Chinese President Hu Jintao, the news anchor announced, returned to Beijing Monday after attending the weekend APEC summit in Singapore. Switching to a deeper, sadder voice, he told of how Mr. Hu and other Chinese leaders attended the funeral of a "loyal Communist warrior," former vice-premier Gu Mu, who recently died at the age of 96.
A new museum of Chinese calligraphy opened in the city of Anyang. Vice-President Xi Jinping, Vice-Premier Li Keqiang and senior Politburo member Jia Qinglin all visited parts of China and gave speeches.
And in other news, Barack Obama arrived in China on his first visit as President of the United States.
The meeting Mr. Obama will hold today with Mr. Hu is viewed as so important - on fronts as varied as climate change, the North Korean nuclear crisis and the global recession - that many have taken to referring to summit of the world's two most powerful nations as the G2.
But if you were watching the main evening news last night on China's main CCTV-1 network, you had to wait through seven items and 20 mind-numbing minutes to find out that Mr. Obama was even in Beijing. And there was no footage at all of Mr. Obama telling university students in Shanghai about the importance of freedom of speech.
In Shanghai Monday, Mr. Obama made a gentle, but typically eloquent, plea for his hosts to allow free speech and the unfettered flow of information. And with either no sense of irony at all, or a finely honed one, the Chinese government made sure that few here heard what Mr. Obama had to say.
"The more freely information flows, the stronger a society becomes. Citizens can hold their own governments accountable. They can begin to think for themselves. That generates new ideas and encourages creativity," Mr. Obama said during a question-and-answer session with university students in Shanghai, which the White House broadcast live on its website in an effort to get around China's tight controls on the Internet.
Mr. Obama added that concepts such as the right to political participation and freedom of religion were universal and "should be available to all people, including ethnic and religious minorities, whether they are in the United States, China or any nation."
It's unclear how many in China were able to listen to that message. While CCTV gave live coverage to speeches by Bill Clinton and George W. Bush during their presidential visits in 1998 and 2002, Chinese authorities decided to keep Mr. Obama off the national television network, and pulled back on a promise to broadcast a live stream of the Shanghai "town hall" on the website of the official Xinhua news agency.
Under a last-minute compromise reached Sunday with U.S. officials who threatened to call off the event altogether, the town hall was broadcast on live television in Shanghai, and a transcript of Mr. Obama's remarks was carried on the Xinhua website. However, Mr. Obama's speech was not broadcast on any of the 12 state-run national channels.
"The Chinese government has been very sensitive and hyper about managing the message, especially an American president visiting China and directly interacting with Chinese youths," said Xiao Qiang, director of the China Internet Project at the University of California, Berkeley.
It's unlikely that it was the content of Mr. Obama's talk that unnerved Chinese authorities. Most of Mr. Obama's remarks were conciliatory, focusing on the need for more co-operation between the world's two most powerful countries.
More threatening to Chinese authorities might have been the unscripted style of the event, and the very idea of a leader responding to off-the-cuff to questions from ordinary citizens. The town hall, which was similar to those Mr. Obama has held across the United States during his election campaign and while trying to promote his health-care plan, saw Mr. Obama strolling around a stage, microphone in hand, smiling warmly as he bantered with students, many of whom were obviously thrilled to be in his presence.
"Our relationship has not been without disagreement and difficulties. But the notion that we must be adversaries is not predestined," he told them in his opening remarks. "That is why the United States insists we do not seek to contain China's rise, on the contrary, we welcome China as a strong and prosperous and successful member of the community of nations, a China that draws on the rights, strengths and creativity of individual Chinese like you."
Mr. Obama added there are few global challenges that can be solved unless the U.S. and China co-operate, noting that the world will be looking to the two countries - as the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases - for leadership in fighting climate change, ahead of an international conference on the subject next month in Copenhagen. The two countries have taken much of the blame as progress toward a global emissions-reduction pact has stalled.
The eight questions he took from the audience of 600 students at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum were mostly softballs. Mr. Obama was asked twice about his Nobel Peace Prize and once whether he would be visit Expo 2010 in Shanghai next year with his family. Two of the student questioners were later revealed to be Communist Party cadres.
The most aggressive question asked why the U.S. continues to sell arms to Taiwan, an island that China considers a renegade province. Mr. Obama avoided answering directly, but said he had no desire to change his country's "one China" policy, which recognizes Beijing and Taipei as parts of the same whole.
The topic of freedom of expression came only due to the intervention of Jon Huntsman, the U.S. Ambassador to China, who read out a question received via a special website the State Department set up for the event. Mr. Obama was asked what he thought about Internet restrictions in China and whether he believed Chinese citizens should be allowed free access to Twitter.
The Chinese government has blocked Twitter, along with Facebook and other social-networking sites, since June, shortly after such websites were used by Iranian dissidents to organize anti-government demonstrations in the wake of disputed elections there.
In the hours after Mr. Obama's town hall, "What is Twitter?" quickly became one of the most-searched phrases on the Chinese version of Google.
Others in China's online community - which is the world's largest with more than 300 million Internet users - were thrilled that Mr. Obama raised a topic that was dear to their hearts.
"I will not forget this morning, I heard, on my shaky Internet connection, a question about our own freedom which only a foreign leader can discuss," one Chinese Twitter user wrote.
"OK, so when is Hu Jintao's town hall with Chinese college students?" asked another.