obama Administration reaffirmed the President's plan to meet with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and China denounced the U.S.'s $6.4 billion arms deal with Taiwan. Beijing has warned against the meeting and says it will punish U.S. companies like Boeing and United Technologies for selling arms to Taiwan, even though they are obligated to do so as participants in the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program.
7 | Malaysia
Malaysia's opposition leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim stood trial on Feb. 3 for allegedly sodomizing his male aide. The judge interrupted testimony at the defense's request to continue at a later date. Anwar, who served six years in prison on a previous conviction of sodomy and abuse of power (which, he maintains, was politically motivated), claims that this new charge has been orchestrated by the Prime Minister, Najib Razak, in an attempt to end his career.
8 | Illinois
Sitting Governors Challenged
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn clung to a narrow lead in his state's Feb. 2 Democratic primary election, winning 50.4% of the vote, with 99% of precincts reporting. The contest was the first of 37 gubernatorial primary races this election season. Fifteen governors are aiming to retain their seats, but many of them face opposition from within their own party. Six incumbents (four of whom are seeking their first election wins after being appointed following the resignations of their predecessors) may have challengers in what are all shaping up to be close races.
[The following text appears within a map. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual map.]
Governors facing re-election in 2010
9 | Washington
Abstinence Sex Ed Works
According to a study published in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, abstinence-only sex-education programs proved more effective in encouraging teens to delay having sex than more comprehensive school programs that include information about safe sex and contraceptive options. The study has prompted the Obama Administration to consider boosting funding for such programs.
10 | Washington