Piracy helps rapper
Piracy may rob musicians of profits in China, but it has also helped Taiwan's top rap artist to get around the censors. Chinese cultural authorities rejected the music of Yao Chung-jen, better known as MC HotDog (哈狗), for profanity. Beijing also turned down a "super clean version" of a special compilation CD targeted at China. The rapper, whose lyrics feature profanity and humorous social criticism, estimates black market sales of his CDs in China at 1 million. Those sales, combined with illegal downloads, have helped him to build up a huge following. "I'm ambivalent about this," Yao said. "You can't blame the masses."
False advertising banned
The government has moved to combat rampant false medical advertising in newspapers, which account for more than half of some publications' ad revenue, state press reported yesterday. The central government introduced a ban on Wednesday for a wide range of medical treatment advertising, including for cancer, venereal diseases, abortion, AIDS, psoriasis, epilepsy and hepatitis B, the China Daily said. The ban followed a similar prohibition introduced in August on advertising for breast enlargement products and operations to make people taller.
Coal miners rescued
All 16 coal miners who were trapped after a landslide in western China have been rescued, Xinhua news agency said yesterday. The landslide had trapped the workers on Wednesday morning, when it blocked the entrance to the mine at the Deshun Coal Mine Fields in Gansu Province, Xinhua said.
Robber pays for meal
Police are looking for a robber who held up a noodle bar in Osaka then paid for his meal and waited for his change before making off. The young man ate a bowl of "ramen" noodles and a side order of fried chicken at a restaurant on Wednesday, then produced a knife and forced a waitress to hand over takings of ¥46,000 (US$393), the Sports Nippon newspaper said. When the woman demanded he pay for his meal, the robber gave her ¥1,000 and waited for his ¥100 change before running away, the paper said.
`Drama queen' sues writer
An academic is suing a columnist who called him a "drama queen," claiming that in Malaysia's version of English, the term is a homosexual slur, a New Straits Times report said yesterday. Retired lecturer Edward Dorall told a court in Penang that columnist Thor Kah Hoong had libeled him by calling him a "drama queen lecturer" in a 2004 article, it reported. Thor said he had no malicious intent and that Dorall had deliberately misinterpreted the word "queen." He called as a witness British Broadcasting Corp correspondent Jonathan Kent, who caused mirth in the courtroom by saying that Dorall's lawyer was himself acting like a drama queen -- someone who overreacts to a minor problem. Kent testified as to the Oxford Dictionary's definition of "drama queen" as an overly dramatic person, and said he was well aware of Malaysian English, having worked in the country for several years.
Six killed in wedding bus
A bus carrying dozens of wedding guests lost control and plunged into a canal in eastern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing at least six people and injuring several others, police said. The accident happened near Dera Ghazi Khan, a town about 150km west of Multan, in Punjab Province, said Mohammed Raza, an area police chief. It was unclear if the bride and groom were on the bus, Raza said.