Baby formula sales curbed
Measures were announced on Friday to curb the amount of baby formula milk powder that mainland Chinese visitors are buying as anger grows at shortages in the city’s stores. Food and Health Secretary Ko Wing-man (高永文) said legislation would be amended to prohibit taking more than 1.8kg of formula past Hong Kong’s borders. The amount is equal to two cans of formula. Mainland Chinese have increasingly looked abroad for baby formula following tainted-formula scandals. In 2008, tainted formula killed six babies and sickened another 300,000 infants in China. Last summer, Yili Industrial Group recalled infant formula because of “unusual” levels of mercury. At about the same time, Hunan Ava Dairy Industry Co said it found a cancer-causing toxin linked to mildewed cattle feed in five batches of baby formula. The law change is aimed at so-called parallel traders who have been flooding into the city to buy up consumer goods for resale back home. Parallel trading is frowned upon by Hong Kongers but is not illegal.
Exiles criticize ‘sham’ trials
The political leader of Tibetan exiles on Friday accused China of holding “sham” trials in which eight Tibetans were convicted of inciting others to set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule. Tibetan government-in-exile Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay said the convictions reported on Thursday by China’s state-run news agency were unfortunate because “repression is the cause” of the self-immolations. About 100 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009, with more than 80 of them dying from their burns, according to overseas Tibetan rights groups. The US chimed in with criticism on Friday. US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland called on China’s government to allow Tibetans to express their grievances publicly and peacefully and without fear of retribution. A court in China’s Sichuan Province sentenced a Tibetan man to death with a two-year reprieve and gave his nephew a 10-year prison sentence for encouraging eight people to self-immolate last year, three of whom died, Xinhua News Agency said.
Actor faces homicide charge
An attorney says Indian movie star Salman Khan will be tried for homicide for his alleged involvement in a fatal road accident more than 10 years ago. If convicted he faces up to 10 years in jail. Khan’s lawyer Deepesh Mehta said a magistrate on Thursday accepted an appeal by state government prosecutors that he should be charged with homicide instead of causing death by negligence, which carries a maximum of two years in jail. One man was killed and another three were injured when Khan allegedly rammed his car into a group of homeless people sleeping on a Bombay sidewalk in September 2002.
Zoo stages ‘zebra escape’
Staff at a Tokyo zoo chased a keeper dressed as a zebra on Friday in a drill to simulate one of the park’s animal inhabitants making a break for freedom. The drill saw the zookeeper tackled and mock stun-gunned by his colleagues. Visitors to the Tama Zoological Park were evacuated for the drill, which also supposed that one of the keepers had been severely injured when attempting to catch the escaped animal with a giant net. The premise of the escape was that an earthquake destroyed a stone wall surrounding the animal’s enclosure. Past simulations at the zoo included escapes of lions, gorillas and tigers.