Shanghai seeks PJ limits
Community leaders in Shanghai have begun a campaign to discourage residents’ longstanding habit of wearing pajamas out of their bedrooms and on the streets, the state-run Youth Daily reported yesterday. “We’re telling people not to wear pajamas in the street because it looks very uncivilized,” community official Guo Xilin was quoted as saying. The Shanghainese habit of wearing pajamas in public emerged alongside China’s economic reforms over the past 30 years as it became a sign of prosperity, because it meant people did not sleep in tattered old clothes. For a large number of Shanghainese, wearing pajamas outside has become more a way of life than a fashion statement, and to outsiders, the phenomenon is part of the city’s charm. Guo, however, called pajama-wearers “visual pollution” and a public embarrassment to the city. But some residents still argue wearing pajamas is perfectly acceptable. “Pajamas are also a type of clothes,” a retiree surnamed Ge was quoted as saying, adding that they’re “comfortable.”
■ HONG KONG
Boy ill from tainted food
A 10-year-old child in Hong Kong has developed kidney stones after eating milk products and biscuits tainted with melamine, a chemical normally used to make plastic, authorities said yesterday. It takes the total number of melamine cases in the territory to 11. The health department said in a statement the boy had a history of exposure to melamine-tainted milk products and biscuits bought from the local market.
Chinese cheer Steven Chu
Local media are cheering US president-elect Barack Obama’s pick of Chinese-American Steven Chu(朱棣文) for the post of US energy secretary, saying it bodes well for future cooperation between the two countries. Photographs of Chu, who was born in St Louis to Chinese parents, were printed on the front pages of major newspapers yesterday. The state-owned China Daily cited Chinese academics as saying Chu’s ethnic background would ease cooperation between China and the US. Chu, currently director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, has been a frequent visitor to China, which his parents left in 1943. The Nobel Prize winner in physics is a vocal advocate of more research into alternative energy, arguing that a shift away from fossil fuels is essential to combat global warming.
Arroyo cancels trip to south
A spate of bombings has forced President Gloria Arroyo to cancel a trip to the troubled southern island of Mindanao, Presidential Spokesman Jesus Dureza said yesterday. Arroyo called off the visit on the advice of military commanders, he said. She had been scheduled to meet farmers in Cotabato City and in the province of Sultan Kudarat yesterday. A homemade bomb exploded at a busy junction on the outskirts of Cotabato City on Thursday, the latest in a series of similar incidents in recent weeks.
Bus crash kills 22: police
At least 22 people were killed and 57 injured when an overcrowded bus carrying schoolchildren back from a picnic skidded off a highway in southern Nepal, police said yesterday. The bus was carrying around 80 children, and most were around nine or 10 years old, a police officer from Nawalparasi said. “Fifteen children died on the spot late on Thursday and the rest died undergoing treatment or on the way to hospital,” he said.