Firm sorry for rape shirts
T-shirt company Solid Gold Bomb yesterday issued an apoloy for advertising tops with slogans such as “Keep Calm and Rape A Lot,” with its founder saying that the firm may go under. The company said the offensive lines were unintentionally created via an automated computer process that relied on online dictionaries to create versions of the British World War II motto “Keep Calm and Carry On.” “I apologize for the offensive response this has created across the world,” company founder Michael Fowler said on the firm’s Web site. Fowler told the Sydney Morning Herald that since the scandal broke sales had dropped from 300 to 1,700 per day to as little as three a day.
Car thief strangles baby
A car thief strangled a two-month-old baby to death after stealing a vehicle with the infant inside, police said yesterday, provoking outrage across the country. The boy was in an SUV stolen by Zhou Xijun, 48, in Jilin Province on Monday, triggering a manhunt involving thousands of police officers and taxi drivers until he handed himself in the following day and confessed, reports said. Zhou “discovered a baby in the back seat of the stolen car, [and] stopped at the side of a road before strangling the baby to death and burying it in the snow,” Jilin police said in an online statement. The parents left the child alone in the car for 10 minutes with the engine running before realizing the vehicle had been stolen, the state-run Global Times said. Netizens expressed their disgust, with many calling for Zhou to be executed. “Killing him once would not be enough,” one Sina Weibo user wrote.
Rangers poach two poachers
Forest rangers in the northeast of the country shot dead two poachers yesterday at a wildlife sanctuary where 13 threatened one-horned rhinos have been killed over the past two months, an official said. Four men entered Kaziranga National Park, 200km from Guwahati in Assam State, yetserday and fired at a rhino, park warden NK Vasu told reporters. The shot missed its target, but alerted forest guards, who rushed to the spot. “A fierce encounter took place between the two sides in which two of the poachers were killed,” Vasu said. A census last year put the number of rhinos in the park at 2,290, out of a global population of 3,300.
Tax hike spurs divorce
Couples are flocking to divorce to evade a new tax on home sales, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported yesterday. The government issued rules last week to rein in house prices, but a loophole allows divorced couples with two properties who put each house into one person’s name to sell them tax-free, after which they can remarry, the newspaper said. Government marriage registration offices in Shanghai were swamped by scores of couples this week trying to untie the knot, the paper added.
Dead body undetected
The body of a driver lay undetected on the front seat of his car beside one of the nation’s busiest roads for five days, reports said yesterday. Alvin Singh was reported missing on Feb. 22 and his corpse was found in his car near a major intersection on Feb. 27, police told Fairfax Media. CCTV footage shows him pulling over and leaving the car briefly before getting back in, police said. Detective Inspector Mark Gutry said it was unusual for a body to lie undetected for so long. “After that time in a hot car, it wasn’t pleasant,” he added.