1. Music Is Power

    China First Lady Sang to Tiananmen Troops

    A computer screen shows websites displaying an undated photo of China’s new first lady Peng Liyuan in younger days singing to martial law troops following the 1989 bloody military crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, in Beijing, China, Thursday, March 28, 2013. The photo appeared online this week but was swiftly scrubbed from China’s Internet before it could generate discussion online. But the image - seen and shared by outside observers - revived a memory the leadership prefers to suppress and shows one of the challenges in presenting Peng on the world stage as the softer side of China. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

    Ng Han Guan/AP

    A photo of China’s glamorous First Lady Peng Liyuan singing to martial law troops following the bloody 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters reignited the debate about the role of the president’s wife in the communist country this week. As a popular singer in China, 50-year-old Peng laid low in the years leading up to her husband, Xi Jinping’s election. Now that Xi is the number one leader of the Chinese Communist Party, however, many hope Liyuan will be able to sing the CCP back into good favor. The swiftly deleted image of a pony-tailed, military-uniform-wearing Peng shows a very different side of the first lady, who has appeared in “trendy suits and coiffed hair” this week while touring Russia and Africa with Xi. As a major general in the People’s Liberation Army, Peng’s step into the spotlight has been shrouded in praise for her “beauty and charm.”

    Read it at Associated Press