Zuma kills cows for election
President Jacob Zuma’s family slaughtered 12 cows at his rural village at the weekend in a traditional ritual to help him keep his job, media said on Monday. The Times quoted one clan elder calling on the ancestors to protect Zuma against his rivals ahead of an African National Congress leadership vote next month. Guests feasted on the beef cooked on open fire and drank traditional brew, according to The Star. Pictures of Zuma clad in a traditional Zulu warrior leopardskin jacket and brandishing a spear and shield were plastered on the front of two leading newspapers. He faces a tough re-election bid at the party congress after some former supporters have openly called for his removal.
Bodies found in drifting boat
A wooden boat containing several rotting bodies and with Korean characters on its side has been found on the rocky shore of a Japanese island, police said yesterday. The 13m long boat was discovered on Sado Island just west of Japan, police said. “The bodies are decomposed badly and we still cannot confirm exactly how many of them there are,” a police spokesman said, adding that belongings and trash were scattered inside. Kyodo News and the Yomiuri Shimbun daily said there were five bodies. “We cannot determine their nationality yet. The boat seems to have been drifting in the sea for quite some time,” he said.
Toilet park flush with pride
Rodin’s Thinker is pondering even harder than usual as he sits astride a toilet at what has been dubbed the world’s first theme park dedicated to the restroom. The park, about an hour outside of Seoul in the city of Suwon, centers around a toilet-shaped museum that was once the home of Sim Jae-duck, founder and first president of the World Toilet Association. Legend has it that Sim, a former Suwon mayor who made his fortune in metal products, was born in his impoverished grandmother’s outhouse. “He is a man whose life literally began in a toilet and ended at a commode-shaped house,” said Lee Yeun-sook, manager of planning at the “Mr Toilet Sim Jae-duck Foundation.” Sim, who died in 2009 at the age of 70, founded the organization to spread the benefits of toilets around the world.
Satellite to bring TV to rural
President Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday welcomed the launch of the first communications satellite in partnership with a Chinese state-owned company. Rajapakse said the geo-stationary Supreme Sat I will provide television broadcasts in rural areas of the country that cannot be reached by normal broadcasts. The local partner of the joint venture, Supreme Sat, said the satellite was positioned in orbit on Tuesday evening after launching from the Xi Chang Space Center in China.
PM wins no-confidence vote
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra comfortably survived a no-confidence vote in parliament yesterday, following a heated debate on alleged corruption in the government’s rice subsidization scheme that pays farmer at above-market prices and irregularities in the government’s flood management budget. The vote came after a three-day censure debate and four days after thousands of protesters called for the overthrow of the government, citing corruption as one of the reasons. However, the opposition was outnumbered in parliament and lawmakers voted 308 to 159 to keep Yingluck in power.