Mao up for auction
Mao Zedong (毛澤東) is for sale. A painting of Mao that was used as a model for portraits hung above Beijing's Tiananmen Square in the 1950s and 1960s will be sold at auction on June 3, an auction house said yesterday. The painting, measuring 91cm-by-68cm, is expected to bring 1 million yuan to 1.2 million yuan (US$120,000 to US$150,000) at the sale, which is open to both Chinese and foreign bidders, said a spokesman for Beijing Huachen Auctions.
Mine safety checks ordered
Beijing has ordered a new safety crackdown in coal mines after a string of accidents killed at least 90 people despite repeated promises to improve working conditions, the official Xinhua news agency said yesterday. The State Administration of Work Safety ordered local authorities to step up patrols,improve unsafe mines and close illegal operations, Xinhua said. The report added that between April 26 and May 10, there were four disasters that killed at least 10 miners each, while one killed more than 30.
`Times' man charged again
Prosecutors have refiled charges against detained New York Times researcher Zhao Yan (趙岩), accusing him of leaking state secrets and fraud just two months after identical charges against him were dropped, his lawyer Mo Shaoping (莫少平) said yesterday. Zhao's case had been dismissed in March ahead of a US visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), but he was never released from custody. Last week Mo was told the court had "resumed the case" against Zhao, but he wasn't able to confirm the specific charges until Wednesday.
Old timer on top of the world
A 70-year-old man has climbed Mount Everest, laying claim to be the oldest person ever to conquer the world's highest peak, a news report said yesterday. Takao Arayama made the final ascent on Wednesday, beating the record of his fellow countryman Yuichiro Miura, who was three days younger and climbed the peak in 2003, Kyodo news agency reported. Miura now plans to beat the record by attempting a climb in 2008 at the age of 75.
School treats boy as girl
A primary school is allowing a seven-year-old boy with a gender identity disorder to take part in school life as a girl, local media said yesterday. According to media reports, the boy in Hyogo was diagnosed with gender identity disorder before starting school after complaining that he felt uncomfortable with being a boy. Based on the diagnosis and consultations with the boy's parents, the school is allowing him to participate as a girl, including using girls' bathrooms and attending swimming class in a girl's bathing suit.
Indonesian seamen nabbed
Nine Indonesian seamen were arrested in the southern Philippines, more than two months after they commandeered a tugboat off Indonesian waters, police said yesterday. Senior Superintendent Nestor Quinsay said the Indonesians were intercepted aboard the stolen tug boat on Tuesday by coast guard officials and policemen off the town of Maco in Compostela Valley Province. Quinsay said Indonesia had sought the help of Filipino authorities in finding the missing tug boat. Jakarta authorities suspected the suspects fled with their vessel to Philippine waters after leaving North Sumatra.
Maid chopped up compatriot
A Filipina maid was convicted yesterday of culpable homicide not amounting to murder over the grisly killing of a fellow domestic worker. Guen Aguilar, 29, escaped the death penalty for killing and chopping up 26-year-old compatriot Jane La Puebla when her murder charge was lowered due to her mental state. Aguilar faces possible life imprisonment or a jail term of up to 10 years under the penal code. Aguilar was arrested after the severed head and limbs of La Puebla were found in a sports bag in the upmarket Orchard Road area on Sept. 9. The victim's torso was later discovered at a nature park. Court documents showed that Aguilar strangled La Puebla after an argument over money she had lent the victim, part of which was borrowed from a loan shark.