It will inevitably result in a book and a film, but the story of Germany's cannibal has already brought a summer chart hit to the country's masters of the macabre: the hard rock band Rammstein. \n"He loves me so much he could eat me. The soft and the hard parts are all on the menu; it's so good with seasoning and flambed," go the not so subtle lyrics of Rammstein's Mein Teil, or My Part. \nArmin Meiwes was jailed in Germany in January for more than eight years for killing and eating a willing victim: both men allegedly tried to eat the man's severed penis before he died. \nThe story of the "cannibal of Rotenburg" was manna from hell for singer, Till Lindemann: "It's so sick that it becomes fascinating and there just has to be a song about it," he said. \nMein Teil took second place in its first week in the charts in Germany after its release in early August, slipping down to sixth place by mid-month. \nThe video clip, which shows the musicians held on a leash by a transvestite and rolling around in mud, has sparked heated debate and is only being aired by music television channel MTV after 11pm. A few other stations have been giving daytime airings. \nBut controversy is not new to Rammstein, which adapted its name from the site of a 1988 air crash in which 70 people died. \nThe six-piece group from Hamburg was formed in 1993, and their fusion of industrial, progressive rock and heavy metal has made them globally popular. \nRammstein's first success came in 1995, with Herzeleid or Heartbreak, but the group's second album Sehnsucht (Nostalgia) two years later made them famous. The disc went platinum in Germany and the US. \nStage shows including firebreathers, explosions and flame throwers have contributed to their notoriety. They have also been known to walk on stage through a giant fake uterus in their underwear. \nIt's a repertoire that has won them fans as far away as Japan and Australia, not to mention their following in Europe. \nBut it has won them few fans among police in the US. Lindemann's musings in his deep, guttural howl and grinding against the group's keyboard player during the song Bueck Dich (Bend Over) earned the two a few hours in custody after a show in Massachusetts. \nThe teenage gunmen in the 1999 Columbine high school massacre that killed 12 people declared that Rammstein was their favorite group. \nThat same year, though, the band won the Echo award in Germany for "best artist abroad" and received a US Grammy nomination. \nFilmmaker David Lynch also included two of their songs on the soundtrack to his Lost Highway. Even Kurt Cobain, the late frontman for the grunge group Nirvana, had described them as a dream band.
HOUSES FLOODED: The ground shook in Tonga as explosions were heard, followed by gushing water and pelting rocks, sending people running to higher ground A massive volcanic eruption in Tonga that triggered tsunami waves around the Pacific caused “significant damage” to the island nation’s capital and smothered it in dust, but the full extent was not apparent with communications still cut off yesterday. The eruption on Saturday was so powerful that it was recorded around the world, triggering a tsunami that flooded Pacific coastlines from Japan to the US. Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, suffered “significant” damage, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, adding that there had been no reports of injury or death, but a full assessment was not possible with communication lines down. “The tsunami has
Two years ago, Qi Jiayao visited his mother’s hometown of Shaoxing in eastern China. When he tried to speak to his cousin’s children in the local dialect, Qi was surprised. “None of them was able to,” said the 38-year-old linguist, who teaches Mandarin in Mexico. The decline in local dialects among the younger generation has become more apparent in recent years as Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has sought to bolster a uniform Chinese identity. Mandarin is now spoken by more than 80 percent of China’s population, up from 70 percent a decade ago. Last month, China’s State Council promised to
DEMOGRAPHIC CRISIS: Beijing is attempting to address its population decline, including considering raising the retirement age and allowing more than two children China’s birthrate has fallen to its lowest level in six decades, barely outnumbering deaths last year despite major government efforts to increase population growth and stave off a demographic crisis. Across China, 10.62 million babies were born last year, a rate of 7.52 per thousand people, the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday. In the same period 10.14 million deaths were recorded, a mortality rate of 7.18 per thousand, producing a population growth rate of just 0.34 per 1,000 people. The growth rate is the lowest since 1960, and adds to the findings of May last year’s once-per-decade census, which found
A powerful earthquake shook parts of Indonesia’s main island of Java on Friday, damaging buildings and houses and sending people into the streets, but no casualties were reported. Officials said there was no danger of a tsunami. The US Geological Survey said the epicenter of the magnitude 6.6 earthquake was in the Indian Ocean about 88km southwest of Labuan, a coastal town in Banten Province. Its hypocenter was at a depth of 37km, it said. Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Director Dwikorita Karnawati said there was no danger of a tsunami, but warned of possible aftershocks. High-rises in Jakarta swayed for