World and Nation

Shorts (left)

Leaving Google, Executive Plans to Finance Start-Ups in China

Three days after announcing that he was resigning as the head of Google’s Chinese operations, Kai-Fu Lee said on Monday that he had raised $115 million to create a company that would finance high-tech start-ups in China.

The company, Innovation Works, will search for talented Chinese engineers and entrepreneurs and help them develop the next generation of Internet and mobile computing technologies, Lee said in an interview by telephone.

“We’re going to collect the best ideas, and we’re going to hire the best engineers and entrepreneurs,” he said. “After one year, we’ll send the companies into the open. If they get venture capital funding, great; if they don’t, they won’t live.”

Innovation Works is being backed by the YouTube co-founder Steve Chen as well as the Foxconn Technology Group, Legend Holdings, the New Oriental Education and Technology Group and the WI Harper Group. Foxconn is one of the world’s biggest electronics companies, and it manufactures products including the Apple iPhone and Hewlett-Packard computers. Legend is the parent company of Lenovo, the Chinese computer maker.

New Osteoporosis Diagnostic Tool Draws Criticism

As people age, their bones lose density and they grow ever more vulnerable to osteoporosis, with its attendant risk of a disabling fracture. But how do you know just how vulnerable you are?

The question has been complicated by a relatively new diagnosis: osteopenia, or bone density below what is considered normal but not low enough to be considered osteoporosis.

Millions of people worldwide, most of them women, have been told they have osteopenia and should take drugs to inhibit bone loss. But the drugs carry risks, so many public-health experts say the diagnosis often does more harm than good.

The World Health Organization has developed an online tool, called FRAX, to help determine when treatment for deteriorating bones is appropriate. A preliminary version can be found at

Sudan Court Spares Lash But Fines Woman for Wearing Pants

A Sudanese woman who wore pants in public was fined the equivalent of $200 but spared a whipping Monday when a court found her guilty of violating Sudan’s decency laws.

The woman, Lubna Hussein, an outspoken journalist who had recently worked for the United Nations, faced up to 40 lashes in the case, which has generated considerable interest both inside and outside Sudan.

Hussein vowed to appeal the sentence and even walked into the court in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, wearing the same pair of loose-fitting green slacks that she was arrested in.

Manal Awad Khogali, one of her lawyers, said the judge hearing the case had called only police witnesses to testify and refused to allow Hussein — who has pledged to use her trial to bring attention to women’s rights in Sudan — to defend herself.

“He didn’t give us a chance,” Manal said.

After the trial was over, Hussein, a 34-year-old widow, seemed defiant as ever. “I will not pay a penny,” she told The Associated Press.