■ Hong Kong
NY Times researcher held
A Chinese research assistant in the Beijing bureau of The New York Times has been detained on suspicion of revealing state secrets. The research assistant, Zhao Yan, was detained on Sept. 17 while in Shanghai on personal business. His family received formal notice on Sept. 21, from the Beijing Bureau of State Security, that Zhao was "in criminal detention under suspicion of illegally providing state secrets to foreigners." "We are deeply, deeply concerned about the detention of Zhao Yan," said Susan Chira, foreign editor of The New York Times.
■ Hong Kong
Money denied to widow
The wife of the first doctor to die of SARS in Hong Kong has been refused compensation from a government fund to help families of workers who die in the line of duty, according to a report. The widow of private pediatrician James Lai Tai-kwan is seeking to overturn the government ruling, according to the South China Morning Post. Lau, who died in April last year from SARS, was one of eight doctors to become victims of the disease. The families of all the other doctors have received compensation from the fund with applicants receiving about HK$3 million (US$384,000) each. A government spokesman said the fund could not establish that Lau had contracted the disease "in the line of his duty."
■ Hong Kong
Transsexual jumps to death
A transsexual jumped to her death from the top of a 37-story apartment block after a 90-minute stand-off with police and firefighters, a newspaper reported yesterday. Sasha Moon, 31, made an emergency 999 call to police on her mobile from the top of a Mid-Levels block of apartments on Thursday, the South China Morning Post reported. During negotiations with police, Moon refused to move away from the edge of the rooftop and said she wanted to see her boyfriend. When the boyfriend arrived shortly after 10am, Moon jumped, landing beside an air cushion inflated by police.
Club for bald men opens
China has opened its first club where bald men can let their hair down. More than 150 million Chinese men aged between 25 and 35, or 40 percent of the male population in that age group, suffer from baldness, the Xinhua news agency said on Friday. "The club provides a chance for alopecia patients to draw on each other's experience in medical treatment and compare notes with experts on successful therapy at home and abroad," the agency quoted Professor Hou Xianzeng, an adviser to the club in southern boomtown of Guangzhou, as saying.
■ United States
Court backs Schiavo mate
The Florida Supreme Court unanimously struck down a law on Thursday that allowed the governor to reinsert a feeding tube that had kept a severely brain-damaged woman alive for 14 years although her husband fought to let her die. The court said the law violated the Florida Constitution's separation of powers between the three branches of government. The measure, passed by the state Legislature last October, gave Governor Jeb Bush the authority to decide to reinsert the tube and override years of court decisions in favor of Terri Schiavo's husband, Michael. He had been fighting his in-laws in the case, who sought to keep their daughter alive after she suffered a heart attack in 1990 that deprived her brain of oxygen. The court gave both sides 10 days to ask for a rehearing.