Democracy activist jailed
A democracy activist has been sentenced to four years in prison for calling for an end to the communist monopoly on power — the eighth dissident to be jailed in less than a month. Lu Van Bay, 59, was convicted of “spreading propaganda against the state” at a half-day trial in Kien Giang Province, presiding judge Do Minh Hung said yesterday. He was also given three years of house arrest after serving out his sentence. Bay was accused of posting more than 10 articles on several overseas Vietnamese Web sites from 2007 until his arrest in March, the judge said. The writings called for a multiparty system and the end to one-party rule, he added.
Man charged with murder
A man was charged yesterday with the murder of a French tourist, a prosecutor said, while a report quoted police as saying the woman was killed after refusing his sexual advances. Stephanie Foray, a 30-year-old civil servant, went missing in Malaysia in May and her remains were found earlier this month buried in a cave on the resort island of Tioman. She and the suspect Asni Omar, a 36-year-old businessman, had been drinking together on the island and she was later killed after refusing to have sex with him, the New Straits Times quoted police sources as saying. Asni was charged with murder in a court in the town of Pekan, prosecutor Amalina Zainal Mokhtar said, adding that he faced death by hanging if convicted.
Radio host shot dead
Gunmen shot dead the host of a political radio show in Negros Occidental, police said yesterday. Broadcaster Niel Jimena, 42, was riding his motorcycle on Monday when two men on another motorcycle shot him five times, local police chief Leonardo Cobing said. “He noticed he was being followed, he tried to make a U-turn [to escape], but the two men continued to follow him until ... one of them opened fire,” Cobing said. The killing may be linked to Jimena’s twice-weekly show Judge on DYRI-RMN in Iloilo, where he regularly criticized the city mayor and other local officials, Cobing said. Nestor Burgos, head of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, said his staff were checking to see if Jimena’s killing was related to his work as a journalist.
Taobao bans Web hacks
A major online commerce site has banned sales of tools used to bypass the country’s Internet filters. Taobao.com’s announcement gave no reason for the ban on sales of virtual private network and Internet protocol proxy software. The products cited by Taobao, part of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, are used by Chinese Web surfers to bypass government filters that are meant to block access to foreign Web sites deemed subversive or pornographic.
Doraemon museum to open
He’s a small, blue robot cat from the future who has been the inspiration for an animated TV series, served as the nation’s cartoon cultural ambassador and is beloved around the world. Now, the iconic Doraemon has his own museum on the outskirts of Tokyo — though he shares the space with his creator, Fujiko F. Fujio. The museum collection features 50,000 items, many of which are original drawings, as well as a desk and other things used by Fujio until his death in 1996. The museum building also includes a small theater and coffeeshop. It opens to the public on Sept. 3.