American journalist Jim Yardley, who works for The New York Times, visited a village in Inner Mongolia to ask residents about a recent pollution spill. Local factories and government officials had deliberately dumped chemical waste into the village rather than risk a spill into the nearby Yellow River. Residents had warned that police and thugs from the factories were trying to prevent reporters from visiting the village. The Times’ car was pursued out of the village by a sedan without license plates. The sedan followed for more than a mile and then tried to force the Times’ vehicle to the side of the road, honking and making an effort at sideswiping. The Times’ vehicle managed to escape on a highway. However, an hour later, at a police checkpoint, the Times’ car was surrounded by about a dozen police officers, including a SWAT vehicle. The driver of the Times’ vehicle was detained for about three hours and questioned. Police then allowed the Times’ vehicle to leave.