Zhang Ziyi sues ‘Apple Daily’
Actress Zhang Ziyi (章子怡) sued leading newspaper the Apple Daily and its sister weekly Next Magazine over reports that she prostituted herself with senior Chinese officials. Zhang signed the suit presented to the High Court on Monday, saying the reports were “seriously defamatory” and “false.” An article in the Apple Daily on May 29 said Zhang “is a prostitute” and had sexual intercourse with disgraced top Chinese official Bo Xilai (薄熙來) and his wealthy associate Xu Ming (徐明) for money on “numerous occasions,” the court document said. The tabloid also alleged the 33-year-old actress had sex with other top Chinese officials and “unnamed rich persons” and had accrued a fortune worth 700 million yuan (US$110 million) from these illicit liaisons over 10 years.
Casino to repay gamblers
The Seoul Central District Court on Monday ordered a casino to repay about half the losses suffered by two problem gamblers who lost a total of 2.47 billion won (US$2.1 million) over two years, a court official said yesterday. The court ruled that the unidentified casino in Seoul — which is supposed to cater only to foreigners — was partly responsible for helping the two local gamblers to play. The plaintiffs accused the casino of giving them the opportunity to gamble by issuing free Bolivian residency cards. “The casino bears 50 percent responsibility for soliciting the plaintiffs to gamble at a foreigners-only casino even after knowing they were addicts,” a court spokesman said. “But the plaintiffs also bear responsibility for going to the casino and gambling excessively.”
Ban awarded peace prize
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was named yesterday as the winner of this year’s Seoul Peace Prize, the prize foundation said. Ban was chosen for promoting the rights of women and children, efforts to eliminate poverty in developing nations and contributing to the democratization of Middle Eastern countries, the foundation said.
Arirang Mass Games to end
Pyongyang is bringing down the curtain on its annual Arirang Mass Games, which involve tens of thousands of performers, to meet the changing times, a Beijing-based tour company said yesterday. “It’s believed this year’s Arirang will be the last one,” Simon Cockerell, general manager of Koryo Tours, said by telephone. He said Pyongyang has decided to end the show because its theme is the 100 years since the birth of the country’s founder Kim Il-sung, and the centenary anniversary was this year. “That ends now. So we expect them to put on a new or different performance next year,” Cockerell said.
Fake bank buyer arrested
A man who claimed he bought a US bank that was later found not to exist has been detained for an alleged separate fraud scheme, police and media said. Lin Chunping (林春平) shot to fame in November last year after claiming he acquired the “Atlantic Bank of America.” On Monday, police said in a statement that they had caught him and six other people for allegedly defrauding the government of more than 10 million yuan in tax revenues. Lin issued tax invoices valued at more than 100 million yuan through his companies based on false transactions and sold them to other firms nationwide to reduce their tax burden, police said. Authorities detained six of his associates for suspected involvement.