Sat, Mar 21, 2015 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



Anti-censorship site down

A Web site that helps Chinese Internet users see censored pages says it is the target of a massive denial-of-service attack and is struggling to stay online. wrote in a post on Thursday that the actions started on Tuesday in the first such attack ever directed at the site. The site wrote that it did not know who was launching the attacks, but that they coincided with increased pressure from Chinese officials. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology did not answer phone calls yesterday seeking comment.


Tree demolition stopped

Political leaders yesterday halted the felling of thousands of Hanoi’s trees after the plan sparked public outrage and fears it would damage the image of one of the world’s most picturesque cities. Social media criticism went into overdrive this week after authorities started cutting down about 500 of the 6,700 trees it considered dangerous in the leafy metropolis often dubbed the “Paris of Asia.” The rolling back of the plan was top billing on the lunchtime television news, which announced that upon the instruction of the Hanoi People’s Committee, trees cut down would be replaced immediately.


Man jailed for royal insult

A military court in Bangkok yesterday sentenced 67-year-old Opas Charnsooksai to 18 months in prison for writing insults against the monarch on the wall of a shopping mall restroom in October, his lawyer Sasinan Thamnithinan said. The court cut the original three-year prison sentence in half because Opas confessed, but said in passing sentence that it would not suspend the jail term because “the offense was violating the beloved monarch of the people,” Sasinan said.


Museum lands Petrobras art

A museum on Thursday received 139 works of art, including a painting by Joan Miro, seized from individuals involved in the corruption scandal rocking state oil giant Petrobras. Works by Brazilian artists Djanira and Heitor dos Prazeres were among the trove that police delivered to the Oscar Niemeyer Museum in the city of Curitiba. Local media reported that the majority of artwork was seized from Petrobras former director of services Renato Duque, who was arrested on Monday. He was detained in connection with a kickbacks and political payoffs scheme that allegedly siphoned off US$3.8 billion from Petrobras. Another 64 seized works had already been given to the museum, including pieces by Salvador Dali and Vik Muniz. After a quarantine period during which the works’ condition will be examined, the art will “probably” be available for the public to see, a member of the museum’s press team said. Prosecutors say Petrobras awarded inflated contracts to some of the country’s biggest construction companies over a 10-year-period, generating a flood of dirty money used to bribe executives and politicians.


Ming art sells for US$14m

A 600-year-old album of Ming Dynasty Buddhist art and calligraphy sold for US$14 million in New York on Thursday, the highest price for a Chinese painting sold outside Asia, Sotheby’s said. The sutras were sold after frantic bidding between four would-be buyers in Asia and the US that lasted 31 minutes, the auction house said. The winner was Chinese tycoon Liu Yiqian (劉益謙), who bid by telephone, Sotheby’s said. The taxi-driver-turned-financier is one of China’s biggest art collectors. Sotheby’s said US$14 million was the top price for any sale at Asian art auctions in New York this month and the highest price paid for a Chinese painting outside Asia. The sutras, an album of 39 leaves, came from an important Japanese collection and the only other known works from the series are in Chinese hands.

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