‘Sexist’ bank sparks outrage
A bank’s offer to automatically transfer most of a husband’s income to his wife’s account has provoked fury and been described as “the most atrocious banking service against men in history.” On its Web site, China Merchants Bank (CMB), a major financial institution, describes its “capital accumulation” service as a “time and energy-efficient” way for a couple to save money. Using fictional newlyweds Xinyan and Wenhao as an example of a couple struggling to save for a home, an advertisement for the service reads: “CMB will check Wenhao’s account balance on a daily basis. Once it goes over 1,000 yuan [US$161], the bank will automatically transfer the excess into Xinyan’s account. Ever since they started using CMB’s capital accumulation service, Xinyan and Wenhao have got on with each other even better and lived in happiness.” Traditionally, women have taken charge of household finances in China, but attitudes have changed and the advertisement set off a firestorm of controversy. One mobile phone news service described it in a headline as “the most atrocious banking service against men in history.”
Wild animal eats girl
A wild animal thought to be a jackal dragged away and devoured a two-year-old girl, police said on Sunday, in a rare fatal attack targeting humans. The toddler was snatched as she played alone by a sugarcane plantation near her home in the district of Mahottari on Saturday. She was found dead the following morning by locals who said only her head remained intact. “The body of the child was found at the bank of a river 300m from her house on Sunday morning,” local police officer Jaya Narayan Yadav said. “The remains of her body looked similar to the remains of a goat eaten by a jackal.” The Indian or Himalayan jackal, which is similar in appearance to a small wolf, is primarily a scavenger, although it is known to supplement its diet with rodents, reptiles, fruit and insects and does occasionally kill poultry, goats and lambs. While jackals frequently bite villagers, fatal attacks are rare.
‘Death Clock’ unveiled
A “Death Clock” has been unveiled in the capital Dhaka to raise awareness about smoking-related deaths in a country which ranks among the world’s highest in tobacco consumption. About 57,000 people die annually from tobacco-related diseases in Bangladesh, on average 156 people per day, said Sayed Badrul Karim from the Progga NGO, which is supported by the Washington-based Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The “Death Clock,” which keeps a rolling tally of people dying of tobacco-related illnesses each day, was installed on a busy road near Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s residence and on the way to the national parliament house.
Ex-Khmer Rouge leader ill
Ailing former Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea has been hospitalized in Phnom Penh and is being treated for acute bronchitis. The 86-year-old is one of only three surviving leaders of the radical movement who are facing war crimes charges in a trial by a UN-backed court. Tribunal spokesman Neth Pheaktra says Nuon Chea was hospitalized on Sunday. Pheaktra said yesterday that hearings in Nuon Chea’s case had been postponed. Nuon Chea was known as Brother No. 2 after the late Pol Pot, leader of the extremist group whose efforts to realize a utopian society from 1975 to 1979 led to the deaths of about 1.7 million people.