Paper invented even earlier
The Chinese, who lay claim to inventing paper, were using it 100 years earlier than previously thought, state press said yesterday following a new discovery of an ancient scrap of the material. The 10cm2 piece of paper was found in Gansu Province and is believed to have been made in 8 BC -- 113 years earlier than the previously known first use of paper, Xinhua said. China was thought to have invented paper in 105 AD when Cai Lun (蔡倫) made it out of tree bark, cloth and fishing nets. The latest discovery was made from linen fibers and was inscribed with legible handwriting, Xinhua said, citing researchers at the Dunhuang Museum in Gansu.
Man kills wife's relatives
A man stabbed to death 10 people, including six children, in an attack on his wife's family before killing himself by drinking pesticide, state media said. Wang Changyi, upset over "family conflicts," stabbed the 10 last Tuesday while they slept in a remote village in Yunnan Province, Xinhua said on Tuesday. The victims included his wife's sister, brother and six of his nephews and nieces. His wife escaped with two children, while her mother was seriously wounded.
Public order offenses fell slightly in the first half of the year, but there were still more than 39,000 protests, the Ministry of Public Security said yesterday. In January, the ministry put the total number of "public order disturbances, obstructions of justice, gathering of mobs and stirring up of trouble" at 87,000 last year, up 6.6 percent from 2004. But that trend appeared to reverse in the first six months of this year.
Dog BBQ sparks deadly fight
Police said yesterday that they were seeking a man accused of hacking his cousin to death after a family fight erupted when the man decided to celebrate pay day by roasting the family's dog and inviting friends over for the barbeque. The vice chief of Stung Sen police in central Kampong Thom Province, Yong Som, said that Nun Chouen, 51, had earned US$20 from itinerant work and had returned home to drunkenly slaughter the family dog for a celebration feast, devastating his nine children and sparking a fight with his wife. Som said Chouen's cousin-in-law, Long Soueng, 44, attempted to intervene after Chouen punished his wife for arguing by hacking off one of the legs of their stilted house, and Chouen then chopped Soueng with a machete, virtually decapitating him, before fleeing the scene.
`Dundee' condoms face ban
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was on Tuesday considering whether to ban a condom brand called "good penetration" because the name could be offensive to Thai culture, officials said. The FDA asked the government's cultural watchdog to investigate the name and decide whether or not it conformed to national norms and culture. The condom is called "Tom Dundee" in Thai. Dundee translates as good penetration, good support or good push. It is named after Tom Dundee, a Thai singer and actor who insists that his stage name has nothing to do with sex but was chosen after he watched the famous movie Crocodile Dundee starring Paul Hogan.
Thieves yank wrong machine
Three would-be thieves broke into a bank in northern Malaysia but failed to make off with any cash as they yanked out the wrong machine -- a check deposit machine instead of an automated cash dispenser, the national news agency Bernama reported yesterday. The three men broke into the entrance area of the bank in the northern town of Bukit Mertajam early yesterday, and tied a rope -- attached to two vehicles -- around a machine, police district investigation chief Chor Ah Sing said, according to Bernama. They jerked the machine off its hinges, sending it crashing to the ground floor, Chor added. The crashing sound alerted a security guard to the breach who chased them away.