Conditional release for Du
Beijing-based video and photojournalist Du Bin (杜斌) yesterday said he has been conditionally released from detention after five weeks in which he was asked about his book on the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre and a film he made about labor camp abuses. Du said by telephone that state security officials released him on Monday evening from the Fengtai District detention center and told him that for the next 12 months he is restricted from leaving the city without informing the authorities ahead of time. The authorities were questioning him to learn if the work he did amounted to the crime of “causing a disturbance,” Du said, adding he had not been formally charged.
General’s son charged
The son of People’s Liberation Army General Li Shuangjiang (李雙江) has been charged with rape, Xinhua news agency said, in a case that has sparked public anger over the seemingly privileged lives of elite youths. Li Tianyi (李天一), 17, “is among five suspects who allegedly gang-raped a woman in a hotel” in February, Xinhua said late on Monday, citing a Beijing district prosecutor. The general is dean of the music department for the army’s Academy of Arts, and is known for singing patriotic songs. The public prosecutor’s office only provided the surname of the suspect, but confirmed “the case is the same gang rape case,” Xinhua said. Li Tianyi triggered controversy in 2011 after he and another teen, both driving expensive cars, attacked a couple who reportedly blocked their passage, while the victims’ child looked on. He was sent to a correctional facility for one year.
Warning to fishing boats
The government has banned its trawlers from fishing in waters off the eastern coast of North Korea, due to a dispute over fuel supplies. Pyongyang decided last month that Chinese ships operating legally in its waters had to buy fuel from its suppliers rather than making their own arrangements as in the past, Beijing said late on Monday. “Our fishing boat owners and companies believe this decision by North Korea will affect normal fishing operations and safety, creating risks and dangers,” the government said on its main Web site. Waters to the east of North Korea are also especially risky due to the “complex, changeable situation on the Korean Peninsula” and their proximity to Russia, Japan and South Korea, the government added.
Buses fall into river
Authorities say two passenger buses plunged into a fast-flowing river yesterday when a bridge collapsed after two days of heavy rain in Jiangyou, Sichuan Province. An unknown number of other vehicles and pedestrians were believed to have been crossing the Tongkou River when the bridge fell before noon. Officials said rescue work was under way, but there was no immediate word on casualties. The two-lane Qinglian Bridge was built in 1967 and a replacement span is under construction.
Seth asked for money back
Acclaimed writer Vikram Seth has been asked to return a US$1.7 million advance he was paid by his publisher to write a sequel to his 1993 classic A Suitable Boy, the Mumbai Mirror reported yesterday. The newspaper, quoting Seth’s agent, said the writer was negotiating with publisher Hamish Hamilton following delays in producing the manuscript.
Ex-captives thank supporters
Three women held captive in a Cleveland, Ohio, home for a decade issued a YouTube video on Monday night in which they thanked the public for the encouragement and financial support that is allowing them to restart their lives. The women said the support and prayers of well-wishers is allowing them to rebuild their lives after what Berry called “this entire ordeal.” The women had gone missing separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. Cleveland resident Ariel Castro has pleaded not guilty to a 329-count indictment alleging he kidnapped them off the streets and held them captive in his two-story home.