Suitors drawn by ‘bounty’
A tycoon who offered a US$65 million “marriage bounty” to any man who can win the heart of his lesbian daughter has been inundated with applications from around the globe, a report said yesterday. Cecil Chao (趙世曾) told the South China Morning Post newspaper that around 100 would-be suitors of his 33-year-old daughter, Gigi (趙式芝), had poured into his office since he went public with his offer on Wednesday. One of the applicants, a Frenchman, wrote: “I’m really serious and [despite the fact] I am a man I think I can make this woman happy. I’m as soft as a woman.” Another appeared to offer a menage a trois: “I will win his daughter’s heart and marry her, and my Maid Marian, a gorgeous Brazilian model, will help accomplish that with me.” Gigi has dismissed her father’s behavior and all the attention she is receiving as “seriously distracting.” Chao announced the financial reward of HK$500 million after Gigi reportedly married her same-sex partner of seven years in France earlier this year.
Chinese crew rescued
A dozen Chinese crew members were rescued by the coast guard when their Panama-registered boat caught fire in a bay, an official said yesterday. Television footage showed thick smoke pouring from the Hao Han, a 1,999 tonne cargo vessel, as the ship listed badly in waters off Osaka. The coast guard, which has recently been heavily involved in a standoff with Beijing over disputed islands in the East China Sea, pulled the crew to safety and was tackling the blaze. “There were no injuries among the crew,” a coast guard spokesman said. The cargo vessel left Kagoshima on Friday last week and docked at two other Japanese ports before sailing for China loaded with 1,000 tonnes of scrap metal, he said. Live footage aired by public broadcaster NHK showed a fierce fire on the boat as a coast guard vessel sprayed it with water.
German film wins festival
A German film about an English teacher’s struggle to introduce soccer at a strict school in late 19th-century Germany has won the grand prize at the Pyongyang International Film Festival.
North Korea’s official news agency reports that The Big Dream also won the festival’s award for best actor, while a joint North Korean-European film, Comrade Kim Goes Flying, won for best direction. The biennial film festival closed on Thursday after an eight-day run that offered North Koreans and foreigners the chance to see movies from North Korea as well as France, Britain, Iran, India and Russia. The film festival is the only time North Koreans and foreigners can watch films together at Pyongyang theaters.
Statue found to be meteorite
An ancient Buddhist statue that a Nazi expedition brought back from Tibet shortly before World War II was carved from a meteorite that crashed on Earth thousands of years ago. Elmar Buchner of the University of Stuttgart said on Thursday the statue was brought to Germany by the Schaefer expedition that set out for Tibet in 1938 in part to trace the origins of the Aryan race. The existence of the 10.6kg statue, known as “iron man,” was only revealed in 2007 when it came up for auction, Buchner said. German and Austrian scientists conducted a chemical analysis that shows the statue came from the Chinga meteorite, which crashed in the area of what is now the Russian and Mongolian border around 15,000 years ago. The Nazis were probably attracted to it by a left-facing swastika symbol on its front.