Sun, Feb 22, 2009 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■HONG KONG

Stars used to promote drug

Soccer star David Beckham and actor Sean Connery were yesterday being illicitly used to promote a sex drug in an advert being shown on TV stations around China. Footage of Beckham in action and with his wife Victoria is used in the advert for the Viagra-style pills called USA Selikon, with Chinese voices dubbed onto the film to show the AC Milan star apparently endorsing the product. In the video, Beckham appears to say: “Want to know how I can keep being strong and running on the football field? USA Selikon capsules help me a lot. It’s also the secret weapon with which I can satisfy Victoria.” Actor Connery is shown in scenes from an Indiana Jones movie as a dubbed voice says: “I turned 70 this year, but with the help of USA Selikon capsules, I was praised by Barbara that I’m still the James Bond, forever 25.” The voice dubbed onto interview footage of Connery, who is in fact 78 and married to Micheline, adds: “I have told all my aged friends: ‘You should try USA Selikon capsules.’”

■THAILAND

National cocktail unveiled

When tourism has taken a self-inflicted battering, the temptation might be to have a drink to drown your sorrows. Thailand is going a step further. It has invented a new national cocktail, which it hopes will help visitors forget the hangover from the disastrous airport shutdowns late last year. Intended as an answer to Singapore’s slings, Cuba’s mojitos and the many manhattans downed in New York, the Siam sunray is intended to give tourists an instant taste of Thailand’s charms. At the very least the drink’s ingredients are far from bland — a shot of vodka, coconut liqueur, a dash of chilli pepper and sugar, lime juice, a few slivers of lemon grass and ginger, with the whole mixture shaken and then strained into a glass with ice and soda water. Thailand’s tourism authority formally rolled out the drink yesterday, grandly styling the concoction “Thailand in a glass: the new punch in Thai tourism.”

■SINGAPORE

Man wins cut in sentence

The first man in Singapore to be sentenced for having sex with an underage prostitute under a tougher law had his one-year jail term reduced on Friday to nine months on appeal, media reports said. In December, a district court had initially sentenced the 55-year-old man to one year in jail for having sex with a 16-year-old prostitute. The contractor, Tan Chye Hin, a father of three children, was the first man in the city state to be dealt with under a new law the Singapore government put in place in February last year to crack down on underage prostitution. On Friday, a justice at Singapore High Court allowed the appeal of the contractor against his initial sentence, the online edition of the Straits Times newspaper reported. The defendant had argued that it was only fair that he got a shorter jail term than the pimp who arranged the hook-up. The pimp was jailed for one year.

■MALAYSIA

Pirates attack tug and barge

Armed pirates kidnapped two crew of a Singapore-managed tug and barge in the Malacca Strait, raising fears of renewed insecurity in the busy shipping route, a maritime watchdog said yesterday. It was the first abduction of seafarers after a long lull in kidnap-and-ransom cases that once afflicted the waterway between peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia’s Sumatra island, said Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting center. About 12 pirates with guns boarded the vessel in the northern part of the strait on Thursday.

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