Chinese petition Obama
Internet users in China, a country with a long tradition of petitioning, are appealing to a new authority to resolve grievances and controversies such as the merits of salty or sweet tofu — the White House petitions Web site. The online petitioning system was designed as an “easy way for Americans to make their voices heard,” according to the Web site. However, President Barack Obama may have underestimated its global appeal in the Internet age. “We request that the US government make sweet the official flavor of jellied tofu, namely through the addition of syrup, granulated or brown sugar or other sweeteners,” said one petition, written in Chinese, on the site. The number of signatures for the appeal created on Tuesday was steadily climbing. As of yesterday morning, it had received more than 1,000 endorsements. There is a regional divide in China on how jellied tofu should be consumed, with a slightly sweetened variety enjoyed in many parts of the south and a saltier style common in the north. “Send troops to liberate the Chinese people,” reads another petition, this one with more than 3,500 signatures.
Coronavirus case reported
The first case in the country of new strain of coronavirus emerging from the Middle East was confirmed in a person recently returned from the United Arab Emirates, the health ministry said yesterday. “The person has been placed in isolation in an intensive care ward,” it said in a statement. There have been 30 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus worldwide including 18 deaths, since it came to scientists’ attention in September last year, WHO data shows. The coronavirus is from the same viral family as the common cold and triggered the SARS outbreak in 2003 that killed 775 people.
Teen suspect nabbed
Police have arrested a 14-year-old gang member on suspicion of killing two women and a one-year-old boy. The National Civil Police said in a statement on Tuesday that the teenager was allegedly a member of the “Little Psycho Criminal” youth wing of the Mara 18 street gang, with the numbers 1 and 8 tattooed on his arms. He allegedly confronted police with a gun while trying to flee the scene of the killing.
Fake nuns had cocaine
Three women dressed as nuns were caught at an airport on the island of San Andres trying to smuggle cocaine taped to their bodies, police said on Tuesday. The women were caught on Saturday after arriving on a flight from Bogota. They thought the disguise would spare them from being searched. However, their habits were shabby and the women acted nervously, which gave them away, San Andres police chief Jorge Gomez said. Each had 2kg of cocaine taped to her body.
Singer arrested over plot
The lead singer of Grammy-nominated heavy metal band As I Lay Dying was arrested on Tuesday in Southern California as authorities said he tried to hire an undercover detective to kill his estranged wife. Tim Lambesis, 32, was arrested at a retail business in Oceanside, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. The statement said detectives received information on Thursday last week that Lambesis had solicited someone to kill his wife, who lives in nearby Encinitas. A task force from several law enforcement agencies quickly launched an investigation that led to the arrest.