Carey's fur coat missing
A US$7,500 fur coat donated by pop diva Mariah Carey and intended for Mongolia's poor has disappeared, a leading animal rights group said on Thursday. Carey donated the fur coat to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) which said it had since been lost on its way to Mongolia, where it was to be given to nomads to help them keep warm in the winter.
AIDS activist disappears
A prominent AIDS activist has gone missing after meeting police, the activist's organization said yesterday, in a suspected clampdown ahead of World AIDS Day. Four police officers showed up at the Beijing offices of Aizhi, an AIDS advocacy group, on Friday morning and questioned Wan Yanhai (萬延海) for much of the day, the group said in a statement on its Web site. Around noon, Wan, with police still present, ordered colleagues to cancel a symposium on AIDS, blood safety and legal rights that was scheduled for today, the group said. He has not been heard from since 6pm.
■ Hong Kong
One in five wants new look
One in five global consumers said they would consider having cosmetic surgery and Russians are most receptive to the idea, a survey by ACNielsen said. Nearly half of Russians surveyed said they would be prepared to have cosmetic surgery when they are older, followed by Greeks and people in Baltic countries. However, 94 percent of Hong Kongers were against having surgery to enhance their looks as were 92 percent of Indonesians and 91 percent of Japanese and Malaysians. Teenagers and 20 somethings were more receptive to the idea of cosmetic surgery later in life.
Arroyo goes for check-up
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was brought to a hospital yesterday for a routine medical examination, a senior aide said. "This is just an executive check up. There is no cause for concern," presidential Chief of Staff Michael Defensor said in a radio interview. Arroyo, 59, was hospitalized for two days in late June after suffering from diarrhea, which doctors said was triggered by stress that had lowered her resistance to infection. She was back in the hospital a month later because of the flu. Defensor said.
Kyoto may ban billboards
The ancient capital of Kyoto plans to ban billboards on top of buildings and blinking neon signs to improve the city's landscape, news reports said yesterday. Kyoto, dotted with old temples, shrines and other historical sites, is known for its beauty and is a popular tourist destination. But just like many other big cities, Kyoto's streets are not free of eyesores like gaudy billboards and glaring neon signs. Kyoto plans to ban all rooftop billboards as well as neon signs that flicker. The city plans to revise its regulations on outdoor advertisements by March and the offending signs are expected to be removed completely in six years.
Millions get polio vaccine
Hundreds of thousands of volunteers and health workers fanned out across the country yesterday to vaccinate some 24 million children under the age of 5 against polio, following an outbreak of new cases earlier this year. Parents with children lined up in about 120,000 immunization centers, many at bus and railway stations, airports, schools, community centers and in remote villages, to eradicate the deadly disease that resurfaced after an absence of about five years, the Health and Family Planning Ministry said.