Monopoly junks glass ceiling
In the latest update of the classic board game Monopoly unveiled on Tuesday, the trademark real-estate tycoon has been replaced by his socially minded niece: an advocate who invests in female entrepreneurs. In Ms Monopoly, players collect inventions made by women, such as Wi-Fi and solar heating. Female players start out with more money than male players and receive US$240 each time they pass “go,” more than the US$200 that goes to males. That is an inversion of real life, where women make only 81 percent of what men do, according to the Department of Labor.
Felons let loose early
The early release of hundreds of convicted rapists, murderers and drug criminals has acutely embarrassed President Rodrigo Duterte, with Secretary of Justice Menardo Guevarra saying they were ineligible to be freed because of the severity of their crimes. About 1,700 felons serving life sentences have quietly walked free under a good behavior program in the three years since Duterte swept to power, promising to wage a national war on corruption, drugs and crime. Among those freed are 745 convicted rapists, 748 murderers and 156 drug criminals, according to an internal prisons document that names all of the prisoners guilty of crimes categorized as “heinous.”
New giant pterosaur found
Scientists on Tuesday unveiled a new species of pterosaur, the plane-sized reptiles that lorded over primeval skies above Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops and other dinosaurs of the late Cretaceous Period. With a wingspan of 10m and weighing 250kg, Cryodrakon boreas rivals another pterosaur as the largest flying animal of all time, researchers reported in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. The remains of C. boreas were first discovered more than 30 years ago in Alberta, Canada, yet elicited scant excitement because of a misclassification.
Derailment causes fire
A freight train believed to be bearing a flammable liquid used in solvents on Tuesday derailed near St Louis, Illinois, causing a fire that sent thick, black smoke into the air and prompted the evacuation of nearby schools and residences. Union Pacific said in a news release that the train derailed at its yard at about 12:45pm in the town of Dupo. The tank car that first caught fire contained a flammable liquid used as a solvent, it said. Railroad spokeswoman Kristen South said the smoke from the fire does not pose a significant health hazard. Video showed more than 10 train cars derailed and flames shooting from the wreckage.
LGBT+ credit union to open
A unique US credit union opening next year is to give priority to the needs of LGBT+ customers amid controversy over a national effort to ensure that financial institutions do not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Superbia Credit Union of Michigan would provide loans and other financial services that LGBT+ clients might not otherwise obtain, its founder said. Research published by Iowa State University earlier this year found that same-sex couples were 73 percent more likely to be turned down for a mortgage than were same-sex couples. “Our families, lives and financial journeys are vast and unique,” the Superbia Web site said.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
‘SUICIDE’: Media reports said Park Won-soon went missing on Thursday after a staff member filed a sexual harassment claim against him this week Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, viewed as a potential candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was found dead of an apparent suicide hours after he was reported missing, police said, adding that he was the subject of an undisclosed investigation. In a note he is thought to have left behind on his desk, Park offered his apologies. “I thank everyone who was with me in my life. I apologize to my family for only making them suffer from pain,” according to the note that was released by his office yesterday. Park, in his letter, asked to be cremated and have his remains spread