Hillary Clinton deals with the Chen Guangcheng situation, as does Mitt Romney

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Briefing: Clinton. (Azi Paybarah via flickr)
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Hillary Clinton is still trying to find a diplomatic solution for a prominent Chinese dissident who says he wants protection from his own government. The dissident, Chen Guangcheng, is a widely known, outspoken advocate for environmental and socioeconomic justice and the rights of the handicapped.

Clinton was in China to talk about policy and finance when Chen escaped house arrest and entered a U.S. embassy. There are conflicting reports about what happened after that. Chinese authorities reportedly threatened Chen's family if he sought asylum, and compelled him to leave the embassy.

He is currently in a hospital as the result of a deal with Chinese officials that supposedly guarantees his safety. But American officials have had their access to him in the hospital barred, and some of them acknowledge privately that the situation was handled clumsily, in part because they were so anxious to drive the Chen crisis to a resolution before it eclipsed the rest of the diplomatic agenda for the China visit.

Chen has subsequently expressed gratitude to American officials, and denied that he had been abandoned. Clinton is now citing statements from Chinese officials that Chen will be allowed out of the country to study, according to his wishes, suggesting that the American government still sees the possibility of a face-saving, positive outcome.

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Meanwhile, Mitt Romney, using an "if they're accurate" construct to talk about the reports of abandonment, wasn't waiting for the resolution to offer his opinion on how the whole thing has been handled. He is, not surprisingly, appalled.

International

The Chinese government said dissident Chen Guangcheng can apply to study abroad, possibly providing Hillary Clinton and U.S. officials a face-saving solution to a thorny diplomatic problem. [Michael Wines]

Chen Guangcheng's plea for protection from the Chinese government is overshadowing a summit Clinton is attending with government officials in China. [Annie Lowrey]

"Chen Guangcheng still in limbo as Clinton wraps up China meetings." [Keith Richburg, Jia Lynn Yang and William Wan]

2012

Obama will visit the GlobalFoundries computer-chip manufacturing plant near Albany on Tuesday. [Scott Donnelly and Jon Alexander]

NY-25

A broken leg for the soon-to-be 83-year-old Democratic congresswoman Louise Slaughter is making her re-election bid challenging. [Michael Grynbaum]

Albany

Joe Bruno was indicted again. [Associated Press]

Erie County Democratic chairman Len Lenihan was not invited to Andrew Cuomo's big fund-raiser. [Robert McCarthy]

Bloomberg'g Budget

"Bombshell," is how the dean of the City Hall press corp described Michael Bloomberg saying there will not be retroactive pay raises for union workers who currently have no contract. [David Seifman]

Bloomberg's budget is likely to be better than what his successors roll out in 2014. [New York Post]

"[Bloomberg] criticized Washington for 'kicking the can down the road.' But he’s can-kicking, too." [Nicole Gelinas]

The mayor made education a priority in the budget. [Michael Howard Saul]

Bloomberg: "Income inequality may be bad, but we still need to have companies come here, make a lot of money, and wealthy people come here and live here — that’s where our tax base is." [David Chen]

Firing Segal

Ydanis Rodriguez: "I made that decision based on the right that I have as a council member to hire or let any staff leave at my discretion." [Michael Grynbaum]

Ydanis Rodriguez: "My decision on terminating him [Segal] from being my spokesman was based on him betraying my trust by not telling me the circumstances of his arrest in 2005. ... Today I took a final decision based on how he betrayed my trust." [Capital]

David Segal: "I really respect Ydanis, especially in light of all the Occupy Wall Street stuff, so it was just really disappointing that he has these deep social justice values but doesn't believe in giving someone a second chance." [Christopher Robbins]

"Justice is so wild." [Joe Coscarelli]

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