PLA warns recruiters
People's Liberation Army (PLA) recruiters have been warned not to accept bribes from substandard recruits who want to join, Xinhua news agency said yesterday. Xinhua said the PLA had warned recruiters of "severe" penalties if they are caught accepting bribes. They have also been ordered "to sign an eight-clause pledge to prevent corruption," Xinhua said. Recruits must be healthy, have no criminal record and be 18 to 22 years old. Joining the PLA is still seen as a sure-fire way to advance in Chinese society. The government has also been trying to modernize the 2.3 million-strong force by adopting high-tech battle systems and improving training.
Neighbor shot over music
A man shot and wounded his neighbor for refusing to turn down loud music, police said yesterday. The 56-year-old man was set to appear in court yesterday to be charged with attempted murder, said Western Australia state police spokesman Roy Hamilton. Hamilton said the 25-year-old victim was in satisfactory condition with gunshot wounds to his buttocks and stomach. The victim had been entertaining friends on Saturday afternoon at his home near Perth when the neighbor approached wielding a board, Hamilton said. After an argument the man left, returned with a rifle and fired three shots at the house and two shots at the victim, Hamilton said. Hamilton said he did not know what kind of music or rifle was involved.
■ SOUTH KOREA
Belly dancer charged
Prosecutors said yesterday they have charged a well-known belly dancer with forging a degree to get a job teaching the skill at a university. Ahn Yoo-jin will face trial for allegedly forging a certificate from a university in Sydney. She used it to get a job as a part-time lecturer in belly dancing at Kwangju Women's University last year but has now been sacked from the post, Yonhap news agency reported. Ahn is the head of the Korea Belly Dance Association. She established the Belly Korea Academy in 1995 and hosted several televised belly dance lectures.
■ UNITED KINGDOM
School performs Blair satire
Students at former prime minister Tony Blair's former school have been performing a satire of his political career in which a young Blair leads an invasion of a neighboring school, the Daily Telegraph reported yesterday. In "The Which Blair Project," written by a teacher at Fettes College private school in Edinburgh which Blair attended from 1966 to 1971, he also forges a pact with a youthful Gordon Brown to help him ascend to the position of head boy, before reneging on a deal to hand over the position to Brown. The play, which also features US President George W. Bush as a US student with learning difficulties, was meant to be "mischievous rather than malicious," its author David McDowell was quoted as saying.
■ UNITED KINGDOM
Firefighters battle blaze
A fire at an east London warehouse on the 2012 Olympics site sent a towering column of black smoke over the city yesterday, but there were no reports of injuries, authorities said. The blaze broke out shortly after noon on the western boundary of the Olympic Park site in Stratford. Police said there was nothing to suggest a suspicious cause. About 75 firefighters were fighting the blaze, the London Fire Brigade said.
■ UNITED KINGDOM
BBC denies foxing viewers