US radio giant Clear Channel Communications has come under fire from women's health advocates over a Christmas contest in which stations granted breast enlargement surgeries to women in four cities. \nIn the "Breast Christmas Ever" contest, 13 women were awarded the procedure after writing essays to the stations explaining why they wanted larger breasts. A Tampa station claimed to receive more than 91,000 entries. \nClear Channel said it had nothing to do with the contest and that it was a decision by local station managers to hold the promotion, which was aired in Tampa, Jacksonville, St. Louis and Detroit. \nThe contest has drawn the ire of both the National Research Center for Women & Families and the National Organization for Women. NOW has urged its supporters to file complaints with the Federal Communications Commission against Clear Channel and its stations. \nThe controversy comes within months of Clear Channel paying a record US$1.75 million fine to resolve indecency complaints against New York-based shock jock Howard Stern, Tampa radio personality "Bubba the Love Sponge" and others. The station formally agreed to "clean up its act," FCC Chairman Michael Powell said in June. \nWhile neither women's group is alleging the breast surgery contest violated decency standards, they are complaining the contest promotes potentially dangerous surgery and leaves its winners with no legal remedies should the surgery go awry. Under the rules, winners must be at least 18 and sign a waiver protecting the company from all liability claims. \n"I try not to be judgmental about whether a large radio station should be giving away free toys to children instead of free breast augmentation," said Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Research Center for Women & Families, a health advocacy organization. \nNOW is urging the public to send e-mails to Clear Channel and the FCC to complain about what it considers a "degrading and unethical contest." About 3,400 messages have been sent to the FCC and Clear Channel, NOW said Monday. \nJennifer Gery, a spokeswoman for Clear Channel, said the company had no oversight of the contests and didn't sponsor them. \n"There is no reason to be concerned because it's not a Clear Channel-sponsored contest," Gery said. "We empower our local manager to make programming decisions." \nDavid Fiske, a spokesman for the FCC, said the agency does not regulate the content of radio station contests unless it violates decency standards. \nThe FCC only requires radio stations to conduct contests exactly by the stated rules and to fully disclose the terms of the contest. \nNOW has been active in lobbying the Food and Drug Administration against the marketing of silicone breast implants and has an ongoing "Love Your Body" campaign aimed at countering what it says are unrealistic body images promoted in the entertainment industry.
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
PLAYING THE VICTIM? A Chinese spokesman sent a statement to Australian media saying that Beijing had ‘irrefutable’ evidence of Canberra’s widescale espionage Australia yesterday unveiled the “largest-ever” boost in cybersecurity spending, days after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke out about a wave of state-sponsored attacks suspected to have been carried out by China. Morrison and government officials said the country would spend an additional A$1.35 billion (US$928 million) on cybersecurity, about a 10 percent hike, taking the budget for the next decade to A$15 billion. The largest chunk of the new money would help create 500 jobs within the Australian Signals Directorate, the government’s communications intelligence agency. Morrison on June 19 said that a “state-based actor” was targeting a host of