Kunming blocking protests
Kunming authorities are making people who buy white T-shirts or print or photocopy banners show identity cards and register their real names, the Global Times said yesterday. The regulations are aimed at preventing further demonstrations against a planned paraxylene (PX) chemical plant, the newspaper said. PX is a toxic petrochemical used to make fabrics and hundreds of people took to the streets earlier this month to protest against the proposed facility. Two printing and photocopying shops in Kunming said that they were not accepting any work concerning the PX protests even if customers showed identification and provided their real name.
Court rules for dad
A man whose teenage son ran up a ￥5.5 million (US$54,000) credit card bill in a champagne-fueled tour of girlie bars does not have to pay most of it back, the Kyoto District Court has ruled. The 16-year-old and his friend took his father’s platinum American Express card around luxury nightspots, quaffing whisky and sparkling wine at up to ￥380,000 per bottle, local media said. The court ruled last week that bar owners and the credit card company bore the lion’s share of responsibility for the misuse of the card in 2010, media reported. The court ordered that the boy’s father pay ￥800,000 of the bill.
Offer to Seoul over Kaesong
Pyongyang yesterday said it would allow South Korean businesspeople to visit their plants in the shuttered Kaesong joint economic zone, but declined Seoul’s offer of official working-level talks on the complex. The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said it had approved a trip by Seoul businesspeople and would guarantee their safety. Operations at Kaesong ground to a halt after Pyongyang pulled all its workers out early last month. Seoul insists Pyongyang must first agree to working-level talks on the assets of the South Korean firms and other issues before the businesspeople can return.
Man caged for 11 years
A mentally ill man has been kept in a cage for more than a decade by his family after he beat a child to death, the Information Daily reported on Monday, carrying images of him staring blankly though the bars. Wu Yuanhong, 42, was shown sitting on blankets, his feet shackled with a heavy chain and wearing only a T-shirt and underwear. He was diagnosed as a schizophrenic at the age of 15 and in 2001 he beat a 13-year-old to death, the newspaper said on its Web site. Jiangxi Province authorities released him a year later as his illness meant he was not legally responsible for his actions, it said. His mother, Wang Muxiang, built the cage after he escaped and walked around his village scaring residents, the report said.
HIV tests for teachers dropped
Guangdong Province is likely to abolish mandatory HIV tests for teachers, the China Daily said yesterday, making it the first region to eliminate the measures. HIV carriers are excluded from civil service jobs, including teaching and policing, in many provinces. The newspaper said that HIV tests had been removed from a draft list of health standards for teaching candidates in the province. The announcement represents a “breakthrough”” in a campaign to overturn discriminatory laws and brings the nation’s policy into line with international norms, said Lu Jun (陸軍), head of Beijing-based human rights group the Yi Ren Ping Center.