World News Quick Take

Agencies

Thu, Mar 28, 2013 - Page 7

SOUTH KOREA

Psy plans ‘white’ concert

Rapper Psy wants his fans to turn up in white at a concert next month where he will launch a new song that he hopes will cement the success of his Gangnam Style YouTube hit. “See this pic and let’s be white on 0413,” Psy tweeted on his @psy_oppa Twitter feed yesterday, referring to the April 13 concert to be held in Seoul. The chubby rapper, who shot to fame with more than 1 billion YouTube hits last year, subsequently poses in a variety of white clothing, ranging from a spacesuit to tennis whites and even a bridal gown and skimpy figure-skating dress. His stylist says the 35-year-old is more likely to reprise a concert style based on the suit used in Gangnam Style than anything more racy.

SWEDEN

‘Ungoogleable’ removed

The Language Council of Sweden said on Tuesday it had removed the word “ungoogleable” from its list of new words for last year because it refused to give in to the US company’s demands to include the word Google in the definition. The list of new words in the Swedish language came out in December last year, including the term “ogooglebar,” which was defined as something “which cannot be found on the Internet with the use of a search engine.” The Language Council said Google had since then repeatedly contacted it to insist that the definition include a mention of the company’s name. “Google has referred to legislation that protects trademarks and wants the Language Council to change the wording of the definition, introducing the name Google into the definition and adding a disclaimer where we point out that Google is a trademark,” the Language Council’s head Ann Cederberg said. “We have neither the time nor the desire to engage in the long, drawn-out process Google is trying to initiate. Neither do we want to compromise and change the definition of ‘ogooglebar’ to the one the company wants,” she said. “That would go against our principles, and the principles of language. Google has forgotten one thing: Language development doesn’t care about the protection of trademarks,” she added.

POLAND

Bieber shirtless at airport

Teenage pop star Justin Bieber paraded through an airport shirtless before flying out of the country, adding to a string of peculiar incidents that have plagued his European tour. The Canadian singer had previously been spotted wearing a bizarre gas mask on a night out in London, where he turned up late for one concert and collapsed on stage with shortness of breath during another. After a sold-out concert in Lodz, the 19-year-old took off his shirt in a car as it drove up to the airport late in the night on Monday. He then walked topless to the airport building — in temperatures of about minus-10°C — and then on to his gate, only to get dressed again before boarding a private jet.

FRANCE

Minister pledges security

Tourism Minister Sylvia Pinel on Tuesday pledged to ensure the security of travelers after 23 Chinese visitors were robbed of their cash and passports just after they arrived in Paris. Pinel said “everything will be done to find the perpetrators” and underscored “the determination of the French government to ensure the security of tourists in France.” The Chinese National Tourism Administration, which reports directly to the government, expressed concern after 23 tourists traveling in a group were robbed soon after they arrived at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport outside Paris yesterday.

UNITED STATES

No naked Harry: Christie

When Prince Harry visits the country in May he will have to keep his clothes on — at least while he is in New Jersey, the state’s governor said. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a blunt-talking, heavy-girthed Republican, said he would make sure the party-loving British royal does not repeat the naked Las Vegas antics that got him into hot water during his last trip. “I am going to spend the entire day with Prince Harry. Believe me, no one is going to be getting naked,” Christie told New Jersey 101.5 radio late on Monday. Prince Harry found himself at the center of a tabloid frenzy when nude photographs of him with an unidentified woman were published, in what resembled a game of strip billiards. His upcoming US tour is heavily focused on charity and wounded veterans. In New Jersey, he is planning to see areas hit by Hurricane Sandy.

UNITED STATES

Shatner lambasts IRS spoof

Star Trek actor William Shatner has accused tax authorities of wasting tens of thousands of dollars on a spoof video based on the cult television space show. Shatner — who played the Starship Enterprise’s commander Captain James T. Kirk in the series — took to Twitter to lambast the video, which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has now apologized for. “So I watched that IRS video. I am appalled at the utter waste of US tax dollars,” Shatner wrote to his 1.4 million followers. In the six-minute video, actors playing the key characters from Star Trek, including Captain Kirk and Spock, exchange tax-based jokes. The IRS said the video was made in 2010, along with another one based on sitcom Gilligan’s Island, at a combined cost of US$60,000, to be used at an IRS training and leadership conference. The IRS apologized for the video.

UNITED STATES

Disney compensates man

An attorney says a disabled man was awarded US$8,000 by Disneyland after the “It’s A Small World” ride broke down, stranding him for half an hour while the theme song played continuously. Lawyer David Geffen says Jose Martinez did not medically stabilize for three hours after the ride broke down in 2009. Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown said the Anaheim theme park believes it provided appropriate assistance during the incident, and is disappointed that the court did not fully agree. Geffen says Martinez uses a wheelchair, and suffers from panic attacks and high blood pressure, which was aggravated by a need to urinate. Geffen says half the award ordered on Friday is for pain and suffering, and the rest is for a violation of disability law. Brown says the violations have been addressed.

SWITZERLAND

SARS-like virus kills man

A 73-year old Saudi man has died in Munich from a lethal new SARS-like virus, the WHO said on Tuesday, making him the 11th victim of the illness since its detection last year. The patient had been traveling in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia before falling ill, and was transferred to Munich from Abu Dhabi on March 19, the WHO said. Known as novel coronavirus or hCoV-EMC, the virus was first detected in the middle of last year and is a cousin of SARS, which killed more than 800 people when it swept out of China in 2003. The new virus is different from SARS, especially in that it causes rapid kidney failure. However the new strain is shrouded in mystery, and the WHO does not yet know how it is transmitted or how widespread it is. To date, 17 people have been infected and 11 have died in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Germany and Britain.