World News Quick Take

Agencies

Fri, Aug 16, 2013 - Page 7

CHINA

Prisoner organ use to end

The country will start phasing out its decades-long practice of using the organs of executed prisoners for transplant operations from November, a senior official said yesterday, as it pushes to mandate the use of organs from ethical sources in hospitals. The country remains the only in the world that still systematically uses organs extracted from executed prisoners in transplant operations, a practice that has drawn widespread international criticism. Many people in the country view the practice as a way for criminals to redeem themselves. However, officials have recently spoken out against the practice of harvesting organs from dead inmates, saying it “tarnishes the image of China.” The health ministry will begin enforcing the use of organs from voluntary donors allocated through a fledgling national program at a meeting set to be held in November.

CHINA

Zoo disguises dog as lion

A zoo’s supposed “African lion” was exposed as a fraud when the dog used as a substitute started barking. The zoo in the People’s Park of Luohe, in Henan Province, replaced exotic exhibits with common species, according to the state-run Beijing Youth Daily. It quoted a customer surnamed Liu who wanted to show her son the different sounds animals made — but he pointed out that the animal in the cage labeled “African lion” was barking. The beast was in fact a Tibetan mastiff — a large and long-haired breed of dog. “The zoo is absolutely cheating us,” the paper quoted Liu, who was charged 15 yuan (US$2.45) for the ticket, as saying. “They are trying to disguise the dogs as lions.” The chief of the park’s animal department, Liu Suya, told the paper that while it does have a lion, it had been taken to a breeding facility and the dog — which belonged to an employee — had been temporarily housed in the zoo over safety concerns.

CHINA

Wang Lijun judge removed

The judge who presided over the trial of Wang Lijun (王立軍), the former right-hand man of disgraced former Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai (薄熙來), has been removed from his post, authorities said, stoking speculation over the significance of the move. Wang was the chief of police in Chongqing when he fled to a US consulate in Chengdu, allegedly to seek asylum, blowing open China’s biggest political scandal in years. At his trial, where Zhong Erpu (鍾爾璞) was the chief judge, Wang was convicted of corruption, defection and other crimes and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Zhong was “relieved” as deputy director of the Intermediate People’s Court of Chengdu, in Sichuan Province, the Communist Party’s powerful organization department said in a brief statement. It did not give a reason for Zhong’s removal.

SINGAPORE

Nail clipping bus driver fired

A bus driver has been fired after he was caught on video trimming his nails while driving along an expressway. The 29-second video, posted on the Facebook page “SG Share” on July 26, showed the driver resting his left hand on the steering wheel while trimming the nails with a clipper held in his right hand. He then momentary lifts his left hand from the steering wheel to examine the trimmed fingernails. The page administrators wrote that the footage had been captured a day earlier on board a bus traveling from Changi Airport to the city-state’s northern suburbs. It is not clear how fast the man was driving at the time. The maximum speed limit on expressways is 90kph.