Colleges ban jeans
Colleges in the state of Uttar Pradesh said on Wednesday that female students would be banned from wearing jeans and other Western clothes to halt sexual harassment by male classmates. “Girls who choose to wear jeans will be expelled from the college,” Meeta Jamal, principal of the Dayanand girls’ college in the city of Kanpur said. “This is the only way to stop crime against women.” A growing number of colleges in Uttar Pradesh have decided to outlaw jeans, shorts, tight blouses and miniskirts on campus in an attempt to crack down on sexual harassment. But many of the students, who are aged between 17 and 20, said the new rules punished innocent females rather than tackling the men who treated women badly.
Shenzhen mayor fired
The mayor of Shenzhen has been fired for “serious discipline violations,” the state news agency said yesterday. A one-sentence report by the Xinhua news agency did not immediately say what violations Xu Zongheng (許宗衡) allegedly committed. Xinhua reported earlier this week that Xu had been questioned in connection with a corruption probe centered on tycoon Wong Kwong-yu (黃光裕), founder of China’s largest electronics retailing chain, Gome Electrical Appliances Holdings. Xu is one of several officials caught up in the probe into allegations Wong committed financial crimes including manipulating the price of his company’s stock.
Hello Kitty goes tartan
Hello Kitty, the Japanese-made global icon of cuteness, will mark her 35th birthday this year by going back to her British roots with a new tartan collection, her makers said on Wednesday. Sanrio Co will launch the checkered pink series — featuring handbags, trinkets, a shawl and a Kitty version of a teddy bear — in September in Japan ahead of her official birthday on Nov. 1. The British embassy in Tokyo on Wednesday threw an early party for the feline who, according to the Kitty legend, lives in suburban London.
Fire breaks out in cockpit
A mid-air fire forced an Australian budget airliner to make an emergency landing yesterday, just days after 228 people died in an accident involving the same type of plane. Jetstar flight JQ20 was about four hours into its journey from Osaka to the Gold Coast when the blaze broke out in the cockpit, prompting the captain to douse the flames with a fire extinguisher before diverting to Guam. “The captain saw a small flame on the right-hand window and used a fire extinguisher to extinguish the flame,” said Jetstar chief executive Bruce Buchanan, praising the pilot’s quick reaction.
Dig searches for warriors
China plans to excavate more of the life-size terracotta warriors at the ancient tomb of the country’s first emperor, a newspaper said on Wednesday. Archeologists hope to uncover more figures of officers to add to the 1,000-plus statues already excavated, the China Daily newspaper said on Wednesday. The new dig is the third undertaken since the tomb was first uncovered in 1974 outside the city of Xi’an and will focus on an area lying within the tomb’s main pit that holds the main warrior force. In all, the tomb’s three pits are thought to hold 8,000 life-sized figures, including those of archers, infantry soldiers, horse-drawn chariots, officers and acrobats.
Abuse victims join protest
Survivors of rape and ritual beatings at Catholic-run schools marched silently to parliament on Wednesday, carrying children’s shoes and wearing white ribbons symbolizing their lost youth. Disclosures of floggings, slave labor and gang rape in the now defunct system of industrial and reform schools have shamed people, particularly older ones who did not confront what a report last month described as endemic abuse. “It was as if you were inside prison and when you come out you don’t talk about it,” said Marina Permaul, 66, who was brought up “military style” by nuns in the western county of Galway. Local news reports said about 7,000 people took part in the march, including hundreds of victims of abuse. Organizers of the march, held to coincide with a parliamentary debate on the report, have expressed anger that the debate has been postponed to allow parliament to deal with a motion of no confidence in the government. The inquiry criticized religious authorities for covering up the crimes and the Department of Education for colluding in the silence. It noted children were also preyed upon by foster parents, volunteer workers and employers.
US family big in Prague
How did an American family’s Christmas card photo end up in the Czech Republic, splashed across a huge storefront advertisement? Danielle Smith said on Wednesday that the photo taken of her family last year got sent to family and friends and was posted on her blog and a few social networking sites. The photo showed her and her husband Jeff holding their two young children. About 10 days ago, one of Smith’s college friends was driving through Prague when he spotted their huge smiling faces in the window of a store specializing in European food. He snapped a few pictures and sent them to a flabbergasted Smith. “It’s a life-size picture in a grocery store window in Prague — my Christmas card photo,” said Smith, 36, who lives in the St Louis suburb of O’Fallon. Mario Bertuccio, who owns the Grazie store in Prague, said the photo was from the Internet. Details were sparse, but he said he thought it was computer-generated. When told it was a real photo — of a real family — he said he started taking steps to remove it. “We’ll be happy to write an e-mail with our apology,” Bertuccio said.
Cop faces murder charges
A police officer faced attempted murder charges on Wednesday for allegedly severing the penis of a suspected fertilizer thief. The officer was off-duty when he was interrogating the suspect, who had been detained by market vendors in Nyamira town, Nyanza provincial police chief Anthony Kibuchi said. “He is said to have taken a knife from his pocket and chopped off the man’s private parts,” Kibuchi said. The suspected thief was taken to hospital where his condition was listed as critical, while the unidentified officer faces trial once an investigation is completed.
Dog finds grenade
A dog playing fetch found and delivered to its owner a US hand grenade from World War II. Police in the western town of Erkrath said on Monday they were called by the dog’s 40-year-old owner who stopped walking her pooch when she recognized the “rusty” object it was carrying was a weapon. Police summoned a munitions expert Sunday to identify and defuse the grenade. Grenades and bombs left over from World War II are still often found in the country.
Report fingers polluters
The petroleum industry accounted for a quarter of toxic pollutants recorded across North America in 2005 by a government-backed environmental watchdog, an annual report said on Wednesday. The Commission for Environmental Cooperation — created by Canada, the US and Mexico — said 90 percent of toxic pollutants came from just over a dozen industries. Aside from oil and gas extraction, mining, wastewater treatment, electric utilities and chemical manufacturing are named as the principal offenders.
Fire fighters rescue trout
As a lightning-sparked fire charred thousands of hectares in southwestern New Mexico, biologists and firefighters used helicopters and trucks for an unusual evacuation. They captured 250 Gila trout — a threatened species — from a creek in southwestern New Mexico and are moving them to a hatchery in the opposite corner of the state. Ranger Al Koss of the Wilderness Ranger District said on Wednesday that it was a perfect time to move the fish because the fire’s intensity had diminished and the flames were still a couple of kilometers from the South Diamond Creek. Biologists rode to the creek on horseback, then used electroshocking devices to temporarily stun the trout so they could quickly scoop them into a net.
New arrest in dorm killing
A second man has been arrested in connection with a fatal shooting at a Harvard University dormitory, prosecutors said on Wednesday. Blayn Jiggetts, 19, was arrested just before midnight on Tuesday in New York City, said Corey Welford, a spokesman for the District Attorney’s office. Jiggetts was scheduled to be arraigned in Manhattan on Wednesday. He faces charges of first-degree murder, accessory after the fact of murder, carrying a firearm without a license and armed robbery in Massachusetts, Welford said. Cambridge resident Justin Cosby was shot inside an entranceway to Kirkland House dorm on May 18 in what authorities have said was a drug-related robbery attempt. Cosby, 21 was shot in the abdomen and stumbled down the street before collapsing.
Coach arrested for break-in
An elementary school baseball coach in Washington state has been accused of using some of his players to help in a break-in. Prosecutors charged 31-year-old George Spady on Monday with burglary. Court documents allege he took his son, a nephew and another player from the team with him when he broke into a vacant Arlington shop and took overhead lights and other items, the Daily Herald’s Web site said. Police say Spady’s son crawled through a vent on the back side of the store and unlocked the door for his father, who then told the boys to grab things from inside. One boy told his stepfather, who called deputies.
Hamas to listen to Carter
The Palestinian movement Hamas said it would “listen” to former US president Jimmy Carter and “learn about his efforts to deal with the Palestinian situation,” a Hamas senior official said on Wednesday. “There are emerging changes and a new language used especially after President Obama’s speech in Cairo last week, and Hamas will listen to what Carter [has to say] about Obama’s view and policies towards the resistance in the region,” Ossama Hamdan said. Carter was due in Damascus yesterday.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”