Wed, Oct 31, 2012 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

CHINA

Siri leads users to brothels

Concerns that the Mandarin version of the Apple iPhone’s new voice-activated assistant “Siri” directs users to brothels has been raised by netizens and lawyers, state media said on Monday. Users were given several options for finding prostitutes upon request, but could not verify if the listings were accurate, the state-run China Daily said. Prostitution is banned in the country, which retains a largely conservative attitude to sex. Nearly 9 million users of microblogging site Sina Weibo commented on the function. One suspected Apple of providing the service intentionally, while another noted how efficient it was at finding brothels, rather than restaurants that serve typical dishes. “When I ask Siri about beef noodle soup or hotpot, she has no idea,” the netizen said. Another message said Siri’s detailed knowledge of brothels puts law enforcement to shame. “A mobile phone can know all this while the police do not?”

VIETNAM

Elephants stomp policeman

A herd of elephants has trampled to death a police officer in a central jungle. The victim and two other men went into the jungle on Saturday to look for apricot trees. Huynh Trung Luan, the director of the elephant conservation center in Daklak Province, said more than 20 wild elephants attacked the men as they returned home that night. Luan said two of the men escaped unhurt. The 42-year-old policeman was found dead on Sunday morning. Luan said the herd became more aggressive after two of its members were killed by villagers in August.

IRAN

National symphony disbands

The national symphony orchestra has been disbanded for lack of funds, musicians said on Monday, another sign of the effects of Western economic sanctions. Orchestra members told the semiofficial ILNA news agency that they have not been paid for three months. The orchestra was reactivated just last year, after a two-year break. The step is likely tied to heightening economic woes in Iran because of government mismanagement and Western sanctions over Iran’s nuclear development program. Iran’s orchestra is one of the oldest in the Middle East, founded in the 1930s. It has hosted performances by world famous musicians like Yehudi Menuhin and Isaac Stern in the past.

JAPAN

WWII dud stalls airport

A huge, unexploded World War II bomb has been found buried near the runway of one of the coutnry’s busiest regional airports, forcing all flights to be canceled yesterday, officials said. A worker rebuilding drainage systems near Sendai Airport uncovered the 225kg bomb on Monday evening. Local reports said the bomb was 110cm long and 35cm in diameter. If the bomb explodes, fragments could be scattered more than 1km, NHK news said, adding that officials were mulling an evacuation.

CAMBODIA

Obama to make SE Asia trip

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says US President Barack Obama is expected to visit Southeast Asia in the middle of next month. Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong yesterday said that Obama will travel to the capital, Phnom Penh, for an ASEAN summit. The meeting of heads of state is due to take place from Nov. 18 to Nov. 20, bringing together leaders of the 10-nation bloc. US officials have declined to confirm Obama’s travel plans. Koy Kuong had no further details, but another senior official said Obama is also expected to hold talks with Prime Minister Hun Sen.

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