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China Stamps Out Arab-inspired Protests

Chinese authorities today dispersed small protests in Beijing and Shanghai following a mysterious online call to stage a "Jasmine Revolution" in China modeled after pro-democracy demonstrations in the Middle East.

Several protesters were detained as they tried to lay down white jasmine flowers.

A number of dissidents and rights activists were reportedly detained ahead of the protests.

Authorities also disconnected some mobile phone text-messaging services and censored Internet postings related to the planned demonstrations.

The call to stage protests in Beijing, Shanghai and 11 other major cities was first circulated February 19 on the U.S.-based, Chinese-language news website

compiled from agency reports