Green Dam to go ahead
Authorities insisted an Internet filtering program will go ahead despite a last-minute decision this week to postpone making it mandatory on new PCs, state media said yesterday. Just hours before Wednesday’s deadline, the government indefinitely froze a ruling that all computers sold in China must have the “Green Dam Youth Escort” software installed. An official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, however, told the state-run English language China Daily that the directive’s delay was only temporary. “The government will definitely carry on the directive on Green Dam,” the unnamed official was quoted as saying.
Elderly to be Wii-habilitated
It’s out with the knitting and dominoes and in with the xbox and Nintendo at an Adelaide nursing home. Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot said yesterday that an Australian government initiative she called Wii-habilitation would bring “increased movement and mobility and re-training of the brain.” Equipping nursing homes like Adelaide’s Grandview Court with the latest Nintendo Wii video game machines would also encourage visits by grandchildren, Elliot said.
Police remove protesters
Police forcibly removed a group of 130 pro-democracy protesters early yesterday who staged a sit-in outside Hong Kong’s government offices. The demonstrators, including radical legislator Leung Kwok-hung (梁國雄), staged the sit-in after an annual anti-government march through central Hong Kong on Wednesday that was joined by tens of thousands. The group refused to leave until they met Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang (曾蔭權). Police stood by until 1:30am when they forcibly removed the group.
Baghdad blast kills soldier
A roadside bomb blew up as an army patrol passed by in Baghdad yesterday, killing one soldier and wounding 10 two days after US troops pulled out of cities and handed security to their local counterparts, police said. The bomb was the first in Baghdad, police said, since Tuesday’s partial US withdrawal, a day labeled “National Sovereignty Day” by Iraqi authorities elated at what they see as a major step to shaking off a foreign occupation.
Axle failure caused crash
Axle failure on a wagon carrying liquid gas caused this week’s rail disaster in Viarreggio, the country’s transport minister said on Wednesday, as the death toll climbed to 17. Two children injured in the explosion when a train ferrying liquid petroleum gas derailed in the town of Viareggio died on Wednesday, bringing the death toll to at least 17, hospital sources told reporters. A three-year-old Moroccan boy and another boy, two years old, had suffered burns on more than 90 percent of their bodies in the giant fireball created by the explosion late on Monday.
Beaten thief sentenced
A British pensioner and former boxing champion beat up a knife-wielding burglar who broke into his home, leaving him battered and bruised, newspapers said on Wednesday. Frank Corti, 72, said he felt compelled to defend himself after the drunken man threatened him and his wife at their home in the village of Botley in southern England. “Fortunately the element of surprise was with me, so I adjusted my position and hit him with my right hand,” Corti told the Times newspaper. Gregory McCalium, who had been at an all-night party, forced his way into the pensioner’s home in August last year armed with a knife after a row between the neighbors about noise levels. McCalium, who was left with a black eye and bloodied lip, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail on Monday after the Oxford Crown Court found him guilty of aggravated burglary.