Kim Jong-un scolds officials
During a tour of the Mangyongdae funfair in a Pyongyang suburb, leader Kim Jong-un scolded staff for neglecting their duties and failing to serve the people, Korean Central News Agency said yesterday. It is rare for the all-powerful leader to inspect entertainment facilities rather than military units, plants, farms or construction sites. An analyst said the move was intended to “spook” officials and tighten Kim’s grip on the elite. The young leader fumed over poorly maintained pavements, with weeds growing in between broken blocks, amusement facilities with scraped-off paint and the faulty arrangement of bases for trees. “Officials should draw a serious lesson from the tour of Mangyongdae Funfair,” Kim said.
Students resort to IV drips
Students in Xiaogang High School, Hubei Province, have resorted to classroom intravenous drips as a study aid to prepare for the nation’s notoriously difficult college entrance exams, state press said on Tuesday. Photographs showing students hooked up to hanging bottles of amino acids went viral on the Web, eliciting shocked concern over how far students will go to get into university. According to a school official, the pre-exam practice has become popular because it helps the students relax, the China Daily reported. “The school will not suspend the practice and we will continue if students want it,” the paper quoted the official as saying.
Ai Weiwei case accepted
Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei (艾未未) said a court in Beijing has accepted a lawsuit his design firm Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd has filed against the No. 2 Inspection Squad of the Beijing tax bureau for demanding payment of US$2.4 million in back taxes. Ai said the tax office violated the law in handling witnesses, evidence and company accounts in the case. He said the court would announce a hearing date later, but it must take place within three months.
S Korea pills claim checked
Beijing is investigating South Korean claims that China is the source of smuggled capsules made from human flesh seized by its customs officials, but has so far found no evidence to back up the claim, state media said yesterday. The gruesome practice came to light on Sunday when South Korean Customs said it had identified 35 attempts to import 17,451 capsules containing the powdered flesh of dead babies, taken as a disease cure or to boost sexual performance. Ministry of Health spokesman Deng Haihua (鄧海華) said on Tuesday that a previous investigation had uncovered no evidence such capsules were made in the country, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported.
Kidnap suspects nabbed
Police said they have arrested six suspects linked to the kidnapping of a Dutch boy who was freed after his parents paid a ransom. Twelve-year-old Nayati Moodliar was held for six days this month after being snatched while walking to school in Kuala Lumpur. Police said in a statement yesterday that they had arrested five men and a woman over the past two days. They recovered part of the 300,000 ringgit (US$98,000) ransom and were searching for two more suspects. Nayati’s disappearance sparked wide concern. Prime Minister Mohammad Najib Abdul Razak voiced worries about his safety, while posters of him were pasted across Kuala Lumpur.