Buffett plays ukulele
A hugely popular Lunar New Year variety show has a special guest star playing the ukulele: US billionaire Warren Buffett. Buffett is shown wearing a dark sweat shirt and singing the folk song I’ve Been Working on the Railroad in the video posted on state broadcaster CCTV’s Spring Festival Gala Web site yesterday. There are no details on the Web site about where the 45-second clip was shot, but Buffett appears to be sitting in a small room with an elaborate model railroad set up in the background. The New Year extravaganza usually draws about 800 million viewers.
Man swims to see emperor
A Japanese man who was arrested early yesterday inside the Imperial Palace grounds in Tokyo wearing only his underwear told police he swam across the moat to meet the emperor. The man, in his 30s, did not seemed to have a clear political motive, a duty officer at the Imperial Guard Headquarters said. “At the time of his arrest, around 4:34am, he said: ‘I came to see the emperor. I swam,’” the officer said. His clothing was found on the side of a public road surrounding the moat, the officer said, adding that police would examine whether he is mentally fit to stand in criminal proceedings.
Protesters take a break
The territory’s Occupy Central movement capped 100 days as protesters outside the Asian headquarters of HSBC Holdings PLC headed home for Lunar New Year celebrations. Many of the demonstrators will return later in the week, said Sum Ho, who works in the construction industry. About 10 people with the Occupy movement mingled around pitched tents, tables with food and protest banners under the HSBC building. The site is also a popular meeting place on Sundays for the territory’s Filipino and Indonesian housemaids, who have a minimum monthly wage of HK$3,740 (US$482). The global average for compensation at Goldman Sachs Group last year was US$367,057, equivalent to US$30,588 per month.
Clerics told to leave
The government has ordered a group of 161 foreign Islamic clerics to leave the country, for flouting visa regulations by preaching to pockets of Muslims around the country, an official said yesterday. Controller of Immigration and Emigration Chulananda Perera said the clerics, who were mostly Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Maldivian and Arab, had entered the country on tourist visas. “We have ordered them to leave the country by Jan. 31. They have violated immigration laws. A tourist visa is to have a holiday or visit friends and family and not to preach Islam,” Perera said.
Man dies of bird flu
A man in Guizhou Province died of bird flu yesterday after three days of intensive care treatment in hospital, Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry of Health as saying. The 39-year old — who died in hospital in Guiyan — began suffering from fever on Jan. 6. Xinhua said the centers for disease control and prevention at provincial and national levels confirmed the man had died after being infected with the H5N1 bird flu strain. The man had had close contact with 71 individuals, but none had shown unusual symptoms, the ministry told Xinhua. The report did not mention whether the man had been in recent contact with birds.
Al-Qaeda official killed
Insurgents say that a US drone strike killed an al-Qaeda official fighting alongside them. A statement from the insurgent al-Kataib media foundation late on Saturday said that three missiles fired from an unmanned aerial vehicle hit Bilal al-Berjawi’s car on the outskirts of Mogadishu. Berjawi was a Lebanese and British citizen who grew up in West London. The strike was confirmed by a US official in Washington, who asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.