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.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete