Doraemon gets the boot
Japanese manga cartoon Doraemon has been banned from TV screens over fears that youngsters who are hooked on the Hindi-dubbed version are struggling to learn their native Bengali. Bangladeshi Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu told parliament on Thursday that television channels which have been screening Doraemon had been sent official notifications ordering them to take the series off air. “The government doesn’t want children’s educational atmosphere to be hampered by Doraemon,” the minister said. The ban comes after several local dailies called for a ban on the cartoon, worried that Doraemon addicts were speaking Hindi to each other instead of Bengali. Shahriar Alam, a ruling party lawmaker, had last week demanded that television stations should only be allowed to air foreign cartoons if they are dubbed in Bengali.
Five hundred say ‘I do’
A public square became an improvised wedding chapel on Thursday for 550 couples who took their marriage vows en masse on Valentine’s Day. Mass weddings have become a tradition in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua since they began a decade ago. Sponsored by the government and a radio station, and broadcast on television, the ceremony in the Plaza Maya featured brides in white dresses and grooms in suits. Bride Lilieth Obando said that the mass ceremony was a big help for couples like her and groom Leoncio Martinez. They had lived together for two years, but did not have the money for a private wedding.
Bride marries sister’s killer
A woman tied the knot on Thursday with a man convicted of killing her twin sister. No one from the family of 22-year-old bride Edith Casas attended the civil ceremony in the town of Pico Truncado. Afterward, a group of around 20 people threw rocks and eggs at groom Victor Cingolani, who is serving a 13-year sentence for killing the sister, a fashion model named Johana, in 2010. Cingolani was out on a day pass to get married and escorted by prison guards and riot police. “I want to start a family with Victor because I love him. He is innocent,” the bride said before the ceremony. The wedding had been planned for December, but a judge blocked it, pending a psychiatric evaluation of Edith Casas at the request of her mother. However, Judge Marcelina Orellana ultimately let the nuptials go ahead, ruling there was no evidence that the bride had any psychiatric disorder. The father was disconsolate. “For me, they are both dead. Johana is with God and Edith with the devil,” Valentin Casas said.