Gunmen kill popular singer
Unknown gunmen shot dead a popular female singer in the northwestern city of Peshawar in the latest attack against female artists, officials said yesterday. Gulnar, 38, famous under her performing name Muskan, was shot by four gunmen who barged into her house on Wednesday. She died in hospital. “The singer Gulnar has been shot dead,” local police station chief Riazul Haq said. “She had married three times and had some personal enmities.” Attacks against female singers are common in the conservative northwestern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, where many consider the performing arts to be un-Islamic. A young actress suffered burn injuries in June last year, when she had acid hurled at her while she was sleeping. Popular singer Ghazala Javed, 24, was shot dead by gunmen as she left a beauty salon in Peshawar two years ago over a dispute with her ex-husband.
Family planning killer to die
A court has imposed a death sentence on a man who killed two government workers and injured four other people in an argument related to the one-child policy. Xinhua news agency says a court in southern Guangxi region convicted He Shenguo (何深國) of intentional homicide. He slashed people at a family planning office after it refused to register his fourth child because he had not paid a fine for breaking family planning rules. Footage of police trying to subdue the man while he brandished a machete in July last year was widely shared on social media. Many comments at the time voiced sympathy for him and opposition to China’s family planning limits. Since then, the government has slightly relaxed the policy to allow more people to have two children.
‘Critical reporting’ banned
The country has banned its journalists from undertaking “critical reporting” without prior approval, state media said on Wednesday, a further clampdown in a country whose media restrictions already rank among the world’s harshest. Journalists “are prohibited from engaging in critical reporting unless they have received the approval of their work unit,” the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television announced on Wednesday, according to Xinhua news agency. Journalists are barred from “cross-industry” reporting, Xinhua said, without explaining the term, but adding that the move was mainly aimed at curbing extortion, paid news and false news reports. Those suspected of such activities could be held criminally liable, as well as face the withdrawal of their press cards and expulsion from the Communist Party if applicable, Xinhua added.
Another boat sinks
Nine people were missing after an Indonesia-bound boat sank off the west coast early yesterday, a report said, as authorities searched for 26 passengers unaccounted for after a similar incident a day earlier. The boat, believed bound for the Indonesian island of Sumatra across the busy Malacca Strait, sank off the coast near the district of Sepang, south of the capital Kuala Lumpur, the Star newspaper quoted an official as saying. “Initial investigations revealed that the boat sank at about 3am bound for Tanjung Balai [in Sumatra],” Maritime Enforcement Agency official Mohammed Hambali Yaakup was quoted as saying. He said 18 people had been rescued. There was no mention of any bodies found.