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.
Train robber refused parole
The family of Britain’s “Great Train Robber,” Ronnie Biggs, on Thursday reacted angrily to the government’s decision to keep the frail 79-year-old in jail. British Justice Secretary Jack Straw ruled on Wednesday that Biggs, who was convicted in 1964, escaped and spent 36 years on the run from police, should serve the remainder of his sentence as he had been “wholly unrepentent.” “This is not justice. This is beyond belief,” Biggs’ son Michael said. His father was in a “life-threatening condition” and “no threat to society whatsoever.” Biggs was a member of a 15-strong gang that raided the Glasgow to London mail train in August 1963 and made off off with £2.6 million (US$4.3 million), a record at the time.
Defendant kills witness
A 28-year-old defendant stabbed a 32-year-old female witness to death on Wednesday in a court room in Dresden, police and prosecutors said. The man was overpowered and is being interrogated, they said. Following the attack, the court was sealed off immediately. In April, a 60-year-old man shot dead his sister-in-law in a courtroom rampage in the southern city of Landshut. The gunman wounded a lawyer involved in the case and another sister-in-law before turning the Smith and Wesson revolver on himself, prompting a debate about security at trials.
Man opens fire at dentist
A gunman opened fire inside a busy dental office in Simi Valley, California, in an apparent domestic dispute on Wednesday, killing one woman and critically wounding three others, police said. A fourth person was grazed by a bullet. The suspect — wearing shorts, no shirt and with a shaved head — barricaded himself inside the Family Dental Care office, police Sergeant Karl Becker said. He surrendered after a hostage negotiator coaxed him out about an hour after the shootings. Detectives did not release a motive or identify the suspect, but the Ventura County Star newspaper reported that a dental office worker said the gunman was married to the slain victim.
Karl Malden dies, aged 97
Oscar-winning actor Karl Malden, known for his distinctive nose and roles opposite Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire and On The Waterfront, has died, officials said on Wednesday. He was 97. Malden’s passing was announced by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, where he served as president from 1989 to 1992. A statement distributed by the academy said the actor died at his Los Angeles-area home surrounded by family members. No cause of death was disclosed.
Salinger wins legal battle
Reclusive author J.D. Salinger won a legal victory on Wednesday when a Manhattan judge suspended the publication of a novel by a Swedish author based on Salinger’s character Holden Caulfield. Manhattan district court judge Deborah Batts “granted a preliminary injunction” against a supposed sequel to The Catcher in the Rye, a source familiar with the case said. Under the pseudonym J.D. California, Swede Fredrik Colting wrote an intended follow up to Salinger’s classic story of teenage angst, with protagonist Caulfield at 76 years old. The decision blocks the publication of Colting’s novel in the US, the source said.
Jackson virus spreading
Computer security firm Sophos issued a warning yesterday about an Internet virus transmitted from a mass e-mail claiming to contain secret songs and photos of Michael Jackson. The e-mail comes with the subject “Remembering Michael Jackson” and is sent from “email@example.com,” Sophos said in a statement sent by its Asia office. It tells recipients that an attached file titled “Michael songs and pictures.zip” contains secret songs and photos of the pop music icon, who died of a heart attack in the US on June 25.
Ferry crash injures 15
A ferry boat with about 800 passengers aboard lost power while docking during the Wednesday evening rush hour in New York City and slammed into a pier, injuring 15 people. Ferry officials said the boat’s hard docking happened as it entered slip No. 5 at the St George ferry terminal in Staten Island, where a 2003 ferry crash killed 11 people. The injuries in Wednesday’s accident were minor. Preliminary reports indicated the captain sounded the boat’s whistle and crew members prepared the passengers for the hard landing, Staten Island Ferry chief operating officer Jim DeSimone said. Witnesses said that the announcement from the pilothouse was to “hang on” and that riders scrambled to the back of the ferry, which was taking them from lower Manhattan.
THE ANSWER? The drug uses neutralizing antibodies produced by the human immune system, which the team isolated from the blood of 60 recovered patients A Chinese laboratory has been developing a drug it believes has the power to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to a halt. A drug being tested by scientists at Peking University could not only shorten the recovery time for those infected, but even offer short-term immunity from the coronavirus, researchers said. Sunney Xie (謝曉亮), director of the university’s Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics, said that the drug had been successful in animal testing. “When we injected neutralizing antibodies into infected mice, after five days the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500,” Xie said. “That means this potential drug has [a]
‘SERIOUS QUESTIONS’: Three US senators sent a letter to the US commerce secretary asking whether the project ‘takes into consideration national security requirements’ US Senator Chuck Schumer and two other Democratic colleagues have written to top US administration officials asking for details of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (TSMC) plan to build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. Hsinchu-based TSMC on Thursday last week announced that it would build a plant to make 5 nanometer chips by 2024 that would have the capacity to produce 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker already has one chipmaking fab in Camas, Washington, and design centers in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California. It said it planned to start construction in Arizona next year and
VULNERABLE: Many women do not report sexual harassment by their landlord over fears they could lose the roof over their head, an expert said A growing number of landlords are asking tenants for sex in exchange for housing as COVID-19 lockdowns and job cuts have left many struggling to pay their rent, housing experts said. A survey by the National Fair Housing Alliance of more than 100 fair housing groups combating discrimination across the US found that 13 percent had seen an increase in sexual harassment complaints during the pandemic. “If I did not have sex with him, he was going to put me out,” one woman facing eviction by her property manager told the alliance in an podcast on its Web site. “As a single
MOM’S LONG CAMPAIGN: Mao Yin had been brought up in Mianyang, Sichuan Province, without any idea that he was the target of a decades-long, high-profile search A Chinese man who was stolen from his family as a toddler has been reunited with his parents after 32 years. Mao Yin (毛寅), then two-and-a-half years old, was snatched in 1988 when he was walking home from nursery with his father. His parents finally embraced him again on Monday in Xian, where he was born. After Mao vanished, his mother Li Jingzhi (李靜芝) quit her job and launched a decades-long search for her son, that included sending out more than 100,000 flyers and appearing on numerous TV shows. That long campaign helped 29 other families find their own missing children and made