Channel fined for condom bit
The Radio and Television Supreme Council has fined a private channel over a show where the characters discussed the merits of strawberry-flavored condoms, the Hurriyet daily reported over the weekend. The increasingly stringent watchdog fined the TV 2 channel 12,353 Turkish lira (US$5,320) for broadcasting a segment from French-produced sketch show Vous Les Femmes, which in Turkish is broadcast as Ah Biz Kadinlar. “There was a discussion on the topic of strawberry condoms. There should have been warning, given this was during the period when children are watching,” it said in a ruling quoted by Hurriyet’s Web site. The council has been accused of imposing moral censorship in recent months for a number of stern rulings.
Xinjiang ‘mobsters’ killed
A group of “mobsters” tried to set off an explosive device in a business district in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, prompting police to shoot six of them dead, the local government said yesterday. Police in Shule County acted on a tip-off about “a suspicious person carrying an explosive device,” the Xinjiang Government said on its official news site. An axe-wielding individual tried to attack police officers and set off an explosive device, prompting the officers to shoot him, it said. The report added that police trying to dispose of an explosive device were attacked by five “thugs” who sought to detonate it, but did not make clear if this was a separate incident. Aside from the suspects there were no other casualties, the report said, but gave no details of the assailants. The incident comes two months after 15 people were killed when a group threw explosives into a crowded street of vendors.
FGM targets return home
Hundreds of schoolgirls yesterday returned home after spending three months hiding in safe houses to escape genital mutilation (FGM), state TV said. FGM can range from hacking off the clitoris, to the removal of the entire genitalia. About 800 school girls fled to shelters run by charities and church organizations, which offer protection during the months FGM is traditionally carried out: from October to December. Some of the shelters are given police protection to ensure the girls remain safe. Minister of Labor and Employment Gaudensia Kabaka called on traditional leaders to use their influence to stop “this retrograde practice.” At a center run by a Protestant church, one of the girls said: “My mother supported me, she did not want me to be cut, but my father began to beat me so I decided to come here.” FGM was outlawed in 1998 and carries a punishment of up to 15 years in prison, but is still carried out regularly.
Japanese minister draws fire
The Ministry of Defense yesterday criticized Japanese Minister of Defense Gen Nakatani for the first time, saying it is “firmly opposed” to his comments that Beijing has repeatedly engaged in “dangerous actions” in the East China Sea. Nakatani last week accused the nation of violating Japan’s territorial waters, saying Beijing had locked fire-control radar on Japanese ships, set up an air defense identification zone and “flown its fighter jets abnormally close” to Japanese aircraft. The ministry hit back on its Web site, saying its military activities in the sea and air were “completely legitimate.” “The leader of Japan’s defense department ignores the facts and keeps on rehashing the same tune, playing up the ‘China military threat,’” it said.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around