Tim Johnson reports on his blog:
A man self-immolated a few hours ago on the Bund, the famous riverside promenade, right in the heart of Shanghai. The state Xinhua news agency is reporting the news in detail, and other media are picking it up.
But censors are blocking all comment on the motives of the man on every website. Was he an activist of the Falun Gong banned movement? Was he a Tibetan Buddhist? How about a disgruntled property rights activist?
Whatever the cause, there is a story there, and the government may not want the motive to come out. But at least it’s a step in the right direction to allow Xinhua to report the news.