Bounty offered for marriage
Tycoon Cecil Chao (趙世曾) has offered a US$65 million “marriage bounty” to any man who can win the heart of his lesbian daughter, the South China Morning Post said yesterday. Chao announced the financial reward of HK$500 million after his daughter, Gigi, married her same-sex partner of seven years in France earlier this year, the paper said. “I don’t mind whether he is rich or poor. The important thing is that he is generous and kind-hearted,” 76-year-old Chao was quoted as saying. “Gigi is a very good woman with both talents and looks. She is devoted to her parents, is generous and does volunteer work.” He also rejected “false reports” that Gigi, 33, had married abroad, saying she was still single. Same-sex marriages are not recognized in Hong Kong. Chao is well known in the territory’s social circles and regularly appears at public events with his latest young girlfriend. He reportedly once claimed to have had intimate relations with 10,000 women.
Shoe thief hates high heels
A man, upset by women whose footwear made them taller than him, has been arrested for stealing high-heeled shoes and dumping them in parks, police said yesterday. The 24-year-old, identified only by his surname, Lee, had stolen dozens of pairs of high heels from schools, restaurants and homes in his neighborhood in Busan in recent months. “We’d first looked into the possibility of sexual perversion,” a spokesman at Busan Yeongdo police station said. “But Lee said he did it because he didn’t like women wearing heels to look taller than him when he’s so short.” Lee, who stands 1.65m tall, was caught because he made the mistake of repeatedly dumping a number of shoes in one particular park that was monitored by CCTV cameras.
North warned for meddling
The government yesterday threatened a strong military response to any provocative act by North Korea aimed at influencing the South’s presidential election in December. The warning, issued at a top-level security meeting convened by President Lee Myung-bak, came as tensions have risen along the disputed maritime border between the two Koreas. “The government has decided to urge North Korea to stop immediately its attempts to influence the presidential election, which have recently been on a sharp increase,” presidential spokesman Park Jeong-ha said. “The military reaffirmed that it will keep its guard high in case the North carries out calculated provocative acts and would retaliate strongly if the North does so.” The North has already begun a state media campaign against the ruling New Frontier Party presidential candidate Park Geun-hye, daughter of South Korea’s former military ruler Park Chung-hee.
Eight dead after ferry sinks
A passenger ferry collided with a cargo ship and sank west of Java yesterday morning, and at least eight people were killed, officials said. More than 200 crew and passengers were evacuated after the accident, said Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan, who initially said the second vessel was an oil tanker. It wasn’t immediately clear if all of them were OK, and a search for others is in progress where the accident occurred in the Sunda Straits. “So far it’s still unclear how many passengers were on board the ferry,” Ervan said, adding it had about 30 crewmembers.