Ad riles North Koreans
Staff at a London hair salon say they had a close shave with North Korean officials after using the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, to promote a discount. M&M Hair Academy says it was visited by two men from the nearby North Korean embassy after putting up a poster last week featuring a picture of Kim and the slogan “Bad Hair Day?” Barber Karim Nabbach said the manager refused to remove the poster and reported the incident to police. Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday that officers had spoken to both sides of the dispute and concluded “there were no offenses for us to investigate.”
Court to hear campaign case
Negative campaigning and mudslinging may be a fact of life in politics, but can false accusations made in the heat of an election be punished as a crime? That debate makes its way to the Supreme Court next week as the justices consider a challenge to an Ohio law that bars false statements about political candidates during a campaign. Groups across the political spectrum have criticized the law as a restriction on the First Amendment right to free speech. The court is not expected to rule directly on the constitutional issue, but will focus on whether the law can be challenged before it is actually enforced.
‘Poorest’ leader lists worth
President Jose Mujica has declared US$322,883 in wealth. Mujica’s insistence on living simply has earned him the nickname “the poorest president in the world,” but his sworn declaration this year shows a 74 percent increase in wealth since 2012. He said that is because he did not put his money, about US$104,000, into bank accounts until recently. He still lives on a ramshackle flower farm with his wife, Senator Lucia Topolansky, and he reported the farm’s value at about US$108,000. The couple share ownership in two other properties. He also reported that he has three tractors and two 1987 VW Beetles. Meanwhile, Vice President Daniel Astori says he is worth US$389,000.
Musicians lose appeal
Musicians who performed in the London production of War Horse have lost a legal bid to stop the National Theatre from replacing them with a recorded soundtrack. The five performers, laid off last month, asked the High Court for an injunction so they could keep their jobs pending a legal challenge. Judge Ross Cranston refused on Tuesday, saying reinstating the musicians would cause “not insignificant practical difficulty” for the company. However, he said the five had a strong case to argue for breach of contract. War Horse is one of the theater’s most successful shows, with productions running elsewhere in the county and in the US and Germany.
Pemier quits over wine
New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell quit yesterday amid mounting evidence that he failed to declare a A$3,000 (US$2,800) bottle of wine that arrived as a gift on his Sydney doorstep. O’Farrell told a corruption inquiry on Tuesday that he never received a bottle of 1959 Penfolds Grange Hermitage as a gift from businessman Nick Di Girolamo congratulating him weeks after his 2011 election win. Grange is an iconic label and is synonymous with expensive wine. Grange vintages are consistently rated among the nation’s best shiraz. O’Farrell, who described himself as “no wine aficionado,” was supposed to add such a valuable gift to a public register aimed at deterring political donors from buying influence.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong (FCC) yesterday said that reporters in the territory were experiencing “highly unusual” visas problems, and called on the US and China to stop using the media as a political weapon. Journalists have been caught up in US-China tensions, with both sides placing limits or expelling reporters from their territories in the past few months. Now the spat is filtering into Hong Kong, a regional press hub nominally in charge of its own immigration policies. The FCC said in a statement that multiple media firms had reported delays getting visas in recent months. “The delays have affected journalists