(Capital War 2009 blog) July 13, 2010
[translation] On June 30, US Congress spokesperson and Federal Reserve Bank vice-chairman Kohn said: If China punishes Zhou Xiaochuan, the Swiss bank deposit amounts of 5,000 senior Chinese officials will be published. China has not replied.
Yesterday, a number of mainland Chinese websites cited a report by Hong Kong-based Ming Pao that People's Bank of China governor Zhou Xiaochuan has "fled"! This story began two days ago on Twitter and some discussion forums. At around 10am yesterday, a blog sourced the information to Ming Pao. According to this story, China was about to punish PBOC governor Zhou Xiaochuan for losing USD 430 billion from China's foreign reserve in investments on Ginnie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds. The story also claimed that US Congress spokesman and Federal Reserve Bank vice-chairman Donald Kohn threatened China that if they punished Zhou Xiaochuan, the list of Swiss bank deposits of 5,000 senior Chinese government officials will be published. According to the investigation by our reporter, Donald Kohn is a vice-chairman at the Federal Reserve Bank, but he is not the spokesperson for the US Congress. Kohn also did not say anything such.
Yesterday morning, our reporter checked the mainland Chinese search engine Baidu and found many instances of "the fleeing of Zhou Xiaochuan" rumor still listed, although some of those pages have already been deleted.
The Ming Pao editorial department clarifies that Ming Pao has never published the circulated report. Ming Pao strongly deplores this piece of false news that was falsely attributed to Ming Pao. Ming Pao will also hold the person(s) responsible through the relevant authorities.
On the afternoon of August 30, the Ming Pao editorial department has informed the Hong Kong Police and the State Council's Hong Kong-Macau Office, indicated our concerns and sought for help to follow up on this matter.
(Stratfor via China Tracker)
Rumors have circulated in China that People’s Bank of China Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan has left the country. The rumors appear to have started following reports on Aug. 28 which cited Ming Pao, a Hong Kong-based news agency, saying that because of an approximately $430 billion loss on U.S. Treasury bonds, the Chinese government may punish some individuals within the PBOC, including Zhou. Although Ming Pao on Aug. 30 published a report on its website indicating that the prior report was fabricated by a mainland news site that had attributed the false information to Ming Pao, rumors of Zhou’s defection have spread around China intensively, and Zhou’s name has been blocked from Internet search engines in China
Look at the original Twitter post. As Ming Pao pointed out, Donald Kohn is the Federal Reserve Bank vice-chairman but not the US Congress spokesperson. There is a Speaker of the House in the US Congress, being the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives, but there is no 'spokesperson' as such. Due to the nature of the job positions, a FRB vice-chairman can never be a member of the Legislative Branch (US Congress/Senate) at the same time. So this is one tell-tale sign that the rumor monger is not well-versed in the US political and economic structures.
The second problem is about the Swiss bank list. Switzerland banking laws are very strict, and that is the basis of their competitive advantage. That means that if the United States government claims to have the Swiss bank records of 5,000 senior Chinese government officials, someone has violated Swiss bank laws. Switzerland won't take that lightly. If the Swiss banks provided the information to the United States government, they have broken their own confidentiality laws and the entire Swiss banking system is broken. Nobody will ever put their money into a Swiss bank again. If the United States government obtained the information through their own means (such as data theft), this is an act of war against Switzerland. Instead there has been no response from Switzerland or USA on this story at all. You should already know that there is no such list.
The case of Chen Shui-bian tells us that if you are a corrupt government official, you do not go to Switzerland and open a bank account yourself. You use a trusted surrogate (such as your son or a friend). So how do the US government/Swiss banks come up with a list of 5,000 senior Chinese government officials? They would have done a massive investigation into these nebulous connections, creating false positives and negatives along the way. As it is, they could barely sort out the single known case of Chen Shui-bian. In Chen's case, the Taiwan prosecutors had to present their detailed evidence to the Swiss prosecutor, who could then order the Swiss bank to divulge the information. Did you think that the US prosecutors presented detailed evidence on 5,000 senior Chinese government officials to Switzerland? Besides, what business is this to the US prosecutors that these Chinese nationals are guilty of corruption? What US prosecutor would follow cases that the US courts have jurisdiction over?
Interestingly, the Twitter post appeared in July and gained no traction because of the obvious flaws. But the second that the story is sourced to Ming Pao, it takes off like wild fire over the past couple of days. Even some western media fell head over heels.]
(South China Morning Post) Ex-election candidate sets himself ablaze August 29, 2010.
Fu Yiu-wa, 47, a former executive committee member of the Hong Kong Progressive Alliance, set fire to himself and died outside the Tsuen Wan district office of the Home Affairs Department on Castle Peak Road at 5.30am yesterday. A pedestrian called for help upon seeing the man on fire, but could not do anything else because no fire extinguisher was available. Fu was found dead at the scene. Police found nothing suspicious but a "death note" accusing a Tsuen Wan district councillor and two named officials from the departments of home affairs and food and environmental hygiene. Fu was twice defeated in district council elections, in 1999 and 2003. The Progressive Alliance merged with the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong in 2005 to become the city's biggest political party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.
Why no interest in this case in Hong Kong? Here is what the local Chinese-language media found out, and it doesn't explain much.
(Oriental Daily; Oriental Daily; Oriental Daily)
Hau Tei Square is a 30-something-year old market area in Tsuen Wan. It is known as the local Lady's Street. But the facilities are crude, including having no fire-fighting infrastructure. Earlier, the district council allocated HKD 19 million plus to renovate the district.
47-year-old Fu Yiu-wa is single and lives with his sister in Discovery Park, Tsuen Wan. Early in his career, he was a manager at a trading company. Recently, he held a part-time job as a shuttle bus driver and also helped his mother to manage her children's clothing stall. Last year, his mother passed away and he inherited the stall license.
In the death note, he said: "What kind of world is this? A complainant becomes someone who is concerned about district affairs?" Also "This is a government with no backbone. Its policies and administrative departments have no backbones."
According to district councilor Lo Siu-kit, he had seen Fu Yiu-wa at a public consultation meeting six months ago. They did not have any in-depth discussion at the time. The consultation meeting was held by a consultant hired by the government. Lo said that he had no idea what the accusation against him in the death note mean.
According to another district councilor Chow Bing-tim, Fu had asked him to help to obtain special payments and free rent privileges for the affected stall operators. At the time, Fu had obtained the signatures of 30 stall operators. Chow told Fu to get a majority to sign but that did not happen.
According to his partner Ms. Ng who operates the stall, Fu cared a lot about the renovation project and offered many opinions. But some operators scorned him for "wanting to have the best of every world" (that is, to get the government to provide a brand new stall as well as pay them). Thereafter he refused to attend any of the meetings. Two months ago, he wrote to the media which ignored him. This caused him to be depressed.
According to Mental Association of Hong Kong executive council member Lai Shou-shun, people who commit suicide often think that they don't belong o this world and therefore hard themselves due to despair. Social Welfare Department chief clinical psychologist Helios K.C. Lau said that everybody has their own demands. It is unwise to use suicide to condemn society for not listening to one's demands. If people refuse to heed one's demands, one should think about whether one's approach was appropriate and modify it accordingly to make it effective.
According to information, Fu Yiu-wa's mother passed away last year and Fu inherited her license to operate a stall that sells children clothing in Tsuen Wan.
According to a Tsuen Wan district councilor who knew Fu when they were in the same political party, Fu said that he was in the process of gathering signatures from other stall operators to oppose the reconstruction and to get compensation. But since less than half of the operators signed up, there was no progress.
According to the Tsuen Wan district councilor Lo Siu-kit who was named in the death note, the Tsuen Wan district council had allocated funds to reconstruct the area. At the time that Lo met with Fu, he told Fu: "This is a renovation plan. The stall operators do not have to fund anything, and it won't affect their business." Lo emphasized that he has nothing to gain personally from this project. Among the more than 100 stall operators, everybody voted for the project except for Fu (who declined to vote) and one other person who opposed.
First there was this microblog post that appeared first on August 28:
His mother will be grateful to you no matter which means you use to forward this information. Name: Zhang Junlong. Age: 2. Place of origin: Wenchuan. He went missing at the Chengdu train station. At the time, he was wearing pink happy-looking cartoon clothes. He cannot speak yet. Will all kind-hearted people help to find him. His father passed away during the earthquake, leaving only his mother.
Contact telephone number is 158835XXXXX. Please help this family. This will be a little more love after the earthquake.
This microblog post with the photo of the lovely boy drew sympathy. Within two days, the microblog post was forwarded almost 70,000 times, including by several hundred celebrities such as Yao Chen, Ren Zhiqiang, Zhao Wei, Zhou Bichang, He Gui, Hong Huang, etc.
"Everybody forward this post! Such a pity for the mother and child. May they reunite soon." Tian Liang and Ye Yiqian wrote. Gui Lunmei and Little S hope that the mother can embrace the boy again! Yao Chen asked for volunteers to participate in the search.
Yesterday morning at 10:30am, our reporter called the telephone number posted on the microblog to locate the mother of Zhang Junlong. The phone call went through, but it showed that the number was in Guangyuan and not Wenchuan.
Our reporter explained the purpose of the call to the female on the phone. She raised her voice and said: "Aiya! I am in Wangchang, Guangyuan. I am not in Wenchuan." When the reporter asked whether her son was missing, she said: "I have a two-year-old daughter. Her family name is Tang. She is not missing. She has been with me the whole time. I don't know what this is about. A lot of people have called me up today. So annoying!" This woman was clearly impatient and she hung up the phone.
Could it be that the telephone number was incorrect? To get to the truth, our reporter asked the Chengdu police for help. The police officer went through the National Public Security Network to search for "Zhang Junlong." There are only two persons named Zhang Junlong under the age of 3. One is in Fujian province and the other is in Jiangsu. Neither are in Wenchuan. The system did not have anything that matched the case reported in the microblog either. "No such person. The story is erroneous. Someone may be pulling a hoax." The police officer said.
At past 5pm yesterday, the microblog post was still being forwarded by Aixin netizens. But some of those netizens who had called the listed telephone number are saying that the information was wrong and they raise questions about the person who made the initial post. Meanwhile some netizens are already deleting their own forwarding posts.
Through the search function on microblogs, our reporter determined that the first post was made at 20:01 on August 28. As of 8:18pm last evening, the post has been forwarded 68,823 times. The original poster was Ruan Jingtian V (but the V was not in yellow color and that means it has not been officially authenticated). Our reporter noted that although the microblog uses photos of the Taiwan artiste Ruan Jingtian, the contents are just some texts and photos not connected to Ruan Jingtian or the entertainment industry. There was nothing about the recent developments connected to Ruan Jingtian.
Our reporter then reached the official Ruan Jingtian V (in yellow) microblog. There was a notice: "At present, Ruan Jingtian does not have a microblog or blog. Any microblog or blog set up under his name is not his!" This excluded the possibility that the Taiwan artiste Ruan Jingtian initially made that microblog post. But since the Ruan Jiantian V (not in yellow) microblog contained no contact information, there was no way to find that person or determine his motive for making that post.
On August 18, Xu Li received the shoe rack that she purchased through the Internet and got it set up. She was very satisfied. So she took some photos of the process from delivery to installation, and shared it with other netizens on the Internet shopping website. "It is really not bad. I placed the order on the first evening. The phone call came the next afternoon to set up delivery. Even better was the delivery person. I was not in Beijing the first time. Three days later, they called me at home around noon and the merchandise arrived in the afternoon. Worth a praise!"
Our reporter could see that the photos included the box in which the shoe rack was delivered; the shoe rack after the box was opened; the process of assembly; the placement of the shoes onto the rack. There were eight photos in total. There was also no personal information about the person who made the post.
Yet, these photos aroused a strong need to know among netizens. One netizen said: "Why does this shoe rack look so tall? Upon examining the shoes, this is the case of an unmarried couple living together ..." Another netizen examined the floor and determined that this was a rental apartment. Furthermore, the shoes on the rack showed that the owner is an enthusiastic fan of one particular brand of athletic shoes.
This was followed by more self-appointed deduction experts -- from the shoe sizes, they determined the height of the owner; from the love for athletic shoes, they determined that the owner had graduated from a sports academy.
The final breakthrough was that a netizen located the MSN blog of the owner, where a similar set of photos had also been posted. At the same time, netizens guessed the Chinese name of the owner based upon the ID of the owner. Also, they deduced the Beijing area in which the rental apartment was and then obtained the relevant information from a rental apartment website. Eventually they concluded that the owner was Xu Li, a female CCTV reporter.
Even more amazing was the fact that a netizen located Xu Li's microblog and found that at 18:37 on August 18, she had blogged: "I arrived in Beijing at noon. In the afternoon, I received the shoe rack that I ordered three days ago. Delight delight ..."
By this point, the many netizens could basically declare that this "human flesh search" has been successful.
Last evening, our reporter contacted the principal Xu Li. She declined to comment on the matter, except to say that "this is somewhat preposterous."
A netizen commented: "This is a very high popular post. But there is not a lot of substance. I have to admit that there are some very lonely people out there!"
Q: Miss Lam, how are you? With respect to the many Hong Kong persons who have perished in the Philippines this time, quite a few Hong Kong persons have begun to resent Filipinos. There are some prejudices. Joey Yung has called on the people of Hong Kong not to blame the Filipina domestic helpers, not to fire them. What do you think about what she said?
A: What qualifications does she have to comment? She is just a songstress, right or not? That is to say, I am not looking down on her. If you are a songstress, you ought to stick to singing your songs. They have the ability to express themselves in the Philippines. They looked at the coffins containing the corpses of our Hong Kong people and they smiled so happily. Hey, maybe they are thinking; "We have been your slaves, we have been your servants for decades already. So you get your just desserts today." Why else would they smile so happily? This is what they want to say, right or not? Why can't we Hong Kong people express ourselves by firing them? We are not using force. We are not paying them and we will be employing others instead. Why not? I think that it is okay for us to do that. We are not using force. Not like them using guns to kill people, brother! Right or not? I think that we have the right to choose to do this. That is, you say, like the Chief Executive ... when the flag was lowered to half mast today, he said that the Hong Kong people and the people of the Philippines should try to get past this painful moment ... Have mercy! ... I know Donald Tsang and his political tactics. That is why he said that. But we feel very painful this time. We cry whenever this is brought up. What is this about Filipinos and us? Filipinos and us? The Filipinos are laughing. How are they like us? We are crying while they are laughing. Please, could you please not bring up the Philippines at this moment!? Right or not? Look at the painful experience of we the people of Hong Kong. You want us to soothe this pain. What pain do they have in the Philippines? Right or not? Those people are incomprehensible. Why should some things stay unspoken? Pain is pain. Everybody is shedding tears. So many people have not slept for many nights. They cry when they watch television. Will the Filipinos cry will they watch television? When they watch television, they couldn't close their mouths from the laughter! All of this accumulates. I think people have the right to fire the Filipina workers. I am telling you that you absolutely have the right. I have already fired mine. I won't hire a Filipina. I have the right.
Q: Good. Thank you, Miss Lam.
- She has the right to fire her Filipina domestic helper and I have the right to despise her. The whole affair can be blamed on the gunman, the Philippines police, the Philippines government, even their President. But it has nothing to do with Filipina domestic helpers or the people of the Philippines in general. Someone who disrespect others, discriminates against another people and regards other peoples as lowly does not deserve my respect.
- Lam Yi Lai VERY GOOD
- Very good
- Auntie Lam speaks well.
- At the very least, not every Filipino is laughing. Some Filipinos are criticizing their own government. They are angry.
Of course, you hire your domestic helper and you can fire her if you like. That is your affair.
But your action means that you transferred your anger on someone who had nothing to do with the case.
Someone who is fifty-something-years old like you ought to be more mature.
- i agree with her!!! Fire the Filipina maids!! they can all get fuck!! yeah~
- And what are your qualifications to comment? You look like a piece of shit
- Miss Lam: Let me give you a piece of honest advice. Although you have been able to make a name for yourself through hyping, they are all negative results. Maybe you have become better known, but you are not going to get more votes. The voters will not cast their votes for a clueless person. If your advisor told you to do this, you should fire him because he is trying to hurt you.
- You are so right. I am going to fire my Filipina maid!
- it is a shame how hk people treat and see ALL Filipinos as slave for these many years, and discrimination is what they get out of the relationship between hk and Filipine. truely without Filipinos,life will not be that easy for most people in hong kong, especially those parents who don't even have time to take care of THEIR KIDS. if u fire them, then they have no income to support their families, and how is this different to the murderer? these reactions embarrased hk's reputation
- What right do have to comment? You only know how to smear people. First, you smear a security guard for sexually molesting you. Now you want to smear Filipina maids. You only know how to reverse black and white. You saw some Filipinos laugh. Did you see any Filipina maid laugh? Did you see one? Two? No? In mainland China, some netizens wrote that those Hong Kong people deserve to die. According to your logic, should we boycott all Chinese people? Lam Yi Lai, you just want to put the blame on entire groups of people.
- This bitch is crazy. You can't stereotype ALL Filipinos with those depicted in the photos. Did the maids pull the trigger? Were they involved with the rescue mission? THEY HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS, stop this ridiculous racial backlash.
(The Inquirer, Manila) August 28, 2010.
AN EMOTIONAL Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim on Saturday defended the local police force that bungled the hostage incident at the Luneta that left eight Chinese tourists and their captor dead. Lim said members of the Manila Police District (MPD) were true heroes who should be commended because they were willing to lay down their lives. The mayor cited a member of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team who was almost killed if not for the Kevlar helmet he was wearing.
Lim spoke to the Inquirer at the 23rd commemoration of the retaking of government station People’s Television channel 4 (now National Broadcasting Network 4) from rebel soldiers on Aug. 28, 1987. He stressed that Manila’s Finest were professionals, just like doctors and lawyers, but they are the only ones who are called to sacrifice their lives for the safety of the public.
(Fang Zhouzi's blog)
My wife posted on my microblog that I had been attacked by thugs. I received many telephone calls and text messages to express sympathy and to request interviews. I am grateful for your concern. Since I am cooperating with the police investigation right now, I am unable to respond to everyone. Let me take the time to tell you what happened.
Today at 3pm, I had an appointment with two reporters from Liaoning TV to meet at the entrance of our neighborhood district and then proceed to a nearby teahouse. The subject was the matter of the Taoist master Li Yi. The interview was over around 5pm. I escorted the two reporters into a taxi. I turned around and took two or three steps. A man suddenly showed up in front of me and sprayed something in my face. It was a strong and overpowering spray. I felt faint and weak, almost ready to fall down. I held my breath and started sprinting to the other side of the street. Another man pursued me and tried to hit me in the head with a hammer. I kept sprinting ahead. This man chased me but could not catch up to me. He threw the hammer at my head but missed. I heard the sound of the hammer falling on the ground. I turned my head and looked even as I continued to sprint. The man picked up the hammer and threw it again, this time hitting me in hip and causing some bleeding. I sprinted for one or two hundred meters. The thugs did not follow me. I entered my neighborhood district and then I called the police. They showed up quickly. There were some people in the streets at the time. The police immediately tried to find eyewitnesses. After getting my statement taken down, I went to get a medical examination at a nearby hospital. Apart from two superficial wounds on my hip, there are no other unusual signs on my body.
When the thug sprayed me, I thought he used pepper spray. I spoke to the doctor and we felt that it was some kind of anaesthetic containing ethylether. I had previously used ethylether in my own experiments and I remembered its odor. The thugs planned to have one of them knock me unconscious with the anaesthetic and the other one beat me to death with the iron hammer. Learning from the attack on Fang Xuanchang, I reacted quickly, ran fast and escaped.
I have no personal enemies. So this was obviously retaliation by someone whom I had once exposed. They waited near near my residence for a long time until they seized this moment. I won't speculate on who did it. I have offered all my leads to the police. I hope that the case will be solved quickly, along with the case of Fang Xuanchang.
Five tweets. What can you say about it? Read the media ...
(Manila Bulletin) Netizens scorn Jackie Chan for act of friendship to RP By Jecelyn V. Macahindog. August 27, 2010.
Some netizens have criticized international action star Jackie Chan's sympathetic messages to Filipinos about the hostage-taking in Manila last Aug. 23. Recall that the hostage drama resulted in the death of eight Hong Kong nationals.
Upon hearing the “terrible news,” Chan, a Hong Kong national as well, expressed his grief through his verified Twitter account (@EyeOfJackieChan).
His tweets read:
"I come back to hk & I hear terrible news about what happened in filippines (sic). A lot of things don’t happen to your own country you don’t pay attention."
“This kind of things always happen around the world (sic). It happened to hk’s people, the whole hk is talking about it. It’s really sad.”
“HK is a nation built by a lot of different people..don’t worry! We do not hate!”
“I remember the day before in korea we talked about how people should love each other. We already have so many natural disasters..typhoon, tsunami, everything. Humans should be united and not kill or hate each other.”
Chan’s sentiments were lauded by presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, who was grateful for Chan “extending his hand of friendship” to the Filipinos.
However, the same drew flak from Chan's people. On Facebook, some netizens set up groups under the heading “Jackie Chan doesn’t represent Hong Kong ” and “Jackie Chan doesn’t represent me,” the Associated Press reported. “Shut up! Hong Kong people don’t need you. You side with outsiders and not your own. You will face karmic retribution for your disrespect for the victims,” an Iris Yau posted. “He just doesn’t understand the pain of Hong Kong people,” another user, a Violet Wing, added. “Jackie Chan’s comment on the massacre in Manila is extremely abhorrent. The Hong Kong people does not agree with him and he certainly does not represent the 7 million people in Hong Kong ,” read another.
The Manila Bulletin cited four of the five tweets and skipped the middle one: "If they killed the guy sooner, they will say why not negotiate first? If they negotiate first, they ask why not kill the guy sooner? So sad." That was the one that was upsetting many Chinese because it appeared to support what the Manila police was doing.
Here are some Chinese-language media reports:
(Information Times (mainland China))
It was the renowned scriptwriter Stephen Siu who first noted what Jackie Chan wrote. When interviewed by the media, Siu pointed out that Chan always says awkward things. If he does not know something well enough, he really shouldn't say too much about it. Chan really needs to hire a public relations spokesperson. Siu said that Chan's three major mistakes in the tweets were: (1) he did not express his sorrow for the victims; (2) he did not deplore the incompetence of the Filipino police; (3) he tried to take a balance position but he was ignorant of the circumstances.
Siu looked at “This kind of things always happen around the world (sic). It happened to hk’s people, the whole hk is talking about it. It’s really sad.” He wants to ask Chan whether he was "sad" he was sorry that it happened to Hong Kong people, or because this sort of thing happens all around the world and the Hong Kong people over-reacted to it?
Jackie Chan's words drew the rage of Hong Kong netizens. The Facebook group "Jackie Chan said that the Filipino police did not do anything wrong during the rescue? Jackie Chan, you don't represent me" drew more than 1,000 subscribers within hours of its establishment.
Here are some microblog posts:
"If he or his family members were on that bus, what would he say?"
"Brother Jackie, I trust your character. But you said the wrong things. You should study more and improve yourself!"
"I don't think that Jackie Chan supports the Philippines. He can only be said to help them finish up. But the more you say, the more likely you make mistakes and you have to pay a price. It is impossible not to feel some hatred. Do not say "we." Say "I do not hate" to state your personal views." "We do not hate" looks like you are helping them wriggle out the situation. As for the kidnapper, he ought to have been shot dead the first moment when the danger escalated. You can negotiate, but it cannot be the excuse for failing to rescue the hostages. You need to be decisive when you have to."
(Ming Pao (Hong Kong)) 郭繾澂
Firstly, with respect to Hong Kong being a diversified society, Jackie Chan is right. But there is no basis for saying that there is no hatred in Hong Kong.
Whenever Hong Kong people see unjust and unfair things happen to Hong Kong people or even to others who are faraway, they will hate it. In our diversified society, we don't any any race or people. But we still feel strongly against anything that goes against reason or justice.
Secondly, Jackie Chan pointed out the Filipino police would be criticized whether they killed the kidnapper early on or later on. Clearly, this can be interpreted as support for the police. There is nothing ambiguous or inarticulate about that. Broadly speaking, he said that it is tough to be the Filipino police because they will be condemned no matter what.
I wondered if Jackie Chan watched the extensive live television coverage like so many other Hong Kong people. If he did and he had even minimal knowledge about hostage rescue, he could see the numerous mistakes. Not only did the angry Hong Kong people saw them, but international experts share the same opinion.
Thirdly, just because these incidents frequently happen around the world does not mean that you become blasé and indifferent. Any warm-blooded Hong Kong person will feel outraged if the same thing happened to non-Hong Kong people.
The vast majority of the people of Hong Kong do not hate Filipinos. At a time when the sorrow and pain have not subsided, why was Jackie Chan so anxious to reach out his hands of friendship?
As a person of Hong Kong, could he please show some sympathy for the very hurt Hong Kong people first before acting as "Friendly Ambassador"?
(MOP) Jackie Chan Apologizes, Claims Statement Of Support For Filipino Police Was Translation Error. August 28, 2010.
Jackie Chan's statement
First of all, I want to send my deepest condolences to the families of the victims in the Philippines. Perhaps I had been unclear i what I want to say, but the content that my American assistant translated onto twitter for me did not fully express my original meaning. I feel that it is a heartbreaking tragedy for Hong Kong people to be held hostage and killed while touring in the Philippines. I am Chinese and a 100% Hong Kong person. I feel deep pain for those Hong Kong persons who lose their lives in this tragedy and I express my sympathy to those families who have lost loved ones. I hope the injured persons will recover soon.
I only said that I will not hate Filipinos on account of this tragedy. There are more than one hundred thousand Filipinos working in Hong Kong. There are quite a few Hong Kong persons working in the Philippines too. If we all hate each other, it will do great damage to both Hong Kong and the Philippines.
Did the incompetence of the Filipino police caused this tragedy? This certainly has to be looked into, but let's leave it to the experts to do that.
I express my sincerest apologies if what I originally said on the Internet was incomplete and caused misunderstanding and discontent among people.
Director Zhang Lihua who lost his life in the Yichun plane crash is my colleague. He was diligent, honest and kind-hearted. He married his wife when he was still a soldier. Recently she had breast cancer and her health has been poor. His son just graduated and has joined the army. Zhang Lihua was the support of his family. But on his first trip since being transferred to my department, he perished! Every time that I walk past his office, I remember our times together. I have to sigh, wipe a tear away and reflect on the vicissitudes of life.
I was outraged by the reporting of three <Chutiandu Metropolis Daily> reporters. Their action was deplorable! In order to get the news, they were ruthless and remorseless! They are worse than beasts! Just look:
1. They illegally stole the personal information of other persons
"Yesterday morning, our reporter found out from the list of deceased passengers that two of them (Hu Wenya and Zhang Lihua) had ID's that began with '42.' Our reporter went through the Public Security Bureau's identification inquiry system and confirmed that both were residents of Hubei province. Specifically, Hu Wenya was from Zhuogang town, Huangmei county, Huanggang city while Zhang Lihua was from Xiongchu Main Street, Hongshan district, Wuhan city."
The identification card and address of a citizen are personal data accessible to the Public Security Bureau. According to rule 6 of the <Resident Identification Card Law>, "The public security bureau and other people's police must keep confidential all personal information about citizens that they learned as a result of producing, releasing, inspecting and withholding personal identification cards." Apart from special state functions such as criminal investigations, nobody has the right to obtain the identification card information of others.
Who authorized these reporters to access the personal identification card information of other persons? Who permitted them to go to the homes of the deceased persons and disrupt their peace and tranquillity? Clearly they don't realize that their actions were illegal. Instead they boasted in their newspaper that they went through the Public Security Bureau's identification inquiry system to obtain that information. As reporters who are supposed to guide the public, their awareness of the law has reached a horrible new low. Today they can illegally obtain information about the crash victims. Tomorrow they can also obtain information about their enemies. The day after tomorrow they can publish the information of any ordinary citizen. All our personal information and all our personal rights are not secret to reporters at all!
2. They were inhumane in their quest for news
"Yesterday our reporter went to the home of Zhang Lihua. His wife was still not aware of the news. At around 8:30am yesterday, our reporter went to Number 350 Xiongchu Main Street, Wuchang city. This is a family courtyard for the Hubei armed police with a sign that says "Restricted Military Area." Several women were chatting while sitting on leisure chairs near the courtyard entrance. As our reporter asked for the location of Zhang Lihua's place, his wife Li Fengzhang happened to just return from the outside. Before our reporter could even finish stating the purpose of the visit, Li Fengzhang intuited what had happened, collapsed onto a chair and began to cry."
<The Law About Responsibility In Rights Violation> states: When a person's rights are intruded upon resulting in serious mental anguish, the victim may demand compensation. These reporters' actions have obviously caused great mental distress! They have clearly broken the law!
Our department comrades had found out about the bad news on the morning of August 25. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to break the news to Zhang Lihua's wife. She had breast cancer and is receiving chemotherapy. We were terribly concerned that the shock may cause her health to collapse. Therefore, before we went to see her, we made sure to bring along a doctor and an ambulance! We also discussed the tone and language that we would use, because we wanted to lessen the pain. But these reporters just rushed up like mad dogs ready to bite. They did not give a damn about the feelings and body health of the family members. They did not give a damn about any consequences! They only thought about getting an exclusive news story ahead of everybody else and being praised by their supervisors. Humanitarianism and consequences mean nothing to them. If the family member should fall ill or become suicidal, then these reporters are murderers!
The tears of the family members become the materials for their sensationalistic report. The heartrending tragedy brought them their blood-soaked authors' fees. They watched the whole thing as a spectacle which will enable them to make money and climb up the ladder. We want to ask: Do you still own a conscience? If this tragedy were to happen to you, would you still have the indifference and ruthlessness of a spectator and the ecstasy of finding exciting material to report? Without minimum ethical standards, how are you different from beasts?
Yesterday morning, Nokia held a launch meeting for its N8 mobile phone. About 30 minutes into the event, the video feed suddenly showed an adult video of one man and one woman copulating. This episode continued for almost 2 minutes. Many views and reporters were shocked. The incident was reported at the various web portals and the Xinhua agency. Nokia China has not commented on the incident yet. But netizens were choosing among worker malfeasance, sabotage or hacker attack.
In Yichun, an airplane broke when it hit the landing strip. Forty-seven passengers survived. On CCTV, the news anchorwoman spoke to a reporter at the scene by telephone. Pathetically, all the reporter said was: "The principal leaders directed the fire and police departments to conduct an orderly rescue mission." Every other word was about some leader or the other. This is pathetic, so pathetic!
Type 1: Moral Dickheads
These dickheads normally seize the moral high ground quickly with statements about their indescribable sorrow. Then they proceed to interfere with how other people must live their lives (e.g. no entertainment; no movies; no dining out; no neon lights; no NBA basketball games on tv; day of mourning in Taiwan; mandatory black dress for tv news announcers; etc). They point their fingers at the minor actions of other people and call them disrespectful, even cold-blooded. They have appointed themselves to be the arbitrators of proper behavior for the duration of the crisis (and thereafter).
Type 2: Radical Dickheads
These dickheads are often mindless angry young people. Normally they would never pay any attention to a news story. But on this occasion, they come out and demand to fire all Filipina domestic helpers in Hong Kong to show that they really care. Or else they say that they will never ever visit the Philippines. But it is not certain that they can point out the location of Manila in a world map. If you object to their proposals, they will call you brain-dead before you get the chance to call them that. Some of them do so because they seek attention and therefore they try to outdo each other. So why just fire all Filipina domestic helpers? Why not go out this Sunday and beat them up?
Type 3: Manipulator Dickheads
These dickheads tie this tragedy to other unrelated things that they want to exploit to their own advantage, such as prominently featuring their own names/political parties/URLs in any petition drive, etc. For example, when you see a forum post entitled <Hong Kong tourists suffered tragic deaths in the Philippines: western style democratic reform is a dead-end>, you know that it is posted by a manipulator dickhead. Why do they do this? Because they score points (in Google AdSense revenue, name recognition, etc).
Type 4: Smack Aleck Dickheads
These dickheads think that they are smart and can easily see what others are unable to see. For example, someone sends him a video of an anti-terrorist military exercise somewhere else in the world. He watches it and suddenly he is an expert to comment on the mistakes of the Manila police. As another example, someone may say that he was once with the Boy Scouts and therefore he can now comment on what the Manila police did wrong. He thinks that the Hong Kong government should have sent him to Manila to take charge of rescue operations!
Type 5: Second Guesser Dickheads
These dickheads are very easy to detect, because they begin their comments with "I told you so ..." and "I already said ..." Then they continue on to say "if they had done that, things would have turned out fine ..." or "because they did this, everything went wrong ..." Of course, there is no way that they can be proven wrong. That doesn't mean that they are right.
Type 6: Emoter Dickheads
These dickheads are also very easy to detect because they say that they cried while watching the television coverage. Please do not confuse these dickheads with your mom. Your mom also cried. But afterwards, she went into the kitchen and cooked dinner for the family. But these emoter dickheads will keep telling the world for many days and nights afterwards through MSN, Facebook and microblogs that they cried while watching television. And they want you to feel awfully guilty that you didn't cry as much as they did.
Type 7: Rationalist Dickheads
These dickheads are supposedly the smartest of the lot. During the live coverage of the hostage crisis, they did not post live comments to express their great thoughts. After the crisis ended, others may rave and rant on Facebook or add flowers before their own MSN ID's or make Internet forum posts designed to shock and awe through sheer sensationalism. But these rationalist dickheads will silently pay respect to the victims and quietly keep up with the latest developments. Unfortunately, you couldn't tell that these dickheads exist based upon what can be found on the Internet. By definition, they don't express their feelings. It is just wishful thinking that they exist. Do they? By definition, they won't come out to say so.
This list is not exhaustive, because you can easily come up with many more types, such as:
Type 8: Joker Dickheads
These dickheads think that the whole point of this tragedy is to come up with more new ingenuous ways of tricking people into being more upset. For example, there was the Internet post that CNN had just reported that a young hostage was seriously injured because he was hit in the head by the axe that the police used to break the bus window and not by any flying bullets. CNN made no such report. But that dickhead knew that invoking CNN would trick a lot of people because they trust authoritative sources and he succeeded. This dickhead is delighted because he/she got you all fooled and riled up. And this is neither the first nor the last time, because you are a sucker for this sort of thing.
Type 9: Space Cadet Dickheads
These dickheads aren't even aware of this incident that has rocked the rest of Hong Kong. They are too busy trying to reach the next level in <World of Warcraft> or some other online game.
The supremely self-confident Lung Ying-tai recently attended a forum at Peking University to promote the democratic values of Taiwan and to bring unification through civilization. In the past, the Kuomintang in Taiwan advocated using "The Three Principles of the People" to unify China. This slogan can still be seen on the small islands around Quemoy. You can see them clearly on the ferry ride from Xiamen to Quemoy. Today, Lung Ying-tai has changed the slogan to unifying China via democracy.
For Lung Ying-tai, only a "rise in civilization" in China counts as a true rising. The recent economic rise in China does not count. She is using the rise of civilization to cover up as well as promote the Taiwan-style road to democracy.
Four years ago, she denounced the words "Hu Jintao" as a "counter-current." She ignored the "super-high economic indicators which astonished the world and made the Chinese people proud" (note: those are the words that she used in her open letter). She only pointed out that China was "a totalitarian society with inequality of wealth."
We admit that democratic reforms have stalled in China. I have raised these criticisms many times at the National People's Congress. As a result, a certain senior leader is upset with me. But does the stalling of democracy negate all the important accomplishments during the reforms of the last 30 years?
Lung Ying-tai's book <Big River Big Sea 1949> could not be published in mainland China. But her other books are bestsellers there. In <Big River Big Sea 1949>, she summarized the civil war of 1946-1949 between the Communists and the Kuomintang into a "tribute to all those people who were trampled upon, abused and damaged by the times." She ignored the fact that the Kuomintang under Chiang Kai-shek had greedily harvested the spoils after the Second World War ended. They were corrupt beyond belief. Chiang Kai-shek completely lost the confidence of the people. To a great extent, he defeated himself because the people turned to the Communists. This is a very black-and-white piece of history. Lung Ying-tai deliberately switched the subject and used "the heartrending farewells" and "the silent pains" to cover this up. She even asked: "Are there any victors in war?"
Lung Ying-tai's logic is to confuse a just war with unjust ones and to call a war of liberation by the people fighting against a totalitarian regime a tragedy of the times. In reality, Lung Ying-tai is obliquely apologizing for the defeat of Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang and covering up the reasons for that defeat with a list of personal tragedies. At the end of the book, she wanted to "pay tribute to them." Pay tribute to whom? To the rotten Chiang Kai-shek regime which exploited the people, or to those who died in defense of that regime?
Lung Ying-tai is promoting Taiwan-style democracy and praising direct elections. Universal suffrage to elect the president, the Parliament, the mayor of the five major cities/counties. All manners of elections involving political parties handing over to their successors. Such is the marvelous democracy.
But Taiwan-democracy cannot cover up the remaining "black-gold" politics and the local feudalism which still affects election outcomes. The regime transition ended up with the election of the single most corrupt politician Chen Shui-bian in the history of Taiwan. Taiwan-style democracy only exists in form, but the deep-level contradictions persist. So what if Ma Ying-jeou was elected? Has he made Taiwan any better?
Of course, democratic elections should be affirmed. Taiwan-style democracy is not completely worthless either. But to regard it as a panacea while disregarding the existing circumstances in China and cramming it through verbatim won't be good for mainland Chinese democracy.
At the moment, the mainland is trying to appease Taiwan in every way possible. They take care of Taiwan economically. The leaders from various cities and provinces visit Taiwan and sign a large number of trade agreements that favor Taiwan. At a time when the United States is watching China closely, it is politically essential to appease Taiwan. Thus comes the talk of removing the guided missiles aimed at Taiwan. Ideologically, mainland China is also appeasing soft-power anti-Communists like Lung Ying-tai. Therefore Lung Ying-tai was able to go to Peking University to deliver the speech entitled <The power of civilization: from homesickness to Formosa>. Many other soft-power anti-Communists are also able to publish and speak in mainland China.
But we don't understand why those in charge of ideology are so lenient towards these soft-power anti-Communist intellectuals from the outside and yet so rigid and pernicious against dissidents in mainland China. This makes one think of the late Qing dynasty view that "you would rgive something to a friend rather than a house slave."
A family went abroad to travel. On the day when they were due to return, they met with an unexpected disaster. It was a family tragedy that some members are dead while others survive. The inadequacy of the local social system caused mistakes to be made during the crisis handling, so that unnecessary casualties resulted. Then that is a social tragedy. If anger overwhelms reason and vulgar insults override humanitarian concern, the result is racial hostility. That would be a tragedy for civilization. During the Manila hostage crisis, we have seen the first two tragedies taking place already.
At a time when everybody in the city is angry, we need to be wary about whether the third tragedy will take place.
Like many other Hong Kong people, I felt grim when I heard the rumor that "all the hostages have been killed." When I saw on the live television broadcast that some hostages were still alive and exiting the bus, I applauded and cheered too. The crisis has united the people of Hong Kong. But this unity should not be the beginning of xenophobia.
A crisis is a moment in which the moral bottom line of a society is tested. An example is the USA after the 9/11 incident.
After that attack, many Arabs living in the United States became the targets of Americans who wanted to vent their rage. As a result, many of these Arabs were afraid to go outside. According to the statistics, the number of hate crimes directed against Arabs multiplied. Even Sikhs were attacked because Americans thought that they were Muslims too. Even today, many Americans don't understand that the Al Qaeda organization is not the same as Islam. These Americans don't trust any Muslims and therefore they oppose the construction of an Islamic community centre in downtown Manhattan. Does Hong Kong look like it will follow the USA? Over the past two days, it was not hard to find worrying signs of insults and rowdiness at the various Internet forums and social networking sites.
The vilest position is to generalize the incompetence of the Manila police to the people of the Philippines as a whole and then apply persons attacks because all Filipinos are like that. This is blatant racism. This ignores the fact that the differences among the people of any nation are always greater than the differences between peoples from different nations. Every place will have good and bad people, so any generalization about a people is always a sign of ignorance. If foreigners were to say that all Chinese people are evil and vile because of the tainted infant formula and tofu construction projects, most Hong Kong people will object. Isn't it the same mistake to think all Filipinos are flawed because the Manila police had some miscues?
Another irrational position is to state that we will never buy anything made in the Philippines in the future or that we will never ever go on leisure travel in the Philippines.
First of all, those Filipinos who make various products or provide various services are not bound to be the scapegoats for the actions of a few Filipinos. Furthermore, these boycott actions could not directly punish those persons or organizations who deserve to be punished. Instead, they may create even greater social problems because the income losses will bring even greater poverty. A couple of years ago, certain American and European organizations initiated boycott campaigns against the 2008 Beijing Olympics over the human rights problems in China. But many Hong Kong people came out at the time and asked that the entire Chinese people should not be blamed and also that people should not only look at the political problems in China while ignoring all the social and economic progress. If you don't want others to do something to you, why would you do that something to others? So how can we come out and call for boycotts?
We understand that people can be outraged for the moment. But Hong Kong already has many systemic measures that are unfair to Filipinos, and this could possibly worsen after this incident. The dead are gone. We can choose to live better tomorrow, or we can also embrace the past tragedies to manufacture more future tragedies. This choice should be easy to make.
The Heyuan city Dongyuan county party committee officer deputy director Liu Zhijian sent out a mass text message to all senior county cadres to watch out for reporters trying to get interviews. After the matter was disclosed, it drew broad attention from around China. On the day before yesterday, Dongyuan county party secretary Cheng Weiming traveled all the way from Hunan province to meet with news media in Guangzhou city about the text message affair. Yesterday, the person who exposed the affair Liu Yao reacted to Cheng Weiming's press conference.
At the press conference on the day before yesterday, Cheng Weiming said that he got a call on his mobile phone from a telephone number that he was not familiar with. He did not take the call. Then he got a text message from that telephone number: "Big Brother Cheng, please do not refuse to take calls from Liu Yao. I have become the Chu Yi of Heyuan. We can talk it out. Some things can be reported, some things don't have to be reported. I have the option to choose."
Liu Yao said yesterday that he was the one who sent that text message to Cheng Weiming. However, "to report or not to report" did not mean that this was an extortion or threat. "I absolutely won't extort him. My meant to say that when something has news values, it can be reported; if it has no news value, it doesn't have to be reported. This is what I meant by the option to choose."
Question 1: What is fabricated?
Liu Yao said that Liu Zhijian's text message said that someone was making stuff up in order to attack the leader. Furthermore, Liu Yao had been inviting outside media to come in, resulting in inaccurate reporting.
"I made two denunciations recently. The first is that the mentally retarded son Xu Xing of the former Court Chief Judge Xu Zhouding was working at the courts. Is that a fact? Why are they trying to hide Xu Xing now? Secondly, Xu Zhouding claimes to be a hardship judge, but he lives in a house that is worth millions of yuan. Is that a fact?" Liu Yao said that he is willing to meet with Cheng Weiming in person and show the evidence.
Question 2: So the contents of the text message altered?
On the day before yesterday, Cheng Weiming told the media that Liu Zhijian sent the text message only to Land Resources Bureau director Luo Peigen. Liu Yao wants to know why the text message referred to "the various senior cadres"? Did Luo Peigen modified the contents of the text message?" Liu Yao also claimed that the text message that he obtained did not come from anyone at the Land Resources Bureau.
Question 3: Where did the subject of fake reporters come from?
On the day before yesterday, Liu Zhijian told the media that he sent the text message because a fake reporter recently came to Heyuan to gather news. The text message was intended mainly to tell people to be careful about fake reporters. Liu Yao is skeptical. If that was the point, then why didn't the text message contain no reference to fake reporters? This claim came only after the national media have reported on the text message. Isn't this too abrupt?
Question 4: Who can you trust?
Concerning Liu Yao's frequent denunciations of various cadres in Dongyuan county, Cheng Weiming used the analogy of <The Boy Who Cried Wolf>: "The first time, people think that what he said is true. Nobody will believe him the next time."
But Liu Yao said that he make many denunciations because more and more people are coming to him and ask him to do so. "If I am not trustworthy, then why are so many people seeking me out? Who deserves to be trusted? Let me borrow a sentence that he used: The eyes of the people are shiny clear."
Interview with Dongyuan county party secretary Cheng Weiming:
Q: Did you imagine that this affair would have such a wide impact?
A: I never imagined. I want to say that we welcome watchdog journalism.
Q: How did the text message got disseminated? I heard that Liu Yao has many friends among the county government/party workers.
A: Someone who was criticized by me during the normal course of work, or someone who wasn't satisfied with a promotion (or lack thereof).
Q: What about the son and the house of the Chief Judge?
A: Donghuan county court chief judge's elder son is mentally retarded, but he is not a total idiot. He was not a public service worker. He was just a public assistant. When he was hired in July last year, government workers were not required to take compulsory tests yet. He was allowed to enter under the system at the time. The party committee did not give any special permission. He was later dismissed. As for the luxury house, the Chief Judge bought the land back then for 150,000 yuan and spent his own money to build a house. But the price of that land has gone up significantly over the past two years. He did not buy it with 2 million yuan like the media reported. A government worker does not have that kind of money.
Interview with Liu Yao, who made the denunciations using his real name:
Q: After you got out of jail, you kept making denunciations in Dongyuan county. Does this have anything to do with time in jail? Is this for revenge?
A: Yes, I kept making denunciations in my hometown. I think the place is very rotten. Clearly my denunciations have to do with my jail time. It was corruption that sent me to jail. Therefore I have to make denunciations in order to let the world know the truth. I don't think I am taking revenge.
Q: Why did you go to jail?
A: I never thought I was guilty. I was just trying to prevent crime.
Q: Every time that you make a denunciation, you use your real name. Aren't you afraid of retaliation?
A: Real-name denunciation will convince people that the contents are true. It is unsafe if you don't use your real name. Nobody would even know that you were retaliated against. I have not been retaliated against so far. I will continue to make denunciations in the future. If I were scared, I wouldn't be doing this.
Q: Are all your denunciations based upon facts?
A: In every instance.
Q: Some people call you a rights defender-hero.
A: I am not worthy. I am not a hero. I just detest corruption.
And President Aquino's faint smile on his face during the press conference:
At 18:00, officials delivered a letter from the ombudsman.
Mendoza became extremely agitated after reading it.
At 18：14，Mendoza handcuffed tour guide Masa Tse next to the front door.
He also opened the front door to show what had happened.
Masa Tse was subsequently executed.
The body of Masa Tse slumped on the floor in the front of the bus.
Mendoza watched television inside the bus, and saw his brother and son being arrested.
This caused him to go even crazier.
Multiple shots rang out inside the bus.
The bus driver escaped during the chaos.
Finally the special police went up to the tour bus.
They used iron hammers to break the windows.
Now totally out of control, Mendoza sprayed bullets all around
including one volley at the window
A police sniper finally got the chance to shoot Mendoza from behind.
Other special policemen continued to fire at the bus.
Mendoza's body fell halfway out of the front door.
The incident finally ended with this bloodshed.
Several hours after the Manila tragedy occurred, the Hong Kong SAR government chartered an airplane to the Philippines. At about 11pm on the evening of August 23, this reporter got the assignment to take this 1:30am airplane to Manila. Because of the timing, this reporter packed quickly and headed off to the airport. His colleagues picked up a computer and a camera from the office and met him on the way.
On the airplane, the families of the victims sat in the front section. They were not to be interviewed. I could only look at them from the rear. Their fuzzy silhouettes only brought up more sympathy and concern from afar.
At 4am on August 24, we finally arrived on this heartbreaking land. Whereas the families of the victims had been taciturn during the trip, some of them broke down upon arrival at the hotel. The reporters rushed up and thrust dozens of microphones into their faces. Flash bulbs went off, questions were tossed, people were jostling each other ... seeing that the family members were speechless, the reporters gradually quieted down.
Then one reporter called out: "Let's stop now! Let's stop now!" The other reporters pulled back their microphones and turned off their lights in order to leave some space for the family members.
These Hong Kong reporter who are normally known for their "ruthlessness and relentless" in pursuing a news story have voluntarily given up their chance here. This was both stunning as well as admirable.
After visiting the casualties at the hospital early morning, this reporter went to the scene of the incident. There was still a police line erected, the bullet-ridden bus was still parked there and the blood on the ground was still not dried up. Everything that occurred on the evening of August 23 seemed to be re-played right in front of my eyes. I closed my eyes but I can hearthe "rat-tat-tat-tat" sound of the semi-automatic rifle. So close, yet so faraway ... the scene on television seemed to be right in front of me. I was all shook up again. I seemed to hear their plaintive cries to their loved ones in Hong Kong.
There were almost a hundred citizens congregated at the scene. I could not discern whether their faces conveyed joy or sorrow. As I was leaving, a car came over and stopped. A family of three got off. The husband held the son while the wife took a photo. As the husband and the son smiled to the camera, I had an unspeakable sense of helplessness, or maybe it was anger.
I took a taxi to get out of this spot of sorrow. As I calmed down, I suddenly realized that I had gotten into a "black taxi." This vehicle did not have a meter. But the driver was "honest" and asked me how much I was paying. I asked him, "How much do you want?" The driver said "500." I countered with "400." We had a deal.
When the taxi arrived at the destination, I gave him 400 as "agreed upon." But the smiling face of the driver turned dark and he shouted "500"! He locked the car door as well. Under the circumstances, I had to hand over 500.
After going through these ups and downs, I was dejected and listless ... I went back to the my hotel where I chatted with a fellow reporter. Amazingly, this reporter was the Hong Kong television reporter who was hit by a stray bullet from the gunman the night before. Fortunately, the bullet did not enter his body and he did not even go to the hospital. He merely put septic bandage over this wound. He planned to get the wound treated after he returns to Hong Kong. But he still does not know when he is returning.
This reporter insisted on staying at his post even after being shot, because that he wanted to bring the truth to the audience. His spirit was very uplifting to me, who hadn't slept all night.
Inevitably my thoughts went from this injured colleague to those innocent Hong Kong compatriots who were hurt during this incident. This bloody incident may just symbolize the moment when Chinese travelers abroad have entered an era of "zero safety." At the same time, this tells the whole world about the lesson of the sanctity of life. Anytime anywhere life is always in danger.
(Oriental Daily (Hong Kong))
At the apm mall in Kwun Tong district, several hundred people watched the big-screen tv about the developments of this case. Early in the afternoon, the viewers thought that the hostages would be safe. At 3pm, the kidnapper indicated that further action would be taken. The viewers got nervous. But nothing happened afterwards. Everybody thought that the kidnapper was just posturing. At around 7pm, the situation changed drastically when several gunshots were heard with bullet holes showing up in the bus windows. The viewers were stunned. People realized that this was getting grim.
The television station quoted the bus driver who fled that all the hostages have been executed. The viewers were despondent. Some of them were red in the eyes, others were crying: "Oh, it's so tragic! You go on a tour trip and this is what happens!" More and more people stopped to watch. Many spectators called their families to tell them about what was happening. When they saw the policemen moving up to the bus, shooting the kidnapper and bringing the victims out, there were loud cheers all around. "So wonderful! There are survivors."
Ms. Huang who watched the live broadcast at apm said that she was heartbroken to learn that all the Hong Kong tourists on the bus were executed. After learning that there were survivors, she said: "Someone is okay!" Ms. Kan said that the incident was horrifying and she is said for the casualties. Her companion Mr. Lam said that even though this was an unexpected event, he will never travel to the Philippines. Another citizen Mr. Lee said that he never expected this to happen to Hong Kong tourists. Mr. Lam who watched the live broadcast in a Yuen Long shopping mall said that he watched the whole event without taking his meal: "I have never seen anything like this." In Causeway Bay, Mr. Cheung said that the Filipino police did not perform properly -- they should have met the demands of the kidnapper instead of betting with the hostages.
This event has shook up the Internet. A Facebook group that commemorates the victims had more than 90,000 subscribers in less than two hours. Some people expressed sympathy for the victims and avowed that they will never travel to the Philippines.
In 2008, former police officer Rolando Mendoza was dismissed for suspected involvement in kidnapping, extortion and stealing confiscated drugs. However, he has never accepted those charges and his brother also said that he had been set up. According to information, Mendoza even lost his pension during the process, as well as being barred from public service for life.
On August 23, 2010, Mendoza hijacked a tourist bus carrying 25 Hong Kong tourists in order to demand restitution. The police got his brother to talk to him so that he agreed to free nine children and elders. However, Mendoza refused to surrender and even claimed that "something big" will take place at 3pm.
At past 6pm, gunshots were heard. The situation was chaotic. According to one account, the kidnapper fired shots in the bus. According to another account, the police started an assault. At this time, the bus driver who was dressed in a white shirt climbed out of the bus and reached safety. He told the police that all 15 hostages on the bus have been shot and killed! The news shocked the media, and it also convinced the police to begin an all-out assault.
The media provided live coverage of this assault. But that meant that the incompetence of the Filipino SWAT was on full display.
At the time, many policemen surrounded the bus. Some of them used axes to break the side windows, the back windows and the front door window. Incredibly, when they tried to throw what is probably a glow stick into the bus, they failed many times. The person on the right threw first, but the object bounded off the window. The person on the left carefully picked up the object and threw it again. But the object bounded out once again. This time the person on the right stood up and, disregarding his own exposure, jumped up to throw the object inside. It took him two attempts before he succeeded.
Meanwhile the people trying to break through the front door were even more incompetent! A policeman hacked at the door with an axe, but he tried too hard and the axe fell inside the bus! Quickly he leaned back on the side of the bus because he was afraid that the gunman would shoot him. Then he stuck his hand out to retrieve the axe.
Finally, the Filipinio police finally killed the gunman and saved the remaining hostages. But their appalling performance let people to say: "The shame of Philippines," "What idiotic SWAT!" "Manila police are garbage." They said that if the affair would have ended a lot earlier on if the police hadn't "fucked it up."
People even said: "In Philippines, SWAT probably stands for 'Sorry Waka Akong Training' (Sorry, I have not received train)." "My 9-year-old son would have come up with better tactics."
Left hand side: The closed circuit television screens that track worker activities
Right hand side: Dongguan company notice that listed the employees who spent more than 400 minutes using the toilet last month and their respective penalties. 13 persons spent between 400 and 449 minutes and were formally warned that they will be penalized 1 yuan per minute over the limit if they repeat this; five persons spent between 450 and 499 minutes and were penalized 50 yuan as well as warned that they will be penalized 1 yuan per minute over the limit if they repeat this; one person spend 512 minutes and was given one major demerit, fined 100 yuan and warned that the future fine will be 1 yuan per minute over the limit.
A certain logistics company in Nanjing city, Jiangsu province has set up an advanced electronic surveillance system to track its workers. Whenever a worker makes a mistake, the system will sound an alarm instantly. The system even monitors activities such as not washing one's hands before meals, not flushing the toilet after using it, failure to turn off the air-conditioner after leaving the dormitory, etc. The workers exclaimed: "They know everything!" Recently, as many as half of the drivers found this sort of "see-through management" unacceptable and want to quit.
The electronic surveillance system was designed by the company owner who has a doctorate degree. Each new worker is given a 3G mobile phone. The human monitors watch the closed circuit television screens and issue orders to the workers' mobile phones. All surveillance, tracking, corrections and penalties are effected through real-time 3G wireless technology.
In one case, a driver turned up the heat in his vehicle. A monitor immediately told him to bring the temperature back down to a level required to keep the stored food cold. In another case, a female cook in the cafeteria was not wearing her hat. The mobile phone in her pocket rang with the warning: "Please put your hat on. This sort of thing must not happen again!" Even the private activities of the workers are monitored. A mover did not flush the toilet after using it and the system caught him. Failure to wash one's hands before meals, forgetting to turn off the air-conditioner after leaving the dormitory, using the company phone for personal chatting ... all of these were duly recorded and eventually leading to dismissal from work.
Meanwhile at a certain Hong Kong capital company in Dongguan city, the workers revealed that the company is instituting a new system in which workers are not allowed to spend more than 400 minutes per month using the toilets. Any worker who spends over that limit will be penalized at 1 yuan per minute. At each of the male and female toilets on each floor, a human monitor is in charge of tracking time usage.
Yu Bing was the former Internet Supervisory Department head in the Beijing City Public Security Bureau. Yesterday at the Number One Beijing City Middle Court, Yu was found guilty of graft, corruption and exercising favoritism. He was given the death sentence (with a two year suspension).
The prosecutor charged Yu Bing with receiving four bribes totally more than 10 million yuan during his tenure as Internet Supervisory Department head. The bribes came from four different Internet technology companies. In particular, the Ruixing Company paid him more than 4.2 million yuan in bribes.
In 2005, the Eastern Micropoint Company was applying for approval of its active anti-virus software. According to the Public Security Bureau's <Administrative Rules for Computer Information System Safety Product Evaluation and Sales Permit>, a company with a new anti-computer-virus software must apply for the <Computer Information System Safety Product Sales Permit>. This involves paying the National Computer Virus Prevention Product Testing Center in Tienjin to produce an evaluation report. With that report in hand, the company applies to the local Public Security Bureau for the sales permit.
The Ruixing Company was a competitor of the Eastern Micropoint Company. Upon learning of Eastern Micropoint's plans, the Ruixing Company bribed Yu Bing.
According to information, Yu Bing employed certain ruses to cover up the tracks of the bribes. For example, he would sell something to the bribing company at very high prices (such as a desk for several hundred thousand yuan). Yu Bing spent the money in purchasing artistic works of calligraphy and painting. One of those painting costs almost 3 million yuan.
In August 2005, Yu Bing sent two underlings Zhang Pengyun and Qi Kun to two companies to investigate virus problems. The two reported that there was no damage. But Yu Bing instructed the two underlings to tell the two companies to file false evidence to claim losses totaling 100,000 yuan.
Shortly afterwards, Yu Bing convened a meeting of experts to determine if the viruses that were found in the two companies came from Eastern Micropoint's vice-president Tian Yakui's notebook computer. But Yu Bing did not provide the actual evidence. After the meeting, Yu Bing changed the experts' "inconclusive" opinion to "certainty."
On August 30, 2005, Tian Yahui was arrested.
After Tian's arrest, his family and Eastern Micropoint president Liu Xu complained to the relevant department. A subsequent investigation revealed Yu Bing's complicity.
While the investigation was going on, Yu Bing fled to South Africa. In September 2008, Yu Bing was persuaded by the Supreme Procuratorate to return to China to stand trial. He was arrested on September 10 after he returned. On October 7, Zhang Pengyun and Qi Kun were arrested. Zhao Sizhang, executive vice-president of the Ruixing Company, was also arrested for bribery.
Last year, Zhang Pengyun and Qi Kun were found guilty of favoritism by the Number One Middle Court. They were sentenced to three years in prison suspended for three years. The two explained that they were ordered by Yu Bing to produce false evidence to implicate Tian Yakui. They said that if they had disobeyed, they would "sink very low."
Yesterday our reporter interviewed the Eastern Micropoint Company's president/chief engineer Liu Xu.
Q: Based upon the case details that have been disclosed so far, this whole affair originated as a battle of technologies. What kind of technology was it?
A: At the time, we were offering an active virus prevention software. This is different from the traditional anti-virus software. Viruses are growing explosively right now, and the traditional anti-virus software can hardly catch up. Our active virus prevention software examines the behavior of programs to judge if there is virus infection.
Q: How much damage has Yu Bing's misdeeds caused your company?
A: We had planned to bring the active anti-virus software to market in 2005. But Yu Bing stopped us. Over a three-year period, the loss is estimated to be around 30 million yuan.
Q: Will you be compensated? Do you intend to demand compensation from your competitor?
A: We have not been compensated for the damages. But we definitely intend to pursue the matter. We intend to file a lawsuit after the Yu Bing case is completed.
Yesterday morning at 3am, a 36-year-old man named Tsang got into a taxi in Tsimshatsui in order to pick up his own car parked in Mongkok. When the taxi arrived at the parking lot, the meter indicated the fare was HKD 31.5. Tsang produced a HKD 500 note for payment. 55-year-old taxi driver named Lai said, "I don't have enough change." This caused Tsang to get made. In the ensuing argument, the taxi driver was bloodied in the head. The taxi itself was also hit and kicked many times. The taxi driver summoned the police.
When the police came, they spotted Tsang leaving in his car. The police intercepted the car and forced Tsang to come out and assist in their investigation. Tsang got very excited. He took out 1,000 and 500 notes and threw them on the ground. Meanwhile Tsang's wife, his son and four other friends showed up.
Tsang kept cursing the police officers. He kept drinking water. He took off his shirt to show his body tattoos. He accused the police officers and the taxi driver of robbing him. "The cops are beating me. They are working with the taxi driver to rob me." Then he yelled aloud: "Someone is robbing me. HELP! HELP!"
The police asked Tsang to take a breath test for alcohol. Tsang declined and his wife called a lawyer. Tsang was eventually taken away for assaulting the taxi driver, damaging property and refusing to take the breath test.
(Venezuelanalysis.com) Media Pornography. By Eva Golinger. August 19, 2010.
Imagine you’re walking on the street with your children and you pass a newstand with today’s papers displayed as usual and the front pages clearly visible to all who pass by. But to your horror, today’s national daily has an almost full-page graphic image of dead, bloodied bodies piled on top of each other in the local morgue. Every newstand you walk by has the same image, even repeated in several national and local papers. Your children are forced to see this with no warning.
Such a horrifying image could be justified if it was taken last night after some atrocious event had occurred. But no, as it turns out, it’s a photograph taken last December, more than eight months ago, and is simply being used to make a political statement against crime. Furthermore, the photograph has no visible credits and, according to the morgue authorities, was taken in secrecy, unauthorized, and in clear violation of the privacy rights of the family members of the deceased.
Is this the kind of journalism society defends? When do media cross the limits into the grotesque, the pornographic and the obscene? Whose job is it to ensure viewers and readers are protected from such offensive and violent images? Is it only a question of journalistic ethics, or is it a larger issue of values, privacy rights and fundamental well being?
These are the issues Venezuela is grappling with after the publication of a graphic image, as described above, in the daily paper, El Nacional. The image was then republished in another national daily, Tal Cual, along with several regional newspapers.
El Nacional editor and owner, Miguel Henrique Otero, admitted the image was taken “unauthorized” last December in the Caracas morgue, and said he “held off from publishing it because of its graphic content” until the “right moment”. Venezuela is one month away from critical legislative elections, and Otero forms part of an extremist opposition organization, “2D”, supporting opposition candidates to the National Assembly. Otero makes no effort to hide his “anti-Chavez” opinions in his newspaper, one of the two main national dailies.
In an interview on CNN en Español with Otero, the US news network admitted the image published by El Nacional was too graphic to present to viewers and stated, “CNN will not show this image during any of our broadcasts since we consider it could perturbe viewers and is too graphic to show”. Nonetheless, Otero, and other corporate media in Venezuela, claim the publication of the graphic image is a part of “free expression”.
But Otero did admit during the interview on CNN that he decided to publish the 8-month old photo last Friday because Venezuela is “one month away from elections” and “we are in campaign mode”, thereby admitting the publication of the photo was a political act, and not merely an expression of press freedom.
So, the question then arises, are there limits to media’s power? If so, what are they and who decides what they are?
(The Wall Street Journal) August 20, 2010.
A Venezuelan court has reversed a ruling that banned all newspapers from publishing violent photographs for the next 30 days after the judgment was roundly criticized as another attack on press freedom by the government of President Hugo Chavez.
Larry Devoe, head of judicial services for the people's defense, said late Thursday the court decided to partially revoke its own ruling, saying "the prohibition to all newspapers won't apply."
The court made its original ruling Tuesday in response to the publication of a graphic photograph Aug. 13 in opposition newspaper El Nacional. The image, which accompanied a story about a sharp rise in violent crimes in Venezuela, showed mostly naked, bloody bodies piled up in a Caracas morgue. Another opposition newspaper, Tal Cual, ran the same photo a couple days later.
Prohibiting publication of "violent, blood, grotesque" photos in newspaper, the court said Tuesday, was necessary in order to protect children as they could be traumatized by such images.
But in its reversal Thursday, the court said there was no reason to suspect that other newspaper would follow the lead of El Nacional and Tal Cual, Devoe said. As such, the ban on violent photos only will apply to those two newspapers, it said.
Local press associations, as well as the United Nations, the Organization of American States and the French-based group Reporters Without Borders came out en masse against the court's original ruling, calling it censorship. Many said it was an attempt by the Chavez government to prevent crime and violence from being a focal point in September's elections.
The homicide rate in Venezuela has quadrupled since Chavez took office 11 years ago and the murder rate in the capital city of Caracas is among the highest in the world.
[ESWN Comment: Now that the Venezuelan court has ruled that this photo is not to be banned, it can surely be shown here too. After all, the United Nations, the Organization of American States and Reporters Without Borders all said that it is okay. Not only is it okay, but it is in fact essential. So here it is ... The item below is the front page of El Nacional with the photo being censored.
For the photo itself, you will have to click (NSFW) here! If you have a weak stomach, you don't have to view it.
And if it's okay in Venezuela, such photos are surely be also okay elsewhere. So let us look for photos of earthquake victims in China, gang killings in Hong Kong, Afghanistan civilians killed by cruise missiles, the remaining Abu Ghraib torture photos, etc on newspaper front pages everywhere.]
(South China Morning Post) Man arrested for stealing antique violin on Star Ferry. August 20, 2010.
On August 10, Taiwanese-American violinist Lee Ka-ho, 25, told police he had lost the Guadagnini violin after he fell asleep on the star ferry. He had been returning to his hotel after a performance with the Asian Youth Orchestra at the Cultural Centre. The violin was made in 1838 by violin maker Gaetano Guadagnini and is worth about HK$2.5 million. Lee said he borrowed the violin from the Chi Mei Museum in Tainan, Taiwan.
After investigating, police arrested a man, surnamed Lau, at his home in Ma On Shan on Thursday night. Officers found the violin hidden on top of a cabinet. Lau, who works in the catering industry, said he thought the violin was only worth about a few hundred dollars. Lau was granted bail of HK$5,000, local media reported.
Police spokesman Chow Ka-man said officers arrested the suspect after reviewing video footage filmed by CCTV cameras at the Star Ferry Pier in Tsim Sha Tsui. “We had many clues, but the most important was CCTV footage,” he said. Chow said it showed suspect carrying the violin when he left the ferry. The police traced the record left by Lau’s Octopus card and then arrested him.
[You steal a violin on a ferry and the closed-circuit community television (CCTV) cameras catch you walking out with the loot in hand. You take the train to go home with your loot and CCTV cameras catch you entering and paying with your Octopus card. Based upon the time of entry, they know your Octopus card identity. They track your Octopus card's usage data and noted that you exited at the Ma On Shan station. The CCTV cameras catch you exiting that station. Even if they couldn't tell where you live, the Octopus card will tell them about your daily routine. For example, if you purchased a pack of cigarettes at a 7-11 store, the store's surveillance camera would have taken a perfect head shot of you. It is only a matter of time before the police find you re-visiting one of your regular sites. In this city, there is no privacy whatsoever to speak of.
But what can you do? Demonstrate in the streets and demand the citizens' right to commit theft in total privacy?]
The legal scholar Hao Tiechuan appeared at a Hong Kong Journalists Association luncheon to deliver a talk on "The legal environment for reporters during a crisis of public order." During this 30-minute talk, Hao continued to emphasize that the government needed to restore public order during a time of "crisis" and citizens need to allow the government to take the lead, including "temporarily keeping the law quiet" and even "temporarily suspending freedom."
Hao cited many extreme examples during World War I and World War II when the media had the "obligation" to assist the government carry out emergency measures in order to deal with "public order crises" such as emergency incidents, riots, war and natural disasters. During such time, the media need to restrict their own powers to monitor the government. "The primary mission of the media is to assist the government in carrying out emergency measures. Being a watchdog of the government is a secondary mission."
After the speech, reporters repeated asked about why <Apple Daily> was not allowed to gather news in mainland China. Initially Hao declined to answer that question because it did not pertain to the subject of his speech. Finally he said: "I think that everybody knows why."
Previously, Hao Tiechuan had actively contacted the media to denounce the Democratic Party's proposal on constitutional reform. He said that this proposal "had no basis or precedent and was totally redundant." Eventually the proposal was accepted by the government and passed by the Legislative Council. Yesterday, the media asked Hao why he "mis-communicated the message from above." Hao was evasive at first. Then he cited the story of a lullaby: "There once was a lullaby: Once upon a time, two mountain goats met at the middle of a bridge. You wouldn't let me pass and I wouldn't let you pass. Instead we both plunged into the middle of the river." He said, "I think that you are all kind-hearted people. You don't want me to be the little mountain goat which fell in the middle of the river."
When the reporter asked him to explain why his message was at odds with the decision of the central government, he was evasive. He said that everything can be interpreted through that lullaby. "You are smarter than me. You must be able to interpret it better than I can." Journalist Association chairperson Mak Yin-ting said: "Maybe you haven't fallen into the river. But we have fallen into the river already, because we don't have an answer."
As soon as the Q&A part began after Hao Tiechuan finished his speech, a former <Apple Daily> reporter and a current <Apple Daily> reporter asked him why <Apple Daily> and <Next Weekly> are not allowed to gather news in mainland China. When first asked, Hao declined to provide a direct answer. When asked a second time, Hao emphasized that he was delivering a speech as a scholar and he asked that any questions should pertain to the substance of that speech. But when the luncheon MC persisted and asked again, Hao finally said: "As for this problem, everybody knows why."
City University of Hong Kong Extention School Senior Lecturer James Sung Lap-kung said that the central government thinks that the <Next Media> publications are hostile towards China in that they highlight the bad and refuse to praise the good and that they communicate pre-determined messages to the readers. Thus Hao Tiechuan used "Everybody knows why" to obscurely communicate this idea.
[ESWN Comment: Maybe you have a hard time imagining what "highlighting the bad and refusing to praise the good" is. Well, here is a recent example coming from the August 16 2010 Apple Daily front page:
While the Chinese people and media are having a national day of mourning for the victims of the natural disaster at Zhouqu, Apple Daily decided that the key story is the fact that <People's Daily>, <Liberation Daily> and <Guangming Daily> showed photos of a smiling President Hu Jintao meeting with the attendees of a foreign aid conference. The <Apple Daily> headline was "The people are crying, you are smiling." <Apple Daily> quotes from twitter, Tianya and KDnet to show that the people are angry. Are the people really angry? Well, twitter has several tens of thousands of users (and not all of them are 'angry') and China has a population of 1.4 billion. Are the people really angry? You couldn't and shouldn't tell by quoting a few twitter comments.
This is what is meant by "highlighting the bad and refusing the praise the good."]
(South China Morning Post)
Police on Thursday were questioning six men – arrested in connection with a street brawl early on Wednesday in Tsim Sha Tsui – which left one man dead and another seriously injured.
A 24-year-old man, surnamed Cheung, died from a single stab wound to the stomach suffered in the fight, which began in Knutsford Terrace and spilled into Kimberley Road. Another man, 29, surnamed Wong, who tried to mediate, was stabbed in the back with a broken bottle and was initially listed as being in a “critical condition”. His condition has improved and changed to “serious” on Thursday morning, local media reported. A man, 23, and a woman, 20, were slightly injured.
The brawl apparently began after one of the men slapped the face of a woman in her 20s, surnamed Kan, after she and her friends left an upstairs bar on Knutsford Terrace. The club had had been having a “ladies’ night” promotion on Tuesday night, local media reported.
About 4am on Wednesday, police received a report that a man had been attacked outside 1 Knutsford Terrace. Officers arrived at the scene and found three men and a woman, aged 20 to 29, suffering injuries. They were rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
After initial investigations, police arrested six men, aged between 22 and 29, in connection with the brawl. No one has been charged so far.
According to information from sources at the scene, it was Ladies' Night at the So So Fine Clubbing Bar. About 300 customers were present at the time, including more than 200 women.
At the time, a man named Ng was his girlfriend named Kan plus seven other women to celebrate a birthday for one of the women. One of the women knew the deceased named Cheung and went over to drink with his party. Another man from another group went up to chat up Kan who ignored him. An argument ensued without any immediate outcome.
At around 4am, Ng and his party left. Downstairs in the street, they were intercepted by a group of men. One of the men accused Kan of being too "uppity" and slapped her. Kan's boyfriend and other girlfriends tried to intercede without result. Kan was even slashed in the face by a hard object.
The girlfriend of Kan called her friend Cheung who rushed over to confront the men. There was a fight in the street, involving knifes. Cheung was stabbed in the stomach. Another man named Wong who was with the party of men was stabbed three times in the back.
When the police arrived, more than ten men were still fighting in the street. The police placed these people under control. One of the men used his hand to smash a reporter's camera.
The fight originated from the Club Soso. According to information, it was Ladies' Night there. Three groups were involved. The first group was all men including overseas students who were back on vacation in Hong Kong as well as foreign-born Chinese. Another group was all local women. The third group was mixed.
At around 4am, someone from the all-male group began to flirt with one of the women in the all-female group. The woman responded well. This caused some local man to be upset because he had been unsuccessful in eliciting a response himself.
In the confusion, a woman was hit in the face. A brawl erupted, beginning on the tenth floor and ending in the streets. Other customers fled. During the fight, someone pulled out a switchblade while others tried to disarm him. A young man was stabbed three times in the back and hailed a taxi to go to the hospital for treatment. Another man was stabbed in the stomach and left hand, falling in the middle of the street.
This story was covered on television. But some television stations have more footage than others.
Cable TV News
Hong Kong Broadband
And here is the world-famous Apple Daily animated news coverage:
So do you think that you've got the story down by synthesizing the various news reports of the day? Well, you're so wrong! Here is a report from the next day.
According to information from the police, the 20-year-old woman named Kan, her 23-year-old boyfriend named Ng and seven female friends went to the pub. At some point, some guy flirted with Kan who turned the man down. There was a dispute and the man left. At around 4am or so, Kan and her party left the pub. They were intercepted downstairs by a group of men. One of the men accused Kan of being "uppity" and slapped her. There was a brawl. Kan and her boyfriend suffered mild injuries.
At the same time, 24-year-old Cheung and friends were also at the bar. They had an argument with the man named Wong who would be injured later and a man named Danny who is being sought by the police. Both parties had foreign friends with them. According to information, a man told female friends that he had just returned from overseas and therefore speaks good English. But Cheung and friends made fun of his English. There was some physical tussle and they went their separate ways.
When Cheung and his party left, Kan and her party were involved in the a street fight. Cheung and his party went ahead and ran into Danny and his group. One foreign male pulled out a switchblade in the ensuing fight. Cheung was stabbed in the stomach while Wong was stabbed thrice in the back. By the time the police had arrived, the brawlers had dispersed.
At one point, the police thought that the two cases were related. But after investigation, they found out that there were two different cases.
Earlier this month, the Hong Kong public were outraged at the fact that Amina Mariam Bokhary (the niece of the Final Court judge Kemal Bokhary) was sentenced only to probation for her third conviction for assault of a police officer. Many Hong Kong netizens protested about the unfairness of the judiciary system, including setting up Facebook groups and demonstrating in the streets.
The Science and Technology Crime Squad of the Hong Kong Police's Commercial Criminal Investigation Division recently found out that certain individuals were advocating criminal activity on the Internet. Furthermore those individuals claimed that they were police officers. The police took the matter seriously and began an investigation. Through the Internet Service Providers, the police tracked down the IP addresses of the individuals and located them. The two individuals were found to be police officers based at the Chai Wan Police Station.
The Criminal Investigative Division (CID) detectives interrogated the two police officers. They denied that they had been discussing Amina Mariam Bokhary. But they admitted that during their discussion of their jobs, one of them had written: "What! She is so brazen! Use a gun to kill her!" The two claimed that they were only joking.
The CID determined that no criminal activity was involved and referred the case back to the Chai Wan Police Station for disciplinary action (including the possibility of dismissal). Since the two police officers had openly discussed sensitive issues about guns and firing them, they have been assigned to desk duty and not allowed to carry firearms.
According to one lawyer, when an ordinary citizen says on the Internet: "I am going to kill you by shooting you with a gun," it may be treated as a joke. But when a gun-carrying police officer says the same, it is completely different. This is because ordinary citizens do not have access to firearms but police officers do.
In the past, the police have been very tough in cracking down on possible criminal activities on the Internet.
In June 2010, a 23-year-old man named Chan posted "The Chinese people can be saved only by actual resistance against the Chinese Communist totalitarian regime" at the Hong Kong Golden Forum. He suggested that only by wielding knives and firebombs can freedom come. This post drew support from others, including one person who suggested targeting the China Liaison Office in Hong Kong and another person asked instructions on how to assemble a firebomb and got advice to do so. Chan was arrested for disrupting public order. He is currently out on bail.
In August 2006, a 22-year-old hair stylist used the nickname "Jihadist terrorist" to claim that he intends to attack the Disney theme park and the American consulate with suicide bombs. He sought advice on how to build bombs. The police arrested him and charged with wasting police resources. The judge sentenced him to 120 hours of community service plus a HKD 10,000 fine.
In August 2005, a married businessman posted on the Internet that he was seeking to form a flash rape gang. More than 100 persons responded, including people who found the notion repulsive and people who asked to join in. The police charged with four different crimes. The judge found the defendant to be infantile and irresponsible, and sentenced him to 160 hours of community service.
(South China Morning Post) Police investigate Facebook death threat. August 20, 2010.
Police are deciding whether to discipline two officers who allegedly posted a death threat on Facebook, the social-networking website.
A spokeswoman for the force said an investigation was under way into whether the two officers suspected of making the comments had violated professional ethics. They have been transferred to indoor support duties. "The force is very concerned over this incident and is investigating this in a fair and just manner," the spokeswoman said.
Officers familiar with the case said a constable had stated in a Facebook conversation that he would like to kill someone if he could carry a gun off duty. A media report yesterday said the posting was related to the controversial sentencing of Amina Mariam Bokhary.
Bokhary, the niece of a Court of Final Appeal judge, was sentenced this month to a year's probation for assaulting a police officer. It was her third conviction for this offence. The officers familiar with the case said the investigation had not found anything to indicate the comment was related to the Bokhary case.
Since the evening of August 16, a post entitled <Li Yinhe releases the virginity data from the "Chinese university students sexual behavior survey"> has become very popular on the microblogosphere. This post lists the percentage of virgins among female students at a number of renowned Chinese universities.
This list encompasses 55 universities including Peking University, Tsinghua University, Fudan University, Jinan University, Zhongshan University, Wuhan University, Xiamen University, Tongji University, Zhejiang University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Sichuan University, Central Academy of Music, Beijing Communications University, Beijing Film Academy, etc. The accompanying text said: "According to the survey data, the virginity incidences of univesity graduates is typically between 10% and 30%. Science/technologies have higher incidences than arts/humanities; specialized schools more than general education schools." In particular, it was noted that Beijing Communications University had an incidence of 0.0%; Chinese Music Academy 0.55%; Beijing Dance Academy 0.15%; Beijing Film Academy 0.0%.
Within one day after the post was made, there were 3,000 re-posts and nearly 1,000 comments.
Because this post had the imprimatur of famous Chinese sexologist Li Yinhe, it was highly "credible." But some netizens were critical because Li Yinhe did not publish the results in her own blog, nor was any other information available. Yesterday at around 3pmk, Li Yinhe issued a denial: "Recently, someone posted the results from a "Chinese university students sexual behavior survey" claiming that the incidence of virginity at the Beijing Communications University was 0.0%, etc ... Professor Li Yinhe wishes to clarify that she has never conducted such a survey. Therefore this news story is a hoax."
If Li Yinhe was not responsible, then who was? Our reporter searched on the Internet and found that these "survey results" were all derived from a 2004 post on "Ranking of virginity incidences among female university graduates". Over the years, the title of the post and the author kept changing, but the data remained the same. The media had reported on these posts over the years, and Beijing Foreign Languages University even conducted its own survey to refute the data in this post.
The 2003 survey was restricted to the Beijing area
The 2004 edition
Over the years, the description of the study changed. At one time, it was credited to the Beijing Film Academy Single Guys Association. In 2007, Li Yinhe got credit for the first time.
In 2006, <Xiamen Commercial News> reported the rankings that year. Xiamen University was ranked number 44 at 12.06% incidence. A famous Xiamen University scholar said that the rankings had appeared two years ago and was a game for students to amuse themselves.
Although the news story is now shown to be false, some netizens still wonder why an old story that can be tracked down in seconds can still gain credibility among so many today? Why didn't people bother to check before they forwarded it?
One netizen said that this non-existent post that flustered Li Yinhe was a chance for netizens to enjoy themselves because the story matches certain social trends and expectations. Another netizen said that although no academic organization or scholar has confirmed the data, people were "satisfied" with the results.
In a blog post, "anti-pseudo-science warrior" Sima Nan claimed that the CCTV director Fan Xinwan promoted Taoist Master Li Yi from behind the scenes. He said that he came across Fan's book <Are there supernatural beings in the world?>. "This book was extracted from Ms. Fan's blog. There were plenty of miraculous details in which the Taoist Master Li Yi seemed omnipotent in performing many wondrous deeds to provide relief for people in times of hardship. This Hangzhou woman looks interesting, but also somewhat odd."
Sima Nan also claimed that more than ten years ago, he had exposed the "Miracle Doctor" Hu Wanlin for practicing medicine illegally and causing the deaths of many patients. At the time, Fan Xinwan supported Hu Wanlin publicly. She sincerely believed that Hu was a "grandmaster with miraculous powers" who was here to save people but unfortunately he was persecuted by people like Sima Nan.
Sima Nan told our reporter: "She is a veteran reporter with the Editorial Division of CCTV, the director in charge of the program <Moving China>, the wife of famous director Zhang Qizhong and friendly with many celebrities. People might want to believe her because of her status."
Our reporter found a 1998 essay <An investigative report at the end of this century -- CCTV "Oriental Time/Space" reporter Fan Xinwan>. The article claimed that Hu Wanlin "was neither god nor supernatural being. Instead he belonged to a new generation of science workers. He is a forthright, practical and exceptional human being." In that essay, Hu Wanlin told Fan Xinwan: "AIDS is easy to cure." Our reporter asked Fan Xinwan to confirm whether she wrote that essay, but she has not yet given an answer.
In her latest blog post, Fan Xinwan wrote: "I have never accepted any media interviews. I very much believe that I am a reporter with the largest media organization in China, where we perform in accordance with our professional requirements to be 'fair, balance, objective and progressive.' I will never let myself down in my words or deeds." As for the book <Are there supernatural beings in the world?>, Fan Xinwan wrote: "I went into fasting twice before and therefore I have personal experience. I read a countless number of books beforehand and then I went to try it for myself. I observed how my frail physical body changed. I went into fasting first in 2005. In 2009, I blogged about it. Thus, I had almost 1,500 days in between. Have the reporters who want to interview me done this much homework?" Previously, Fan Xinwan told a Southern Metropolis Daily reporter: "I am a reporter with CCTV. But everybody wants to listen to a passerby instead of me. What can I do?"
As for Sima Nan, Fan Xinwan said: "Why can't you investigate and understand? I spend so much effort because I fully realize the power of communication. I am a reporter. I am a reporter with the largest media organization in China. Mr. Sima Nan, you ought to improve yourself. You should not be engrossed in superficialities. You need to see through the surface and get into the core. That core is the several thousands of years of traditional Chinese culture that has been covered up by time."
At the Zhaolong Taoist Temple's shelf for commercial products, the book <Are there supernatural beings in the world?> was prominently displayed. The book is recommended by celebrities such as Li Yapeng, Ma Yun, Jing Yidan and others. The author is Fan Xinwan who once told our reporter: "The public found out about Taoist Master Li Yi only through my blog."
Here are some descriptions of the miraculous feats of Taoist Master Li Yi: "In front of the public, the television program hosts and the legal notaries, he sat inside a fish tank and held his breath for 2 hours 22 minutes. He also held an electricity-filled cable on one hand and passed electricity through his body to fry the lamb kebab in his other hand." "I (Li Yi) began healing cancer patients ever since I was in my teens. I was very successful." "Can the electricity repair his nervous system? When I (Li Yi) left this patient (who had been paralyzed), he had recovered the senses in his hands and feet and started walking slowly."
Sima Nan told our reporter that he had asked one of the celebrities who endorsed the book <Are there supernatural beings in the world?> . The response was: "I know Fan Xinwan very well. So I could not turn her down. But I did not go as far as she did. I left some room." Sima Nan told our reporter that these celebrities acted out of personal friendship. They did not care whether the public might be misled and they were not concerned about people's health. "That is not being socially responsible."
Here are some excerpts from Fan Xinwang's blog:
"This is the moment when the meaning of traditional Chinese culture for Life and the universe will finally be revealed after several thousand years. The person who bring us this moment is right before me. He is Li Yi."
"So what if he once worked in a circus?"
"Even if all the slime written against him is true -- and I don't believe them anyway -- so what?"
(Radio Taiwan International via MSN.com.tw)
Famous Chinese dissident writer Yu Jie said on July 4th that even though the Chinese police have threaten to arrest him, his book <Chinese Best Actor Wen Jiabao> will be published as scheduled on August 16 in Hong Kong.
The book <China's Best Actor Wen Jiabao> strongly attacked the accomplishments and policies of Premier Wen Jiabao during the eight years in charge. The book plans to show the vast discrepancy between the "Grandpa Wen" in the public image and the Premier Wen who carried out "strong and tough policies." During his interview, Yu Jie said that this was a ruse to deceive the people.
36-year-old Yu Jie has published many best-selling books which were banned by the Chinese authorities. He helped to establish the Chinese PEN in order to fight for freedom of speech for the Chinese people. As a Christian, Yu Jie has often fought for the freedom of religion, and that has upset the authorities.
Yu Jie said that he was invited by the American embassy in Beijing to meet with Ambassador Jon Huntsman to discuss freedom of speech and other speech. During the meeting, the book <China's Best Actor Wen Jiabao> was mentioned. Yu Jie said that Huntsman was very interested in the book and sought details about it.
The American Embassy has confirmed that Huntsman met with Yu Jie on August 3.
Before sentencing, Lam Yi-lai said: "I am not the niece of Justice Kemal Bokhary. Therefore I expect to receive a jail sentence."
(The Standard) Socialite spared jail over breast lie. By Diana Lee. August 17, 2010.
A socialite and would-be lawmaker who accused a security guard of indecently assaulting her received a suspended jail term for making a false police report.
Lam Yi-lai, 51, a real estate consultant who was defeated in the Legislative Council by-election in May, was sentenced to two months in jail but suspended for 18 months.
In sentencing, Kowloon City magistrate Peter Law Tak-chuen said the incident was not a common hoax. But he added that Lam's distortion of facts and irresponsible accusation was still a serious offense. He said Lam's false accusation had caused the guard distress, and a custodial sentence was appropriate. However, taking into account that Lam and guard Chan Wai-kong indeed had physical contact during a standoff and the offense was not premeditated, the magistrate passed a suspended sentence. In mitigation, Lam's lawyer said she was acting out of character and suffered from sciatic pain.
Lam, a former director of charity group Yan Chai Hospital, was earlier convicted of one count of making false report of commission of offense. She accused Chan of touching her breast on April 3 during a quarrel at the lobby of an estate in Yau Ma Tei where Lam used to own a flat. She made the report after the guard refused to let her into another block.
Lam later said she will appeal. "I have to fight for other women being molested."
[Note: In the press conference outside the court (see TVB news report below) afterwards, Lam Yi-lai said: "The magistrate said himself that he saw him touch my right breast. But he said that I did not think that he was molesting me. That is to say, the magistrate raped my thoughts. So I will have to file an appeal in order to fight for justice on behalf of the women of Hong Kong. That is to say, the women of Hong Kong should not be wrongfully arrested just because they failed to cry out right after being molested."]
Lam had also made a police report accusing lawmaker Paul Tse Wai-chun - whose spouse Pamela Peck Wan- kam was one of Lam's rivals in the by-election - of touching her breast during a radio election forum. The broadcast descended into chaos after Tse burst into the studio to support Peck. Police were called to investigate and Lam withdrew the accusation.
[Note: The reason why Lam withdrew the accusation was that there was a video recording of the incident. You can see the 'breast attack' at around 0:45 of the following spoof. Did the police have cause to charge Paul Tse Wai-chun with molestation? Or was it the other way around?]
Yesterday, there was a microblog post: "Taobao has become the new medium for bribery. A certain city mayor offered to sell a Zhonghua pencil for 300,000 yuan. It was sold in 10 minutes to a person who wished to bribe the mayor to get a job." This post was quickly sent around. Our reporter contacted Taobao and was told: "This should be a rumor. We are not aware of any such thing."
After this post came out, the page quickly drew more than 1,200 views. Our reporter went to the page and saw that the 300,000 yuan pencil was labeled as "Zhonghua Pencil (if you buy it, you can get a promotion in government." The detailed description was: "Year 1998 collection of Zhonghua pencil with a 12 year history. If you buy it, you can get a promotion in government!" The seller is located in Beijing. There was only one item on sale. As of 7pm last night, the status was "So far no buyer has purchased this piece of treasure."
Would anyone buy a 300,000 yuan pencil? Is the seller a mayor? Is this a solicitation for a bribe? These questions are difficult to answer conclusively. One netizen noted: "This is a fake offer! Firstly, nobody is going to buy it. Secondly, how can the seller be so blatant?" Another netizen noted: "No transaction. This is a hoax. Don't spread the rumor around." Other netizens think that this is a promotional gimmick by some business.
Our reporter attempted to contact the seller. There is no contact information beyond the listed online ID at Taobao. That seller was "offline" all the time.
A lawyer commented: "We cannot determine yet whether this is a bribery attempt as rumored on the Internet. But commonsense tells us that a pencil cannot be worth 300,000 yuan. However, it is a tempting offer to be able to get a good government job. If the buyer pays for the pencil and does not get the job, then this is a case of fraud. The website has the obligation to screen out products that carry anomalous prices or involve improper situations (such as bribery and/or fraud)."
Yesterday, Chen Luanjun (who is the general manager of an advertising agency in Zhenjiang city and a member of the Jiangsu Province Photographers Association) told our reporter that during a meeting that he organized for his employees to appreciate and learn from the award winners, they accidentally found that the Golden Award winner "The Realization of Tomorrow" was very similar to an uncredited photo in the <Encyclopedia of the world's latest photos> that he purchased 10 years ago. Since then, Chen has posted the relevant evidence onto the Internet to draw public attention.
In late July, Chen received the August issue of <Chinese Photography>. This magazine gave a detailed report on the 2010 23rd Annual National Photographic Arts Exhibition. This event draws plenty of attention from photography aficionados all over China. He had submitted more than 20 entries himself, and therefore he was anxious to see and learn from the winners.
In the magazine report, it was said that more than 180,000 photographs were submitted, including some from famous Chinese photographers. More than 100 photographs picked up golden, silver and bronze awards in different categories (documentary, art, commerce, youth). Some of the winning photographs were reproduced in the magazine. Chen was questioning <The Realization of Tomorrow> which appeared on page 40 of the magazine. The author was listed as Hou Xie (Hunan province).
At the company meeting that Chen organized, employee Yang Jiahui said: "<The Realization of Tomorrow> looks awfully familiar." Yang then got up and went back to the office to bring back a copy of <Encyclopedia of the world's latest photos>. He quickly flipped to page 52 on "Nature." Chen was surprised to find the photos to be very similar.
Our reporter looked at the two photos and found the color tones and details to be very similar. But <The Realization of Tomorrow> had the taller trees on the right whereas the encyclopedia had the them on the left. Chen then loaded the encyclopedia on the computer, flipped the photo along the vertical axis and the details were now almost identical. Chen brought in the veteran photographer Huang Liangqing, who thought that the award winning photograph was probably manipulated. Chen and Huang have filed a report with the Zhenjiang City Photographers Association, whose vice-chairman is a member of the Chinese Photographers Association.
But our reporter also noted that <Encyclopedia of the world's latest photos> is a pirated book with no credited author. If the photos came from all over the world, it is just possible that Hou Xie was the original photographer whose work was plagiarized.
(Global Times) Blame cheating photographers' hearts, not their tools Xiao Zhengyu August 20, 2010.
So many fake photos have won big prizes recently that it hardly shocks or interests people anymore when they're exposed.
For example, a top prizewinner in China's 2010 National Photographic Art Exhibition, Tomorrow's Reality, was simply horizontally flipped from a photo in the pictures database with a few touches added. After being caught, the author argued that the photo "was made from several stock images with the technology of computer post-production. It took a lot of my devotion, creativity, and hard work."
The top prizewinner of the 2010 "People and Water" International Photo Competition was a photo of people fetching water on a meandering hilly trail. However, it did not take long for people to discover the original photo. And guess what was the difference between the two photos? The original had been flipped! It was unusually shameless to make such a bold move just to win the prize.
Compared to the two examples above, the fake photo of Tibetan antelopes crossing the railway, which caused a great stir in 2008, suddenly seems lovely.
Though fake, at least the photo was forged because the author could not catch the image, which he had imagined for a long time. Adding the Tibetan antelopes on the photo with Photoshop was merely an act of helplessness. At least he didn't just flip someone else's picture!
Chinese photographers are gradually losing their souls. For many photographers, photo shooting is a tool to win prizes. For those who dream only of fame and money, it is worthless to wait in the wilderness by the railway for the Tibetan antelopes, which might not appear for many years, or to go on a tough hike into the mountains. For real photographers, photos have souls and emotions, and they are not replicable. Just like people can never cross the same river twice, people can never shoot identical photos.
I have a friend who likes to take photos of the moon. He always gets up in the middle of the night and takes photos of the moon. In his pictures, the moon has a lonely beauty. But if what he thought about while framing the shot was about becoming famous and winning prizes, then his photos, even if he used the exact same lens and techniques, would be as empty as his mind.
Duan Yuting, the founder of Lianzhou Annual Photo Exhibition, used to attribute the bad atmosphere in the field of photographing to manufacturers, claiming, "Of course manufacturers want to make money. They encourage and promote competitions that emphasize equipment; the prizes of these competitions are usually the newest cameras to boost sales and lead to photographers' reliance on equipment." She thought that manufacturers' promotions had a very bad impact on Chinese photography, and many photographers put no thought into their work.
But I have to beg to differ. How could it be wrong to improve technology to produce better lenses and software? It's like driving past an accident involving a Lamborghini and saying "Those foreign car makers are so shameless. Why do they make the cars so well that people can drive them so fast? That's why the accident happened." People produce tools but end up controlled by them. It is not the fault of the tools, and those who make the tools.
It seems like yesterday that people were complaining about the flaws of the older generation of equipment and their own lack of skill at Photoshop. Technology can help us edit our works, but it could not fix our minds. Manufacturers sell us better cameras, but they have nothing to do with our souls.
I have heard this saying since I was young that "What's important is not the head at the front of the camera, but is the head behind the camera." The head at the front, the lens, is growing more and more advanced. But the heads behind the camera are growing dumber.
On August 9 and 10, <Wenzhou Daily> and <Wenzhou Evening News> carried half-page and full-page pink-colored advertisements respectively in celebration of the founding of the Wenzhou Golf Association. The advertisement listed more than 20 current provincial and city department heads who are serving as chairman, vice-chairmen, honorary chairmen and honorary vice-chairmen. They account for more than half of all the association's officers.
After this story was noted on the Internet, there has been strong reactions. Netizens criticized the government/party officials for being so enthusiastic about participating in this very expensive sport. "The most awesome golf club in history has made a shocking appearance in Wenzhou!"
The Wenzhou City Party Committee paid a high degree of attention to the Internet criticisms. At the August 13 meeting of the Wenzhou City Party Committee, the following decisions were made:
- Wenzhou Gold Association chairman and City Deputy Secretary-general Wang Chaojun was held directly accountable for job mistake and breaking discipline. He was given an intra-party warning.
- Six leaders who broke party discipline by playing golf were given public admonishments and private warnings. They were also ordered to repay any incurred expenses in their former golfing activities.
- Six leaders who were aware of the situation but broke discipline all the same were given public admonishments.
- All government, party and state-owned enterprise cadres who received commemorative gifts on the occasion of the founding of the Wenzhou Golf Association were ordered to return those gifts unconditionally.
- The Wenzhou City Sports Bureau which bear direct responsibility in the whole affair was ordered to conduct serious self-criticisms.
- The Wenzhou Golf Association was ordered to explain the events in a forthright manner.
- All relevant city party/government persons involved in the case were asked to reflect on their behaviors, learn their lessons and improve their work.
- All of other party members and cadres who enrolled in the Wenzhou Golf Club will be dealt with by their respective departments in accordance with the existing regulations.
The Wenzhou Golf Association (WGA) charges 398,000 yuan ($58,583) for membership -- about 40 times the average annual income of farmers in Zhejiang province, where Wenzhou is located. Some officials claimed they had not been informed they were given membership, which would be equivalent to several years salary. (From this came the new phrase "they were joined the WGA" instead of "they joined the WGA.") The introduction of golf into the Olympic Games from 2016 provided the WGA with one line of defence against the criticism. "The sport has become an Olympic event so it needs to be backed by the government to be promoted," the general-secretary of the WGA said.
Since late July, forum posts were appearing at Quanzhou, Xiamen, Zhangzhou and other Fujian websites about an earthquake due to take place in Quanzhou. There was even a text message being sent around to mobile phones using the tone of the Earthquake Administration. This message said that seismologists agreed that Fujian is the last of the four major earthquake zones not to have experienced a huge earthquake in recent times, and there are precursor signs that a big earthquake is due. The message also said that a large number of government officials have suddenly found it necessary to leave town on business.
At this time, the earthquake-themed movie <Aftershock> is being shown around China. So some of the people who saw the movie got disturbed by the news of the pending Quanzhou earthquake. Many migrant workers went home as a precaution. This meant that a number of factories had to delay production which will affect export statistics. At the Huaqiao University, many overseas students are fleeing. The banks experienced massive cash withdrawals. Citizens are hoarding food and drink.
The Fujian Earthqake Administration stated early this month that there are no anomalous signs to indicate any earthquake. The police also got into the action. On Wednesday, they arrested a migrant worker named Xu who was sending text messages around. Xu told reporters that he did this as a joke while being bored. On Thursday, they arrested a 17-year-old boy named Cai who posted that he needed help for his village where an earthquake had just taken place. "32 people in our village are dead. Many buildings have collapsed. Please help us." Cai told reporters that he did it as a gimmick to draw attention. The police do not consider either persons as the original source of the earthquake rumors.
There are more than 2 million migrant workers in Quanzhou. Some of the factories are allowing their workers to receive paid holidays in the hope that the workers will come back soon.
According to the Quanzhou authorities, the earthquake rumors were instigated by employers outside Fujian looking to recruit large numbers of workers. Scaring people into leaving Fujian was a foul, but effective, way.
In this YouTube video, a seven-person van had just scraped a public bus at a bus stop. The van driver promptly parked his car at the bus stop to prevent the bus from leaving. This also meant that no bus can stop there to let passengers on or off.
There was a mother and her son on the van. The mother got out of the van and began an argument with the bus passengers. "I have a cardiac problem. So many of you are cursing my son. And you are cursing his mother. Why?" A passenger retorted: "You should not be so worked up if you have a cardiac problem. You are blocking traffic on the whole street." The mother said: "If you got guts, don't leave!" Passenger: "You think you can do anything you want because you are rich." Mother: "Did I ever say that I am rich?"
The 20-something-year-old bespectacled son then continued the quarrel with ample use of foul language. "What business is this to you? Did you really see me block the entire street?" A passenger pointed out that other buses were forced to skip this stop because the van was blocking the way. The young man said flippantly: "You want to take the bus? That's so tragic!" A passenger said: "Your sort of person has no upbringing! Just because you drive a car you think you can park anywhere. Even Amina got a judicial review, so must you!"
This video drew the ire of netizens, who used the license plate number of the van to expose the printing company, photos, Facebook account and telephone number of the young man.
Here is a version of the video with English sub-titles:
According to <Beijing News>, reporters from three media outlets went out to Guo Degang's home on the afternoon of July 11 to check on the progress of the demolition of the illegal building structures. At the time, three men were driving around the neighborhood saying that they were looking for reporters, "beating up every single one of them that they come across." According to the police, these three men were neighbors of Guo Degang and they also have an illegal structure on their lot. When the police showed up, the reporters identified themselves as reporters. Two of men hollered "So you are really reporters" and attempted to beat up the reporters right in the front of the police. The police stopped them.
The world is going crazy! Beating up reporters is fashionable! First, Guo Degang's pupil swung his fists. Now Guo Degang's neighbor gave a flying kick. It seemed that all those connected to Guo Degang have foul tempers. So Guo Degang, you better apologize! Don't claim innocence because I will explain the reasons to you ...
First of all, everything started because of you. If the reporters weren't interested in you, they wouldn't be in that neighborhood and they wouldn't clash with your neighbors! Your neighbors said that ever since Guo Degang's villa got into the news for land encroachment, people kept showing up at their doors to inquire if this was Guo's house. And people were taking photos of their gardens. They think that this is seriously affecting their lives. So, Guo Degang started everything. Don't you think you should apologize?
Secondly, it is your fault that you are a celebrity. When Li Hebiao assaulted someone, the media used the headline "Guo Degang's pupil in assault"; when several men in your neighborhood assaulted someone, the media used the headline "Guo Degang's neighbor kicked a reporter>. Whether you assaulted someone or not, they only remember you and you get highlighted! Since you are honored to be a celebrity, you should pay a small sacrifice!
Thirdly, it is "fashionable" to come after you. Haven't all the commentators joined in? Didn't rival performer Jiang Kun hop out? Your Deyun Society has been banned, all the books and discs connected to you have been removed from the store shelves ... overnight, you have become the target because you are now the symbol of "vulgarity." Unless you are thoroughly criticized, public opinion will not be mollified. After all, it is the forte of the Chinese people to read which direction the wind is blowing. If the designated campaign target of the moment is "vulgarity," then we better find a scapegoat. Guo Degang, you are it! Who told you to show up at this very inopportune moment?
Besides, who is to say that the attackers weren't influenced by you? Your neighbors have violent tempers possibly because they live close to you and were contaminated by your "vulgarity." There is definitely no excuse whatsoever for your pupil, who was obviously completely instructed by you.
Therefore, Guo Degang must apologize for his neighbors kicking the reporter! Furthermore, since we have identified a super-'vulgar' "Big Poisonous Weed," we must make maximum use of him ...
The comments contain a list of things that Guo Degang must apologize for:
Synutra is currently besieged by allegation of health hazards in its infant formula. Yesterday there was an article entitled <Netizen exposed that Synutra has been using its own workers to pose as experts>.
The report was based upon a Tianya post by "Yitao" on August 10 entitled <Shocking exposé of Synutra public relations contents: they are spending money to buy experts to dispel rumors>. "Yitao was questioning a report from the day before entitled <Experts asked to examine infant foruma and sexual prematurity in scientific manner>. That article took the format of a regular news report in which a reporter spoke to "Wuhan Xiehe Hospital Department of Pediatrics director Jin Runming," whose main point was that "hormones exist in small amounts in human milk and do not affect children normally." This viewpoint was clearly in the company's favor.
Interestingly, this was followed by another paragraph that was completely out of place: "Manager Mu, please add some more viewpoints from experts who will allow themselves be named; Manager Huang, please add some documentary evidence which can be cited in order to prove that the infant formula is safe."
This news paragraph was placed in parentheses. "Yitao" said that this was important evidence that Synutra was hiring experts to dispel the rumors. "The news story headline was very striking. Anyone can see that Synutra was buying publicity.
At present, this article has been removed from QQ.com. But the Internet search engine cache fpr QQ.com showed that "Yitao" did indeed captured the original story along with that last paragraph. Our reporter attempted to contact QQ.com about this article, but there has been no direct response. According to a QQ.com manager, this was negligence on the part of an editor.
The same article appeared at other websites without that last paragraph. Nevertheless some of the other portals have also deleted this article. According to the editor of one website, this article was forwarded by their marketing department. Such corporate public relations releases are routinely forwarded by their marketing department to the various editors.
Our reporter noted that the official Synutra websites lists both of these portals as "media partners."
Our reporter attempted to contact the public relations manager at Synutra, but nobody answered. Therefore we are unable to confirm whether Synutra provided this article or not.
There are lots of rich people in Hong Kong. Reports speak of the averarge income in Hong Kong, but I don't get it. There are more and more poor people; everybody works longer hours; eight out of ten street sweepers are university graduates; senior citizens have to scavenge in the streets. Actually, is the Chief Executive sent over from Beijing? It does not matter what CEPA is. It can't be a bad thing to let the people of Hong Kong make more money. But it shouldn't be this way. The rich eat shark fin, whereas the poor cannot even have a single vermicelli noodle?
(in written words) After Hong Kong signed CEPA, it has become the city with the largest wealth inequality in the world. We don't want an ECFA that let the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
In its new wave of advertising, the Democratic Progressive Party has made Hong Kong its main character. The production team traveled to Hong Kong to film abandoned factories, old ladies scavenging for cardboard boxes in the streets, etc. The accompanying Cantonese voice-over said that CEPA caused extreme wealth inequality in Hong Kong. Still Ma Ying-jeou has gone ahead to sign the CEPA-clone ECFA with mainland China.
When this video showed up on the Internet, it drew more reaction in Hong Kong than in Taiwan. Some people wondered if it was an exaggeration to say that university students sweep streets. But other people agreed that wealth inequality has worsened in Hong Kong. "How is it possible that people in Taiwan know Hong Kong reality even better than the Hong Kong government." Factory building artist Leung Wing-lai praised the Democratic Progressive Party for being meticulous when it showed an abandoned factory building right behind the apm mall. "Kwun Tong fully illustrates the wealth inequality: A super-fancy shopping mall stands next to a super-old industrial building."
Shoushou plays Prima Donna and irks TV hostess; the "malignant tumor" walks out during show taping
On the day before yesterday, the revised Star TV hit talk show <Lady Gugu> taped its first show. The show was hosted jointly by Du Qinyi and Wen Ya together with the Taiwan idol group Black Girl members Ya Tou and Xiao Xun. This first show featured the auto show model Shoushou as the guest. But the hostess Wen Ya asked about sensitive issues, which caused the show to be interrupted several times by the guest's manager. Ultimately Shoushou walked out.
(Zhai Ling's blog)
On August 10, 2010, I and Xiao Zai went to the taping of a certain program for a certain satellite TV channel. Xiao Zhai is very demanding on every aspect of her work. As a model, she always wants to present her best self to the public. This was no exception. Before we began taping, we went through a lot of preparatory work with the production team. The team had told us that this episode was about "fashion-related issues." Therefore, one of the best fashion designers Pan Yiliang was invited to join the show. We arrived at the production studio 2pm so that Xiao Zhai can begin the make-up process.
We were invited by the production team three months ago. At the time, we thought that there was too much talk and not enough substance on that show. Therefore we did not accept the invitation. But the program director was persistent and we were moved by his spirit. We were told that the program format has been updated, with the talented Li Wen now becoming the new hostess and the program being re-positioned as an "in-depth interview program." On this basis, we accepted the invitation. Before coming to the program, we had discussed the various details and reached agreement on the program flow and themes.
We got ready and we then we found out that Li Wen was not the hostess as we had been previously informed. Instead, there was a group of young female hostesses. But since we were there already, we could not back out and leave them with nothing. So we spoke to the director and the group of hostesses with the final understanding that Xiao Zhai was to addressed as Zhai Ling. Here I need to explain the background story: Xiao Zhai had an Internet nickname "Shoushou" given to her by an ex-boyfriend. But the two have split up since, and the name "Shoushou" will bring up only painful memories for Xiao Zhai. People would prefer to forget certain things out of self-protection, and Xiao Zhai is no exception.
The taping began. The TV hostess opens up by addressing Xiao Zhai as "Shoushou." I was perplexed. I could not see how the program team which was completely in agreement with us could turn 180 degree around as soon as the taping began. Another hostess who probably wanted to show off then began to bring up the sexy video affair. Xiao Zhai was patient and answered all tough questions. But her patience was not met with respect and reticence. Instead that hostess pressed on with her questions and then inexplicably began to cry on stage. The production crew did nothing to stop her and engage in the main issues. After speaking to the production crew three times with no avail, we terminated the taping session.
After the taping stopped, we continued to speak to the production team. Amazingly, the camera which had been pointed to the stage swung around to record the very upset Xiao Zhai. Meanwhile all the other production team members not engaged in our discussion with the director all brought out their mobile camera phones to film us. When we walked out of the studio, more video cameras came out of nowhere!
By this point, we realized that this was a planned move to hype up the program and boost television ratings. There was nothing that they wouldn't do for it! The program director gave us the absurd explanation that the questions were being asked by the hostesses which do not have to be what the program team wanted to ask. I would like to know just whom the hostesses work for? Are they simpletons who just entered society? If a program team cannot control its hostesses, what kind of program do they expect to produce?
As the manager of Zhai Ling, I would like to make these following points:
1. The ratings for a program should depend on the quality and class of that program, as well as whether there is any substance in the content. It should not depend on promotional gimmickry!
2. A person ought to keep his word, follow the rules and behave rationally. This program team used deception without shame. After lying, they rejected responsibility. They distorted the facts and abused their responsibility that the public expects of them.
3. A program should disseminate information on a fair and objective basis. If you begin by taking a stance opposite to the principal, then you clearly want to anger the principal and make her lose composure. There is nothing fair and objective in this!
4. I suggest to that hostess who made faces, broke out in tears and asked acerbic questions that you are not going to be successful this way. Those qualities will guarantee that you will never ever become popular. Why not spend some time in studying yourself and less time in coming up with these tricks. You are unfit to be a media person!
5. As for the sexy video, this is presently running through a legal course. The public security agency is investigating the case and we anxiously await the outcome. For those of you who like Xiao Zhai, please me assured that Xiao Zhai won't disappoint you. For those of you who like to hype up stories, we don't dare to dream to have you back on our side to support out strong-willed girl. But we must still make a statement about this affair for your sake.
Postscript: The result was just as I expected. The news story has been posted on the Internet. It should be clear just who provided the text and photos. They invited Xiao Zhai to appear on the program many times. We chose eventually to trust them and agreed. In the end, the program team did the exact opposite and accused us of hyping? Who is hyping whom here?
I want to say that it was wonderful to get the famous Taiwan designed Ms. Pan Yiliang on the show. But you did not treasure this opportunity! Your quality let me see the true face of your program ... I thank all those people who have hurt me ... without you, I would never be me today.
At about 7:30am this morning, the roadway in front of the Shanxi Province People's Hospital collapsed suddenly. Two big holes appeared in the road. The larger hole is wide enough to contain two buses and is about 7 to 8 meters deep.
At around 9:20am, the Infectious Disease Clinic building in front of the sinkhole began to tilt slowly until it collapsed. Because this happened slowly, all persons inside were evacuated without harm.
On one side, here are some newspaper story headlings:
Beijing Evening News: Deyun Society and Guo Degang: Viciousness and virtue
Beijing Evening News: Guo Degang must not be too depraved
Chinese Radio International: The ban is the best way to deal with shameless actors
Beijing News: Boss Guo, please pull your tricks back
Beijing Times: Who is going to give remedial lessons to Guo Degang?
Beijing News: Guo Degang shows hard violence and soft violence
Huashang Morning News: Guo Degang, you cannot afford to joke with morality
Dongfang Zaobao: Guo Degang, do not exploit the poor people by making them stand on your side
Xinwen Morning News: Guo Degang and hooligan culture
Xinhua Daily Telegraph: A society with rule of law cannot allow Guo Degang to be so brazen
Huanqiuwang: Guo Degang does not want to reason with the Chinese people; who does he want to reason with?
Sohu Entertainment: Guo Degang is under siege
This would seem to suggest that there is a media lynching in progress. Ah, but what do the people think?
On the other side, here is a spoof magazine cover:
For Him Magazine:
The best play-actor of year 2010
He faked vomiting; he faked being crippled; he faked getting a brain concussion
Behind this fantastic piece of acting lies the big question: Is he really a reporter or an actor?
BBTV: Zhou Guangfu appears at the Beijing Film Academy to tell his own story
Medical breakthrough: In the future, magazines will be used in place of plaster (for broken arms)
After having seen the complete video, I conclude that this reporter deserves to be beaten up. This reporter is completely capable of being the best actor in the world.
Lie A: "I rolled down the stairs"
Truth A: He walked down the stairs
Lie B: My left arm was dislocated
Truth B: He was able to use his left arm freely and placed it on the shoulder of a security guard
Lie C: I am a reporter
Truth C: There is no reporter of that name registered in the Beijing TV database
The case of Guo Degang's pupil Li Hebiao seemed to be gaining momentum. From the very beginning, the media waged a one-sided battle against the "non-mainstream" comedian Guo Degang. Beijing TV used public opinion and administrative sanctions in an full-scale oppression. CCTV also made accusations without directly naming Guo Degang. As expected, mainstream comedians such as Jiang Kun, Feng Fan, Li Jindou, etc also said that they opposed the Three Vulgarities.
But what about the truth of the matter? Beijing TV released a six-minute video which contained significant gaps. Meanwhile there is a 24-minute video on the Internet as well as a neighborhood surveillance video. A comparison of these videos revealed the following problems:
1. In front of the Guo house, a security guard reminded the crew that filming is not allowed. Zhou Guangfu asked: "Does your word count?" Then he continued filming.
2. The female reporter made a symbolic knock on the door. When there was no response, she pushed the door open and entered. While it is hard to say whether this was an intrusion into a private residence, this was lack of manners already.
3. The female reporter stated her purpose in coming. Li Hebiao said that their reporter was inaccurate and showed a document from the neighborhood property management. Li was calm and steady. He was courteous.
4. When the female reporter saw the document, she was somewhat put off balance. She stupidly asked: "What does this mean?" Stupid bitch, your subject has just shown you proof that you did not make a fair and objective report previously.
5. The Beijing TV video then cut right to Li Hebiao pushing Zhou Guangfu. Something was missing here, because there must be some reason for the calm Li Hebiao to get angry suddenly.
6. Zhou told the security guards: "He was wrong to hit me. I am a reporter. This is not over yet. I am going to tell the station."
7. The security guard asked: "How did you enter this neighborhood?" The implication of this question is that this is a gated community in which non-residents cannot enter at will. The reporter said that a property owner let them in. However, she cannot identified which property owner did so.
8. The police and the security guards asked the reporter if they intruded into a private residence. The reporter was evasive, choosing to emphasize "I am a reporter. I have a press pass. I have an interview permit." Did they show their IDs? She said: "As soon as I went in the door, I said that I am a reporter. I have interviewed him before. He knows me." Just because you were a reporter does not mean that you are one now. Later on down at the police station, it was found out that Zhou was not a reporter.
9. After the police arrived, the female reporter told them: "They are trying to get their stories together." But she and Zhou kept saying: "We are reporters. He was wrong to assault people. You can check the surveillance video to see who let us in." Isn't this trying to get the stories together too?
10. Just before getting into the police car, there was another clash between Li Hebiao and Zhou Guangfu. The reason was unknown and the Beijing TV video does not contain this segment.
11. When they first got in the neighborhood, they were told not to film. When they entered the house, Li Hebiao warned them not to film. In the police car, the policeman said: "If you keep filming, they might just smash your equipment." However, the filming kept going on the whole time. Under these circumstances, Beijing TV produced a 6-minuted edited video. Is this invasion of privacy as well as providing false evidence?
12. Zhou claimed to have suffered brain concussion and a dislocated arm. But in the 24-minute video, he was brave and strong. The reporter said: "You can refuse to be interviewed, but you cannot hit people." Under the circumstances, do you think Li Hebiao could refuse?
13. For those people who automatically support reporters, have you thought about the fact that the reporting has been inaccurate and therefore caused a great deal of negative damage to Guo Degang's reputation? You may think that this was a good opportunity for Guo Degang to promote himself, but would he really want this kind of negative coverage? Even more importantly, Guo Degang was not present at the scene. So why is he being held responsible for all the moral responsibility?
(Apple Daily) August 6, 2010.
Guangzhou City Communist Party Secreary Zhang Guangning recently married Guangzhou TV News hostess Zhang Xiaoli. This was the second marriage for both of them, with both of them hailing from Shandong province. On July 31, the bride gave her final broadcast and retired for good. She said that she would go to study overseas. However, Guangzhou media people said that she was marrying Secretary Zhang and hence retiring from the media industry in consideration of her husband's position.
(Oriental Daily) August 8, 2010.
In interviews with Hong Kong media, Zhang Xiaoli said that the Apple Daily report was preposterous. She was angered because the entire story was fictive. She said that she has never met Zhang Guangning in person, and she has never interviewed him. She said that the Apple Daily has caused her a great deal of grief and affected her reputation.
Zhang Xiaoli said that she will definitely resort to legal means to restore her reputation. She accused Apple Daily of making up the story, including editing the photo of her with Zhang Guanging. The report also misstated all her personal information (such as date of birth) except for her place of birth.
According to a Guanghzou TV spokesperson, "Zhang Xiaoli is presently out of town on assignment. She is still employed by Guangzhou TV." As for Guangzhou City Communist Party Secretary Zhang Guangning, our reporter has inquired the Guangzhou City Government Information Office without receiving any response so far.
In 2002, the Shaoguan city government and party committee decided to build the Dongtinan Parking Garage in order to alleviate traffic and parking problems around the Fengcailou area. This project was approved by the relevant departments in 2003 and affected 277 homes covering some 30,000 square meters. Based upon the original relocation plan, the residents were given the choice of moving out temporarily and returning to the same location, or receiving monetary compensation, or swapping for property elsewhere. As of now, 250 families have accepted the plan and vacated their homes. But 27 families led by wealth resident Wang Yongli have adamantly refused to budge.
According to information, the government made two offers: a one-for-one swap for a home with identical area size in the existing Jinbi Garden district, or an identical area in the present location after reconstruction is completed. Wang Yongli rejected both proposals. Instead Wang Yongli insisted on "same area, same number of floors, same location, same building." Presently, Wang claimed that the first and second floors are commercial shops while the third and fourth floors are residences. He wanted the new building to be erected in place and he did not want to move away during construction and return after completion.
Wang Yongli's demands were rejected. He appealed to the Guangdong province construction bureau for an administrative review, but he lost. In 2009, he filed lawsuits at the Zhenjiang district People's Court and the Shaoguan Middle People's Court, and he lost those as well.
According to a government source, Wang Yongli's land use permit and his property deed both indicated that the land was for residential use only. Therefore, there was no basis to compensate him for commercial space (in the first and second floors of the building). In addition, the fourth floor of the building was illegally added and therefore not entitled to any compensation. According the present plan, the first and second floors of the new buildings will be parking lots (and that was the whole purpose of the project) and could not be made into commercial space for Wang's use. Finally, it makes sense that the building must be demolished before it can be rebuilt. It was not physically possible for Wang to live there and wait for the new building to rise up in the same place.
In order to move the project ahead, the authorities made compromises. They promised Wang Yongli that they will increase the monetary compensation for the first and second floors, and they offered partial compensation for the illegally constructed fourth floor. Wang Yongli rejected these offers. The court issued the order to execute the eviction. Earlier this year, Wang Yongli raised two Chinese national flags on the roof of the building. He hung the portraits of the principal leaders of the principal Communist Party leaders on the front of the building. He put up banners which said "It is a basic right to have a residence, it is a basic social security ..." etc. He put 5 canisters of liquefied gas and lots of gasoline drums on the roof. He made his own "fire bombs." He hired a dozen or so bodyguards. He told everyone that he would live and die with this building.
Wang's intransigence caused the Dongtinan Parking Garage project to be delayed. The more than 200 families who moved out cannot return and the dignity of the law was challenged. On August 5, the Shaoguan city party committee and government decided to demolish this "nailhouse" the next morning in accordance with the law.
Yesterday at 5am, police officers, firemen, medical workers, demolition workers, court officials, street office officials, People's Congress delegates and Political Consultative Conference members arrived. The police set up a cordon one hundred meters around the building. At 6:25, two excavators slowly advanced towards the "nailhouse." Just when the long arms of the excavators were going to reach the building a red-dressed woman in her 50's appeared in a third-floor window. She used a lighter to ignite a water-bottle filled with gasoline and threw it at the excavators. The street became filled with fumes as the flames shot up dozens of feet into the air. The firemen immediately use high-pressured water cannon to put the fire out.
The red-dressed woman then went to the roof and kept throwing fire bombs down. The firemen went up the Caifenglou building across the street and used their water cannons to put out the fire bombs in the hands of the woman. At 7:17am, three police officers charged to the roof and seized the red-dressed woman. They also secured the gasoline drums and liquefied gas canisters.
At the 4:30pm press conference, the Zhenjiang district spokesperson said that the demolition has been completed and construction will begin apace so that the relocated families can return soon. Those families had previously been promised that they can return on June 30, but this clearly did not happen. The authorities will increase the compensation because of the delay.
According to the information, the red-dressed woman is undergoing a full physical examination at a hospital. The properties inside the house had been secured and sealed in the presence of public notaries. There is no decision as to whether the red-dressed woman will be charged with violent law-breaking and endangering public safety. This reporter has not been able to interview either the woman nor her husband who is presently in Hong Kong.
At around 2pm on August 6, <Southern Weekend> reporter Zhao Getu made an emergency plea for help to the editorial department. He said that he and <Liaowang Dongfang> reporter Wang Lisan were followed, restrained and detained for more than two hours by the Jilin province Huadian city Changshan town police and city publicity department workers.
<Southern Weekend> immediately got on the case.
As Zhao Getu recalled, he and Wang Lisan were gathering information at Caoshan village, Changshan town, Huadian city at around noon on August 8. This area was hard hit by the flood. They were interviewing a family of flood victims. When they came out, they were followed by someone who looked like a cadre.
They tried to shake off their 'tail.' They went down to the main street of Caoshan village and tried to flag down a car to leave. But a police car showed up. Three police officers came out the car. One of them flashed an ID which neither Zhao nor Wang were able to read clearly. The first police officer claimed that his name was Lu, but he did not show his ID. He demanded the reporters to show their IDs. But the two did not want to disclose that they were reporters so they refused. Zhao Getu told the police officers: "We are citizens of this country. We have not broken any laws. Don't we have the right to walk on our nation's soil?" But the police officer named Lu insisted on seeing their IDs while refusing to show them his own ID.
During the stalemate, the police officer named Lu said: "Some villager just reported to the police that you two are suspicious-looking."
Then he said that public security administration regulations and the criminal law code give the police the right to inspect identification. Zhao Getu asked him to cite the exact regulation and article of law, and the policeman was tongue-tied. But this police car prevented the two reporters from leaving.
Several tens of minutes later, another police car showed up. Two policemen came out, one tall and fat and the other wearing a walkie-talkie. They were tough and fierce. They claimed to be from the Huadian city police and they brusquely asked the two to show their IDs. The two reporters began recording this conversation with their recording pens. The policemen threatened to arrest the two reporters, claiming that they have sufficient evidence.
The stalemate continued. Suddenly one policeman received a phone call. The two police cars suddenly left.
The two reporters breathed sighs of relief. Zhao Getu recalled: "At the time, I figured that someone had called to tell the police that we were okay, and so they withdrew."
The two reporters went back into the village and conducted interviews with another family. Then they flagged down a disaster relief truck for a ride into Changshan town. At this time, they discovered that they were being followed by a car. Later on they learned that the car belonged to the Changshan city party publicity department.
They went into a small restaurant in Changshan town. As soon as they walked into a suite, they saw the people from the Huadian city party publicity department.
Huadian city party publicity department deputy director Zhang Chenguang had clearly already guessed that Zhao Getu and Wang Lisan were reporters. Therefore he repeatedly emphasized to them: "You cannot conduct interviews on your own. Reporter interviews must go through the publicity department. Our publicity department people can accompany you to wherever you want to go." He continued to demand to see their IDs. The two reporters ignored him and proceeded to order food.
Zhang Chenguang told another worker to keep an eye on the two while he left.
Several minutes later, Zhang Chenguang returned with almost 10 policemen to surround the room.
The policemen charged into the rooms and grab the two reporters. Zhao Getu said: "The harder we struggled, the hard they held onto us." Later on, Zhang Chenguang admitted that he had summoned these policemen.
Zhao Getu and Wang Lisan were taken down to the intelligence analysis room of the Changshan police station. As soon as they walked in, the police took away their bags. Wang Lisan wanted to hold on to his bag. During the tussle, the police forced him to sit in a chair. The arm on the chair was broken during that struggle.
Zhao Getu's <Southern Weekend> ID and work permit were taken away. Wang Lisan's press pass, personal ID and department letter of introduction were taken away. By this time, the police and the publicity department officials knew that the two were reporters. But they had no intention of releasing them.
One policeman looked at Wang Lisan's ID and saw that he was a Harbin resident. He cursed: "You are from Harbin. Harbin is supposed to be awesome. How awesome?" The police also read through Zhao Getu's interview notes. They also took the recording pens and mobile phones, so that they could not communicate with the outside world.
Zhao Getu kept saying: "Don't touch our stuff."
But the police went up and searched them again.
The two wanted to use the restroom. The policeman in charge said: "Follow them!"
As Zhao Getu used the restroom, he tried to chat with the policeman following him. But this policeman said angrily: "Fuck your mother! Stop saying rubbish!"
Publicity department deputy director Zhang Chenguang deleted the recordings on the two recording pens. He also checked the text messages in the mobile phones. Zhao Getu protested: "You don't have the right to read my private communications."
Zhang ignored him. After checking the text messages, he returned the mobile phones to the reporters.
Another policeman came out with a data line to check the information on the reporters' mobile phones. Wang Lisan called an official within the Jilin province publicity department. This official spoke to Zhang Chenguang.
Zhang Chenguang then told the policeman not to check the mobile phones.
By this time it was around 2pm. It had been almost two hours. This reporter-editor received a call from Zhao Getu, and then spoke to a deputy director named Zhao at the Jilin province party publicity department information office.
Q: "What are you detaining the reporters. This is violating the basic rights of reporters and citizens. It is also against the law and relevant regulations of the General Administration of Press and Publications."
Zhao: "This is not detention. This is just verification of identity."
Q: "We can understand that if the local publicity department wanted to check the identities of the reporters. But was it necessary to mobilize such a large number of police officers?"
Zhao: "The police have the right to check anyone's ID."
Q: "You are wrong. The police cannot check ID's at will. There has to be specific reasons. Please tell me what were their reasons."
Zhao: "We checked their ID's for the sake of <Southern Weekend>. If they were fake reporters, it would harm your newspaper."
Q: "I think that this type of investigation harms the reputation of the government. Now that you have confirmed that they are reporters. When do you intend to release them?"
Zhao: "We have done our investigation. Zhao Getu's press pass has expired. But we plan to let them leave."
Q: "If they are ordinary citizens, can you just arrest them?"
Zhao: "Our publicity department did not arrest them. The police were making inquiries ... I have called the local people to tell them to release the reporters."
At sometime after 2pm after more than half an hour in the intelligence analysis room, the reporters were let go.
This reporter called up Huadian city party publicity department deputy director Chang Chenguang and asked why the reporters were detained. He replied: "It was only a misunderstanding. At the time we did not know that they are reporters. The flood created messy conditions. We did so solely to ensure their safety."
I am a businesswoman. In July 2008, I got sick. I went to the hospital and they found out that half of my kidney had sclerosis. The other half of my kidney was inflamed but still functioning. I stayed in the hospital and received hormonal treatment to no avail. Even the best hospitals were unable to help. I was devastated. I sought out Chinese medicine doctors but they were no help either.
When the Lunar New Year came, I went back to my hometown. The driver was shocked to learn of my condition. He said that the Hunan TV program <Upwards Every Day> had a story about the Taoist master Li YI who was a known miraculous healer. He suggested that I go and "learn healthy living."
In February 22, 2009, after getting an introduction through an acquaintance, I and my caretakers went up to the mountains. At the time the Jianhu Hotel attached to the Shaolong Taoist Temple was not in good shape, so I stayed at the nearby Tianxianyuan Hotel.
I began first by attending the free three-day course. I wanted to get some sense of the place. I saw that the people were dressed okay and that there were no real weirdoes around. Anyway, all I wanted was to practice meditation. So I paid 3,000 yuan to enter the healing program.
After one month, Li Yi had still not seen me. So I called him up and said, "How are you, Taoist Master Li? I have been here for a while and I have not seen you yet. I don't know if Secretary X (the person who made the introduction) told you. I really want you to handle the case personally." He said, "Fine. You come and see me at noon tomorrow."
The next day he took a look at me and said: "You are sick because someone wants to cause you harm. You are under an evil spell." I thought that was true, because a fortuneteller had also said the same thing before. I also had the same idea while I was ill. Li Yi said, "You did him wrong in your previous life. This is karma. The sickness is an evil curse. Let us conduct three days and three nights of religious ritual first. Then I will offer you a solution method."
Li Yi's solution method was for me to practice standing and sitting, and to pass electricity through me. I asked, "How can it be so magical? People can be killed by electrification. How can this help me?" He said, "The 220 volt electricity can kill people. But when we practice, we turn the human body into a transformer that converts high voltage electricity into low voltage. That will help you to clear out the energy passages inside you. Right now your kidney passage is being blocked." At the time, I really believed him. I thought that all the legendary mystical powers were available here.
A female student named Chang Qiong of Li Yi passed electricity through me. As she did so, she told me: "Your sickness arose because you were too evil in your previous life. But being sick is a form of fate. You are a person with a mission. In order to eliminate the evil, you must be charitable." I asked, "What is my mission?" She said, "The Master can see your past and future lives. You are someone with a mission."
I asked her: "What must I do?" She said, "Look at our Taiyi Hall. The May 12 earthquake had knocked down the walls on both sides. We don't have the money to restore it. If you can be somewhat charitable, it will be a tremendous help to you and your family." I said, "Fine, as long as my sickness can be healed, I will do it. You tell me how much money is needed." She named two to three hundred thousand yuan. I said, "I will donate 200,000 yuan this afternoon." Previously, I had already donated 30,000 to 40,000 yuan to charity there.
Li Yi conducted three days of religious ritual for me. Chang Qiong told me that it was a great deed for the Master to personally conduct the ritual on my behalf. The Master had only done that for not more than 20 persons in his entire career. I was extremely flattered and really pleased. Li Yi asked me, "Have you gotten any better after I sent you the energy through the religious ritual?" I couldn't say that I was not getting better. But I had gotten hope and I felt mentally easier. He said, "You are going to get better immediately." I was very happy. I thought it was wonderful to have such a good Master.
In less than ten days, I went back for another examination at the hospital. There were even more protein and blood in the urine. I asked, "Master, how come I am getting worse?" Li Yi said, "That is because you haven't freed yourself yet, and the evil inside you has not been completely eradicated." He made me continue to practice and join a 9-day isolated meditation session.
Kidney patients are supposed to rest and not exert themselves. During the period of isolated meditation, I got very tired. I was famished, and I ate all the leftovers from the others. After nine days, I went for hospital testing again. All the indicators were normal. I was elated, because this was truly miraculous. Later on, I realized that it was all very simple. During the period of isolated meditation, there was too little protein intake and the tests would indicate exactly this.
After several more days, my body became unbearably painful. I began to lose my vision. Later on I found out that this was a complication when the kidney illness got worse. I told the Master that I couldn't see. Li Yi said, "The eyes are connected to the liver. Your kidney problem is due to your kidney passage being blocked. Now your liver passage is also being blocked." He said, "Don't worry. Your Master has told you that he guarantees that you will get better. First of all, there must not be any bad information. When your Master tells you that you are fine, you must not say that you are not well." I said that I was really not well and the hospital tests indicated so too. He said sternly, "How can you trust the doctors' tests? Can science explain any of this? You must listen to what the Master says." I said, "Fine, since I am here already, I might as well as do everything that needs to be done." So I did 21 days of religious ritual, costing me more than 70,000 yuan.
During the period of religious rituals, I tried practicing walking and standing, two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. I also practiced sitting for two hours. After all that, I had to kneel during the religious rituals. My legs were hurting. I asked, "Master, my legs are crippled. Are you too busy to care about me?" Li Yi said, "You must not look outwards. You must look inwards. It is because you have not free yourself yet. If you can free yourself, everything will be fine. When the Master tried to treat you, you did not free yourself. Instead you created even more barriers." This was his standard technique. When he encountered problems that he couldn't explain, he always said that it was because you have not freed yourself.
Li Yi said, "Let me tell you. The Jianhu Hotel is your Master's biggest headache. If you can restore the hotel, your evil aura will be gone. You should not question what your Master tells you. Your Master knows exactly what goes on. Once you restore the hotel, your Master will clear out your passages, kidney, liver and gall bladder. Then your Master will expel the poison from your system. Everything will be resolved then."
I said, "Alright!" I thought that I had already spent more than half a year already. All I wanted was to get healthy. Since I was in the real estate business, I summoned an engineering team up there. The people in the Taoist Temple did not help out at all. So there I was, a patient who had to practice meditation to heal my illness but I had to supervise the construction alone. After three months, the Jianhu Hotel was almost completely fixed up. Li Yi suddenly said that the four-storey building ought to have an elevator. I said that I didn't think so. He said, "You don't understand. In the future, there will be many seriously ill people coming. It would be inconvenient not to have an elevator." He also said that there had to be a central air-conditioning system because it was hot and humid up in the mountains. Besides, all the visitors are distinguished people who must have air-conditioning. Then he wanted to add two more storeys to the adjunct building. I said that I wouldn't dare to do so, because the building was in dangerous condition already with the possibility of collapse. He said, "When the Master tells you that nothing will happen, nothing will; when the Master tells you to build, you build." The entire project cost me several million yuan.
As the project approached the end, my health got worse. I went to get examined at the Xinan Hospital. My kidney problem had gotten worse. But I had also gradually become aware of the true nature of Li Yi. With the help of a friend, I got an appointment with a famous doctor elsewhere. I left Chongqing to get treatment. During the time, Li Yi called me and wanted me to purchase all the furniture in the hotel. I told him that I was staying at the Xinan Hospital. He said, "How can you not tell me that you are in a hospital? If you seek treatment without my consent, your sickness will get more severe."
I paid all the construction workers so that they can go home for the Lunar New Year. But I did not purchase the furniture. When I called Li Yi again, he refused to take my call. The reason was that since I was away, he was afraid that the workers might make him pay their wages. I was angry. I sent him a text message: "The workers left yesterday. I call you from morning to night, but you won't take my call. Do you really think that you are the Supreme Taoist God?" At first he ignored me. When he saw me scolding him, he texted back: The reason why he didn't the call was that he was seeing patients and giving classes. He said that I was accumulating evil scores when I scolded him, and I and my family will meet retribution as a result.
This year after the Lunar New Year I returned to the hospital for treatment. In March, I went up Jinyun Mountain again. Li Yi sent a text message to my best friend. He said, "She has been mentally unstable recently due to too much stress and excitement. You should look after her, and let her come to her senses. If she can regain her inner self, her body will be better." I had introduced this friend of mine to attend the Taoist Temple. Li Yi was afraid that I would tell my friend about his dealings, in which case his entire scheme would collapse.
Wasn't he saying that I have become a lunatic? Later on, I found out that he had been telling people at the Shaolong Taoist Temple that I was mentally insane. I had been subjected to mental stress and subsequently lost my mind.
I was angry. I got some people to go there to cause trouble. First, I removed the central air-conditioning system, which I had paid for. The schematics and the contracts were in my hands. I deliberately let him know that I was going to destroy all the items that I had paid to install, one one blow at a time.
The Shaolung Taoist Temple frequently holds charity auction meetings. Most of the auction items are forgeries. One time, Li Yi took out a peach wood sword and said that this was the present that his master gave me when he graduated. Against his will, he had to auction this sword. He gave an impassioned statement, his body even trembling. This peach wood sword fetched more than 200,000 yuan.
At one of those auctions, I paid 50,000 yuan to purchase three antique pieces. One of them was a Liangzhu Culture jade waist pendant valued at USD 1,200. There was a Qing dynasty chicken-blood-red stone seal in a box with a dragon sculture valued at USD 3,200 yuan. Later I found out that all these items were forgeries. I went to see Li Yi. He said, "I think they are genuine." I said, "Fine, let's sort this out in court then." He knew that the matter could blow up. So he gathered his cohorts and asked them about how far I would go. They said, "If she gets serious, you will have a hard time."
So Li Yi sent me a text message: "If you think that your donation was wrong, I will refund the money to you." I said, "Fine, I will provide my account number to you. You give me the refund quickly." So we gathered our cohorts together, we figured out the right amount and we signed an agreement.
Today, after therapy, my health is significantly better. The doctor say that I will recover soon. Health is so precious. When one's health is failing, one must not trust lightly in others, for one might even lost one's dignity as well.
Like many other reporters, I have interviewed Jun Tang and more than once at that. It was not hard to find him. As he said, he likes to make friends.
During this period of time, I am thinking of this friend whom I know and who may not remember me. But he has gone into hiding. I would really like to know what he is up to.
I sincerely express my apologies here, because I have been feeling very guilty during this period.
The reason for feeling guilty is that, to a certain extent, I had been carrying water on behalf of Jun Tang. Although there were no severe consequences, I still think it is a blemish on my professional career. This is the way to describe it.
Recently, I looked at some information that came out before the "academic credentials" crisis. I was impressed most of all by the heavyweight television program hosts at the heavyweight television channels. When I saw how they looked so "intoxicated" by Jun Tang's talking, my face flushed red hot. I saw my own self in them.
I never imagined that Jun Tang could present fictional things so marvelously and succintly.
I listened to the tape recording of my May 2009 interview with Jun Tang in Shanghai. He spoke tirelessly and movingly without any hesitation and at just the right pace. Together with his expression, smile and sincerity, he was right up at the level of snake-oil salesmen.
So I did wrong. So I feel guilty now.
I think that Jun Tang must fully believe in what he was saying and what he wanted to say because this is the only way his supernatural self-confidence could come out. Or maybe it is what the elementary school teacher says: If you want your essay to move people, you can start by making it move your own self first. By that simple principle, Jun Tang must have done all his own homework and came in with 120% sincerity. I am fully aware of that now.
At the time, my state of mind was probably like this: Here is this professional manager who worked at Microsoft (USA) for ten years before coming over to become president of the China region. He has many distinguished accomplishments. In under four years, the Microsoft Greater China Tech Support Center under this leadership became the global technology center for Microsoft. Also, he led Shengda from nowhere to a NASDAQ listing to create a capitalist legend. Therefore I should not be suspicious about his ethics and credibility. After all, Bill Gates and Chen Tianqiao are very smart people.
I am not a celebrity-chaser, so I never thought that this "emperor of wage-earners" in front of me was any better than me. But when I listened to this successful person speak so freely about the past to his heart's content, I somehow felt that it would be cruel to doubt and challenge him. I did not interrupt him, especially when it came to discussing his resumé. I let him speak and I did not feel that there was anything wrong with this kind of interviewing.
Yes, I was bamboozled, even though it was just on one small part.
If my memory serves me right, the first interview lasted more than three hours. We spoke about his overseas scholastic experiences and we spoke about his patent rights for user pictures and karaoke scoring machines. But, perhaps due time constraints, he did not discuss the other story about his "experience" as a professor at the University of Texas.
Jun Tang is tall and has a cool hairstyle which is split down in the middle like the Devil Cow. Jun Tang is talkative and knows how to set up and compare, occasionally interjecting with a couple of counter-questions. He has good body language. He appears to be very warm.
Quite a few of his speeches at various universities can be found on the Internet. I can only say that he speaks to reporters in a far less exaggerated manner.
I am not trying to kick him while he is down. I only want to express my own shame.
If I am less humble, then I should think that most reporters who interviewed Jun Tang was just like me. We believed most of what he spoke so freely about. Those stories sounded so real. We felt that his story was really so perfect. I ask you just how you could allow an intuition to "sinisterly" link perfection with fraud? That would be more like "admiration->jealousy->hatred", right?
I thought about the word "spin." I feel that even if it had been "spin," it was acceptable if it was malevolent. For example, you can use it in a mocking manner during a speech in order to inject some light humor. I know for a fact and have personally watched many entrepreneurs use this kind of "spin" talk which has become a current trend.
Prior to July 1, 2010, Jun Tang had a bright and shining image. One month later, as one lie after another got exposed, people waited to hear from him. Instead of a heart-felt apology, they got feeble explanations. Then Jun Tang went into hiding to wait out the storm.
He is no longer "handsome"-looking. Furthermore, he resembles a professional crook more than a professional manager. In reality, things aren't that serious. Even now I am still willing to believe that most of the accomplishments and contributions of Jun Tang are solid, and he deserves to be admired and emulated by young people everywhere.
But he wanted perfection too much. He even ignored the moral hazards and made up a beautiful story about himself. He wanted to show that he was an international-class first-rate professional manager. He repeated the moving story of himself over and over again. In the end, he was even moved by the story.
I have spoken to many people about Jun Tang, including Fang Xingdong. He said: "Jun Tang is a person with plenty of character. He knows how to hype things up. Some people do things but don't talk about them. Jun Tang does things while talking about them at the same time."
A single pebble caused a thousand eddies. After his Caltech computer science doctorate was shown to be non-existent, the media and netizens went in hot pursuit. The only flaws in Jun Tang's resumé were also exposed.
Frankly, I had overestimated Jun Tang. I am embarrassed for his sake, because he probably doesn't feel any embarrassment himself.
But I am glad that I learned something -- Jun Tang was far less intelligent than I imagined him to be. You see, he is walking down straight down this dim narrow alley. He is walking further and further down. Soon there will be no way out.
Jun Tang tried to come out and clarify. But what did he do? First he countered that Fang Zhouzi "faked information in order to expose fakery," thus hinting that Fang was a hooligan. He also said that he was ready "to make those people who fabricate facts to smear others pay a price." Although he was "recently vexed," "the good thing is that it will be over tomorrow."
Jun Tang explained that he had done research at Caltech for a certain period of time, but he never said that he got a doctorate from there. The printed copy of the book did not mention Caltech. He was unsure about what was in the electronic copy of the book, but he was going to find out who was responsible.
But that was not all. Netizens found out that the printed edition contained the direct statement "I obtained a doctorate in computer science from the California Institute of Technology." The same kind of information can be found in other books about Jun Tang. Those contents must surely have been verified or approved by him. But Jun Tang still hasn't come out to tell us the truth or express his apologies. He is playing the game of "I won't say anything no matter what."
When Jun Tang was asked where he got his doctorate from, he mentioned the relatively unknown Western Pacific University. He never imagined that Fang Zhouzi would quickly find out that this was a diploma mill without even a school campus or classroom. This university shared its office with the mobile phone rental store owned by the chancellor's son.
Any reader who has gone through <My success can be copied> will not find any mention of "Western Pacific University." Instead "California Institute of Technology" shows up a lot. Most people basically got this impression: Jun Tang graduated from Caltech with a doctorate in computer science.
I am one of those readers. I don't know what to say about Jun Tang's inferior sophistry in explaining the facts.
At LinkedIn, Jun Tang has a home page that he keeps himself. Under education, he clearly wrote in English: 1990-1993, California Institute of Technology, Computer Science Doctor of Philosophy.
Oddly enough, soon after the academic credentials crisis began, this entry was modified to say "Western Pacific University."
So he has been busy.
At the beginning of the current crisis, Jun Tang was interviewed by <Beijing News>. He said that he has always been a sincere person. Then he added: "You can fool a person with fancy talk. But if you are able to fool the whole world, if you are able to fool everybody, then this is an ability, this is a sign of success."
I can testify that Jun Tang succeeded in this manner once upon a time.
But I am wary for him: He better not think that success will come to him in the future as easily as before. He will have to spend more effort. And he better be careful, because the house of cards may collapse.
I have met Xinhuadu's boss Chen Fashu. I have not done an in-depth interview with him. He is a low-profiled, no-nonsense Fujian businessman. After the Jun Tang affair broke open, Chen Fashu has not indicated his attitude. He avoided reporters as was his habit.
On July 17, the Phoenix TV program host Hu Yihu interviewed Xinhuadu independent director Yuan Xinwen by telephone. Yuan hoped that Jun Tang can come out and explain things. This was his duty, "pure gold has no fear of fire, presenting the facts are better than debating."
Previously, Yuan Xinwen had said in response to a media question that Jun Tang's academic credential problems has affected Xinhuadu. He will discuss the situation with the company directors and Jun Tang may be demoted or fired.
Yuan Xinwen tossed out one shoe. Half a month later, the other shoe has not fallen yet.
At 9am on July 18, Jun Tang was at the Changzhou Middle School Alumni Reunion. He used two phrases to describe his current predicament: Wind in an empty cave; Internet sensationalism.
Jun Tang is still resisting, the storm is still going strong. So how will it end?
I think that Jun Tang is more anxious than anyone else.
As this high-profiled public lynching slowly dies down, Jun Tang may or may not have the courage to stand up and come out to face the public. But behind the hubbub, the media ought to ask themselves: Did we aid and abet Jun Tang before, or did we become accomplices unwittingly?
(China.com) August 5, 2010
At about 11:30am today, a microblogger claimed to have found an awesome news story on <Dongfang Zaobao> (Shanghai): "Outside tourist defecate publicly in street; tourist quality needs to be elevated." The accompanying screen capture is apparently that of the front page of <Dongfang Zaobao> with a photo showing a man wearing a red shirt with pants down and squatting on a sidewalk with a puddle of water in front of him already. This photo seemed likely to have been taken from the window of a bus.
However, the logo of the newspaper <Dongfang Zaobao> was clearly missing a stroke in the word for "fang." Going back to the actual printed newspaper, the front page looked like this:
The actual front page story was about a baboon in the Shanghai zoo trying to cool down in the 40 degree heat. All other aspects of the front page were the same.
Our reporter contacted <Dongfang Zaobao>. They said that there was no defecating man on the front page. A person named Li from the editorial room was astonished: "Clearly this did not come from us. Our front page story was about the high temperatures with a photo of a baboon. <Dongfang Zaobao> was the subject of a spoof!"
Monkeys are not just naughty, but they can be heroic! On July 28, there was a huge explosion at a plastic factory in Nanjing. The residents described it as a case in which heaven and earth shook. But even as people fled for their lives, a monkey was filmed fleeing while carrying a puppy in its arms. This photo was a sensational on microblogs as people praised the monkey for being even "more human than humans." This photo has been spreading also at Facebook, Plurk and other websites.
Two days after the Nanjing incident, a mainland netizen posted a photo at the Sina.com microblog. The photo showed a monkey fleeing with a puppy in its arms. This photo was a sensation on the Internet. Mainland and American media reported on it.
But immediately someone pointed out the true source of the photo. This photo had been circulating around the Internet since 2006. The true story behind the photo was actually quite tragic and sad: In South America, some monkeys are so starved that they seize puppies for food. "The truth turned out to be so horrendous. This is very disappointing!"
(Note: When in doubt about any photo whatsoever, you can check the reverse image search engine TinEye. There are 53 results for this photo at the time when I wrote this.)
What are mine tailings?
Mine tailings are large piles of crushed rock that are left over after the metals of interest like lead, zinc, copper, silver, gold and others, have been extracted from the mineral rocks that contained them.
(Dahe) July 28, 2010.
Yesterday at 8am, there was a rumor in Luanchuan county city, Henan province that "the Chitudian town mine tailings dam has collapsed." Residents rushed out en masse carrying their valuable to the high points such as Longquan Mountain, Yiyin Park, Laojun Mountain, etc. The same rumor was also running around in Chitudian down. "Residents were feeling in their motorcycles and tricycles. I stood at the roadside to dispel the rumor. I lost my voice!" Chitudian town party secretary Zhang Xiangyang said.
According to a Chitudian town government worker, there was a wedding in town. When the attendees heard about the rumor, they fled. The bridegroom's family was really upset. "The rumor spread very quickly. Nobody knows where it came from."
Yesterday morning, this reporter went to see the mine tailings dam in the company of Chitudian town government officials. According to town mayor Niu Dongxiao, there are 17 mine tailings dams upstream of Luanchuan county. "It would be a disaster for Luanchuan county if there is so much a leak in the mine tailings dam."
The reporter toured the scene and noted that there was no water accumulation on the set of dams because of the drainage system. The dams were also well-lit and watched over by surveillance camera. The monitoring personnel said, "We will know immediately if anything happens." The dams are being watched 24 hours a day. The government will let people know if there is any danger.
Yesterday noon, this reporter returned to Luanchuan county city. Order has been restored there.
(Dahe) July 30, 2010.
On the morning of July 27, there was an anonymous post at the community forum of the Luanchuan County Public Information Website: "A mine tailings dam has collapsed on July 27 in Chitudian town, Luanchuan county, Luoyang city ... the number of casualties is still uncertain ... communication has been broken off ..."
After the post went public, there was panic in Luanchuan county city. Chitudian town is located to the mountainous areas north of Luanchuan county city. The Northern River flows down from Chitudian to Luanchuan. If there is a dam collapse, the flood will pour into the county city. According to the police, panicky residents raced to the surrounding elevated areas. "There were people all over the hills. The normal routine of the people was disrupted."
The police investigated the case and quickly arrested a 20-year-old man named Chen in Guanzhen town, Luanchuan county. According to Chen, he received a call from a friend that a mine tailings dam in Chitudian was about to collapse. Without any verification, he went ahead to post the "dam collapse" information.
On the afternoon of July 28, the police sentenced Chen to 10 days of administrative detention.
Why were the residents of Luanchuan so gullible? There is a Chinese saying: Once you have encountered ghosts, you become afraid of the dark!
(China Youth Daily) July 31, 2010.
On July 24, the Tangying Bridge across the Yi River collapsed in Tangying village, Tantou town, Luanchuan county, Luoyang city, Henan province. 44 persons died and 22 were missing. This became a major media story.
But there was another basically unreported story for Luanchuan county on the same day.
On July 24, Luanchuan county city was under water. At around 12 noon, the water of the Yi River that goes through the city rose suddenly. The yellowish-blackish flood water rose above the bridge and went straight to the city center. Within one hour, there was wide flooding across the city, with the water being more than 1 meter deep in places.
But the water came and went quickly. The flood had basically receded in under four hours. But then the people were surprised to discover that the flood water had left behind very thick mud. "The mud was blackish and smelled weird. There were also traces of shiny mine tailings."
"The main reason why the county city was flooded was because a mine tailings dam upstream of the Yi River had collapsed. Otherwise there was no way that the county city could be flooded." This was what all the ordinary citizens such as taxi drivers, shop owners, etc tell this reporter.
At Tangying village where there were many casualties, residents said: "The collapse of the mine tailings dam upstream created two huge flood peaks. This caused the water level to rise quicky and the bridge to collapse."
On July 30, this reporter confirmed from the Luanchuan County Flood Disaster Management Command Headquarter's Information Center that there had been a collapse of a mine tailings dam 12 kilometers upstream Yi River on July 24. The river flow had increased from the 150 cubic meters per second at 8am to 930 cubic meters per second at noon.
So it becomes easy to understand why people were so "gullible." If danger rises, the government says that they will tell you but they don't (as on July 24). So it is up to you to take care of yourselves, or else you wind up like the dead/injured in Tangying village.
(HK Reporter) August 5, 2010.
On July 28, there was an explosion in Nanjing Number 4 Plastic Factory when workers broke a gas pipe. There were 13 deaths and 120 injured.
On July 28, The Epoch Times published the article titled <Disastrous explosion burned at least 100 persons to death in a terrifying day in Nanjing>. Here is the screen capture of that report with the byline to Epoch Times reporter Fang Xiao:
The photo had a caption:
On July 28, the scene at the Nanjing Waoshou Baijiang Liquefied Gas Factory was unbearable to watch!
== In order to protect the person who provided the photo, this photo has been specially edited here! ==
But the fact is that this photo was not about the Nanjing gas explosion on July 28. Instead, it was about an oil tanker explosion on July 2 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (see the report in <Xinwenhua>). Here is the photo that accompanied that news report:
Editing was in fact specially conducted for the Epoch Times report. A small portion of the bottom had to be removed because it had the logo of another media outlet (which would make it very easy to check). The top one-third of the photo was also cropped because it won't do to show black-skinned spectators who do not look like your typical Nanjing resident.
This photo has now been purged from the Epoch Times website. But it is easy to look up copies of that article (just Google search the article headline: "惨烈大爆炸至少烧死100多人 南京人惊魂一天").
Tycoon Yu Jinyong at his press conference
A drummer was hired for this press conference
Actually it was a whole team of drummers
At the end of the press conference, Yu Jinyong and his company employees
shouted rallying cries about defending his rights.
At 0:01 on July 31, Yu Jinyong wrote on his microblog: "The Kai'ai Capital Investment Company Limited and the China Generation Investment Group will be holding a press conference at 3pm, August 3 in Beijing to initiate the campaign to defend their rights and to begin legal proceedings against the media and other individuals for rights infringement." He also posted a lawyer's statement about seeking 50 million yuan in damages. The press conference took place as scheduled and became the event that drew the most attention on the Internet yesterday.
The press conference was mostly about Yu Jinyong talking. He made public a lot of documentation. He did not set any bounds on questions from the media.
During the press conference, Yu Jinyong explained why he supported Jun Tang over academic credentials, the tax payments made by his company, his donations to the earthquake zone, the falsified land certificate as alleged by the Liangshan State Land Resources Bureau and the virtual increase of 120 million yuan in capital. But he did not clarify anything with respect to his suspect Peking University post-doctorate, his connections to Peking University, the authenticity of the advertisements on his company website, etc.
Yu Jinyong said that "he wanted to produce certain ironclad proof to show just who has been falsifying, fooling the people and misleading the audience." He said that he wanted to go to court against the media. "I want to lock up the door and then I will beat the dogs. I have to let the dogs inside the house first. Today, many of the media have entered."
The press conference was amazing because it involved a team of drummers beating drums, fireworks being set off and company employees chanting slogans. The photos of the drummers drew plenty of comments on the Internet. Lian Yue wrote: "Wow, was Zhang Yimou the director?" Another netizen said: "I choked from laughter. From the time when Fang Zhouzi exposed Jun Tang to this Yu Jinyong press conference, it has been more and more entertaining, especially with this big drum now! There has been a cool breeze during these hot summer days!"
At the press conference, Yu Jinyong claimed: "So far there have been only a dozen or so media. I will go after them even if there are 150 of them. You will know how awesome I am after I ruin your finances. When you are fined 50 million yuan, you will know that you are better off dead than alive."
The press conference at around 5pm with Yu Jinyong and his company employees chanting "Defend the rights of Kai'ai and China Generation!"
One of the targets of Yu Jinyong is netizen Wu Fatian, who wrote: "This is my pick for the Oscar Best Supporting Actor. He is too narcissistic. Won't you say that he succeeded?" He also wrote about the press conference: "He did not donate the 400,000 yuan for the earthquake; he did not donate the 175,000 yuan for Bird's Nest; he did not pay the 4.9 billion yuan in taxes; he did not assist the 100 students financially; his company added more nominal shares, but it was less than 1 billion yuan; he did not explain the Liangshan land certificate; he did not produce any proof of the Peking University post-doctorate."
Wu Fatian is the Internet nickname of China Political and Law University teacher Wu Danhong. He wrote at 9:22 on August 2 on his microblog: "I have just received a text message from the boss of the Yingke Law Office. They have decided to resign as Yu Jinyong's legal representative."
Previously the Yingke Law Office had been hired by Yu Jinyong and his companies and issued the Lawyer's Statement. The Yingke Law Office has confirmed to the media that they have resigned because "there was a discrepancy between the situation as described to us by Yu Jinyong and what we learned ourselves."
At 11:34pm on the night before the press conference, Yu Jinyong thanked his lawyer on his microblog: "The team of Liu Chengxi at Beijing Yingke Law Office is professional and hard-worker. They have successfully completed all the contracts for representation before initiating the lawsuits. They have shown firm dedication in gathering and preserving evidence on the rights violations so that the lawsuit can proceed smoothly. I sincerely thank Liu Chengxi, his team and the Yingke Law Office! Tomorrow, the rights defense campaign will began. The various lawyers will assume their positions and be ready to attack."
In his own microblog, Wu Danhong wrote: "Unfortunately your 'lawyer team' has just resigned from being your representative. Did you receive the notice?"
Here are the responses to five of the big questions:
1. What about the Western Pacific University diploma?
Yu Jinyong: Neither Jun Tang nor I falsified our academic credentials. There may be problems with the school, but the the students are innocent. Yu Jinyong presented genuine documents from the Los Angeles Consulate, but the Western Pacific University is not approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education. Yu Jinyong thinks that "the Ministry of Education is wavering on this issue."
2. How come the company has not paid taxes for six years in a row?
Yu Jinyong: "I did not do any business so why should I pay any taxes?" "I invested the money, so why should pay any taxes? When the company pays dividends, the relevant taxes must be paid by the company before I can receive anything. The company has paid all the relevant taxes, so why do I need to pay any taxes?"
3. The registered capital of the Generation Investment Group 100 million yuan and not 1 billion yuan?
Yu Jinyong: "The China Generation Investment Group Company Limited has a registered capital of 1 billion yuan. The company that people are talking about on the Internet with the 10,000 yuan capital is not the China Generation Investment Group Company Limited. Instead this 10,000 yuan company was formed with a friend. It is not the company formed by me and my family."
4. Falsifying a land certificate to show ownership of 1,500 mu of land in Liangshan county (Shandong province) in order to increase the capitalization to 120 million yuan?
Yu Jinyong: There was an agreement to turn over the land instead of the regular auction. "Kai'ai Investment Company Limited has the right to use that land. It has the seal of the State Land Resources Bureau. There is the documentary proof from the Bureau director at the time."
5. The missing 3.2 million yuan to the Longmen Elementary School in Taiping Town, Jianyou City, Sichuan Province, so that the school was not built?
Yu Jinyong: I don't show off after I donate money. The reason why the school was not built was because the government won't let me donate money. The missing 3.2 million yuan was a campaign organized by US-European Student Association. It has nothing to do with me personally.
On the day before yesterday at around 430pm or so, the reporter Zhou Guangfu for Beijing TV's <Daily Entertainment Broadcast> was assaulted by the comedian Guo Degang's pupil Li Hebiao. According to information, Zhou was diagnosed with external injury on the head, dislocated left elbow and a mild brain concussion.
According to the program director Mr. Li, they are demanding that Guo Degang and his family apologize formally to Mr. Zhou and pay economic compensation to Mr. Zhou for physical injuries as well as the damage to his equipment.
The reporter was trying to interview Mr. Guo's neighbors to seek their views on the way Mr. Guo had appropriated land for his own villa. During the process, Mr. Li Hebiao assaulted Mr. Zhou while the security guards stood and watched; Mr. Guo's family members also seized Mr. Zhou's camera and stopped his car right in the presence of the police.
At <Daily Entertainment Broadcast>'s press conference, the reporter Zhou Guangfu claimed that he knocked down and rolled down the stairs. This resulted in damage to to his equipment as well as his own bodily injuries. However, the lawyer for the Deyun Company said differently in their own press conference. The lawyer said, "If the reporter said that he had filmed the whole process, then why doesn't BTV broadcast the video? Actually, it didn't happen like they claimed. We have our own video. Mr. Zhou was not knocked rolling down the stairs."
The lawyer then proceeded to show a neighborhood surveillance video. In the video, it can be seen that a man tried to slap Zhou Guangfu twice. Zhou used evasive tactics while walking down the stairs. Then he turned around and walked downhill on the street. The man followed him.
Compare this to the edited video released by Beijing TV (note: "edited" meant that there is no footage of the descent down the stairs which was very important because the cameraman claimed to have rolled down the stairs which incurred all those injuries).
(Daqi) Guo Degang's comments on his live show after the incident
(Clears throat) The hot news the past two days was mainly about a reporter coming to our home (the crowd makes noise). The neighborhood management kept apologizing the past two days. This morning, the estate manager wrote a letter to apology in which he denounced Beijing TV for selectively presenting the facts to smear me.
Frankly speaking, I am just a normal guy. When I first bought this house, the real estate developer told me where my land is -- this is my backyard. After the developer left, a few poor persons formed an owners' committee. It is really strange that I can't figure out who these people are to this day. You say that I took over public 'green' land. I dare to stand out today to speak here. You dare to accuse me of taking over public land, but you dare not show your face to this day (the audience cheers).
What about this reporter? He comes over eight times a day. He takes photos from outside the fence without permission. Another group of reporters were chased out today. If I were that reporter and I took photos without permission, don't I deserve to be beaten? What right do you have to come to our house and take photos. Right or not? Besides, all the photos that are posted on the Internet are of my neighbors' homes (the audience laughs). Yesterday, our neighbors were outraged. They went down to the real estate management. "How dare you let people take photos of our homes and then label it as Guo Degang's home?"
Sometimes I feel helpless. You can't reason with them. It is useless. But if you give him a slap, he is going to behave honestly. Therefore I say that this reporter is worse than a prostitute (the audience cheers). I have been thinking. The prostitute works in a red light zone. The reporter works in a green light zone where he can go wherever he wants to.
Here is a music video that weaved the various pieces together.
(The Standard) Slap happy. By Serinah Ho. August 3, 2010.
The niece of a top judge has been spared a prison term despite being convicted for a third time of assaulting a police officer.
But there was outrage and worry after Amina Mariam Bokhary, the 33-year- old niece of Court of Final Appeal Judge Kemal Shah Bokhary, left Eastern Magistracy after being put on probation for a year on the grounds she has a drinking problem brought on by bipolar disorder - or manic depression - and comes from a good family.
Driving her car and apparently drunk, she smashed head-on into a coach on Stubbs Road in Happy Valley at midnight on January 27. Police tried to have Bokhary take a breathalyzer test, but she refused and tried to leave. When a policeman stopped her, she slapped him in the face.
Bokhary was convicted of assaulting an officer in 2008 and ordered to perform 240 hours of community service. In 2001 she was fined HK$9,000 for criminal damage and assaulting an officer. Bokhary had pleaded guilty last month to assault, careless driving and refusing to take a breathalyzer test.
Putting Bokhary on probation - and fining her HK$8,000 and banning her from driving for a year on the other charges - Magistrate Anthony Yuen Wai-ming said the offenses would normally mean jail. Otherwise, he said, there would be a wrong message that courts were taking such crimes lightly. But he was being lenient because Bokhary suffers from a mental disorder, which he believed was the cause of her drinking problem and the assault.
She was sick rather than bad, Yuen said, adding: "She has a clear background and was born into a good family with caring parents. She also has an outstanding academic record." The probation order was made on the understanding that Bokhary will be treated for three months at the Betty Ford Center, a US facility that tackles drug and alcohol problems, and continues treatment when she returns to Hong Kong.
At an earlier hearing, a lawyer for Bokhary asked for leniency, citing the bipolar disorder and saying she was concussed in the crash.
While this case has drawn the attention of people in the legal and law enforcement fields, citizens and netizens are incensed. One netizen enumerated the many instances in which the court and the justice department have treated people with important family backgrounds leniently: "High Court judge Yuen Won-to concealed drugs but got off; the Queen's College committed sexual assault but got off; Sally Aw got off. It is your fault to be poor." There are now multiple Facebook groups condemning this court decision (see, for example, "Strongly demand the justice department intercede to impose heavy sense on Bokhary's niece!" with more than 7,000 members already).
Here are the television news reports. They are all in Cantonese and some of them do contain the original footage of Amina Mariam Bokhary slapping the policeman and screaming: "I don't care! I need to leave!" repeatedly.
Cable TV News
I was napping when some noises outside woke me up. It seemed to be some workers, so I tried to ignore it. Then I heard an old lady yelling in a panicky voice: "Oh, don't! It's finished, it's finished, no, no, ..."
I realized that something big was happening. I looked through the window and I saw a man about 180cm tall, wearing a yellow t-shirt, light-colored mid-riff pant and white sports shoes. He looked younger than 35 years old. He was holding two knives in his left hand.
According to the old lady, the killer seized the traffic policeman and stabbed him several times fatally. After being stabbed about 20 times, the traffic policeman pleaded for mercy. His hands were raised in supplication. But the killer only got more vicious.
In about 10 minutes or so, two border police vehicles arrived. The police came out but they did not try to subdue the killer. They just kept their distance and held the crowd back. Several more police vehicles came and more than a dozen policemen came out. But they did not do anything.
The killer got more brazen. He entered the supermarket and drank a beer. Then he drank another beer. Finally he brought out a whole crate of beer into the street. He began to throw the full beer bottles at the police vehicles. The windshields on three police vehicles were cracked. During the process, the spectators even applauded him! The killer removed the gas cap of one vehicle and tried unsuccessfully to set the vehicle on fire.
About 20 minutes later, police snipers were in place. But the law does not permit police snipers to fire at will. They can only do so when the killer refuses to obey police orders or holds a hostage. There was a stalemate.
Then came a middle-aged man on a white motorcycle. This was the elder brother of the killer. He went up and spoke to the killer. From a distance, I heard the brother asked: "What are you doing? You wanna be tough? I think you're going to be wasted." The killer said: "So what? They deserve to die. All cops deserve to die. I've killed one already. I should kill a few more. I'll kill anyone who comes up to me." The brother went up to the fallen traffic cop and felt for a pulse. Then he yelled at the police: "What are you standing around for? Call an ambulance. He's still got a pulse." When the killer heard that, he said angrily: "He ain't dead yet? He must die!"
The brother fled. Meanwhile a policeman went around a police vehicle and fired one shot at the killer. But this appears to be a dud. He fired three more shots. The first shot hit the killer in the stomach so he spun around. The next two shots hit him in the back. A few more plainclothes policemen came up with shovels and subdued the killer. The killer did not die and was taken away by ambulance. The traffic policeman was probably dead when I first reached the window to look.
About two hours later, I heard that the family relatives of the deceased traffic policemen came. There was loud crying. A young girl in her early teens cried: "Dad, dad ..."
The reason why the Dandong killer murdered the traffic policeman was that he went through a red light on a motorcycle and was chased by the traffic policeman. When they reached this location, they had a fight. The traffic policeman took action first by kicking the killer once and slapping him twice. This made the killer angry. He took one knife out from his motorcycle equipment box and grabbed another knife from a fruit stand. The tragedy then ensued.
There was no video, just photos. Here is Apple Daily's animated video. When you read the blogger's account above, what do you think is the key point? What has news value? What is your opinion? How would you present this story? Would you be surprised if you find out that Apple Daily's central point was the spectators applauding the killer?
(RedNet) The Most Awesome Driver In Xiangtan.
(Club.China.com) An overloaded truck going downhill on the Guizhou Expressway
On July 28, there was a heavy rain storm in Yongji county, Jilin province. A flood followed. The media reports focused on the more than 7,000 drums of chemical materials being washed down into the Songhua River. However, the most stunning video was one taken by an Internet user.
This video was posted onto the Internet on July 29. The video was taken in a residential neighborhood in which the water was rushing down the street at one storey high. In the first part of the video, a father and a son were seen grabbing onto a floating bag and being washed down. Someone tried unsuccessfully to pull them out of the water. Someone in the background was heard saying: "He is still a child ... Finished! Finished! Finished!"
Then the video showed a man coming down in the water successfully grabbing a stick that a resident stuck out for him. The man was able to climb inside the second floor through the window. Then someone yelled out: "There is another one behind." This was a woman. At first, she seemed to have grabbed the stick. The spectators clapped. But she did not hold on firmly and she was washed away.
Yesterday afternoon 46-year-old Wan Xiujiang stood by the window to re-enact how he was pulled out of the water. He was the man in the video.
It was 7:30am on July 28 when he and many residents living in the bungalows on the north side of the railroad track were awakened by calls of "The flood is coming!" There were 49 different families in living in these bungalows. Most of them were retired railroad workers.
The house door could not be opened even as the water level kept rising. So Wan Xiujiang, Wang Zhiying, Li Baofu and their wives got onto the roof. Each of them grabbed a wooden board to hold over their heads to stave off the pouring rain.
"I pulled the other two families out." Wan Xiujiang recalled. He and his wife Zhao Chunyan were together. "I pulled and pushed at the iron window. I broke the wood support. We got out. I had no idea where I got that strength from."
The water was coming from both sides. A huge wave knocked Zhao Chunyan off. She did not know how to swim, so she quickly vanished. Wan Xiujiang drank a few mouthfuls of water and was then carried towards the residential neighborhood known as Water Shore Famous Capital more than 200 meters away.
In at most one minute, Wang Xiujiang was carried through the entire resident compound all the way to Building 7 on the outskirt. Almost nobody lived there. One of the units contained the project engineering department which was responsible for post-sales quality services. Six people were inside: the manager Wang Hailong, two workers Wang Yuegang and Lu Xu, one accountant, one treasurer and one apartment unit owner.
Before Wan Xiujiang reached this point, the six had missed the chance of saving a father and son. Therefore they changed methods: Wang Yuegang went upstairs and threw a rope in the water. 42-year-old Wang Hailong and others thrust the yardstick for measuring building height out the window with the fire hose hanging off it.
When the group spotted Wan Xiujiang, Lu Xu yelled out aloud: "Swim towards here!" Wan Xiujiang heard him.
Although the measuring yardstick was bent by the strain of the effort, Wan Xiujiang was pulled inside the house. He fell down on the floor and spit out some black mud. Without this group to help him, he would have surely been carried right down the river and met the same fate as Liu Fenglan.
61-year-old retired factory worker Liu Fenglan was wearing a red-purple sweater. Her husband Wang Xiaoying gave it to her. It was raining outside and he wanted to keep her warm. Pretty soon they were swamped by a big wave and washed away separately.
Several seconds after Wan Xiujiang was rescued, Liu Fenglan appeared in the video. From the background someone yelled: "There is another one behind!" Once again the rescuers stuck out their yardstick. Liu Fenglan appeared to have caught it and the spectators applauded happily. But she did not have the strength to hold on and she was carried away in the water until she vanished from view. Someone in the background sighed: "It is so heart-breaking!"
It was a mere twenty seconds between the rescue of Wan Xiujiang and the disappearance of Liu Fenglan.
With the yardstick now broken, Wang Hailong and others knocked the window out and fastened the rope to a safety helmet. In the afternoon, they caught a man. Before they even pulled him out of the water, a police motor boat had arrived. They also saw a deceased female lying on a piece of wood being washed away.
All three men in that bungalow were rescued. But they had all lost their wives.
Sea Coast Famous Capital was completed in June this year. Very few families have moved in so far. Our reporter went there yesterday afternoon. The buildings had suffered extensive damages, with the watermark being more than 3 meters high. Several of the buildings have been condemned with the sign: "After examination by experts, this building cannot be used for now. All residents must evacuate immediately."
According to information, the father and son in the video were eventually rescued. A local news report said: "Wang Zhimin and his won were trapped on a tree for more than ten hours before being saved. He said: 'The house collapsed and we were carried away in the water. We grabbed a tree and climbed up. The People's Liberation Army saved us. It was very dangerous. We almost died.'"
"Zimo" is the Internet user ID for a <National Business Daily> reporter. On the afternoon of July 30, she was in the newspaper office and therefore witnessed the entire episode. She made a number of microblogs beginning at 16:30. At 18:16 that evening, <National Business Daily> began to post its own photos. The photos showed two young men waving their arms about in front of the glass entrance door. At 18:23 Bawang responded through its own microblog.
Here are the translations of those microblog posts:
@Zimo 16:30 The Bawang Company has come over to <National Business Daily> to cause trouble. The door has been locked. We have called the police.
@Zimo 16:35 We have already called the police.
@Zimo 16:36 Bawang Shampoo Company has laid siege to the Shanghai bureau of <National Business Daily>. More than 70 reporters and editors are stuck inside. We have called the police.
@Zimo 16:46 The police are here. <National Business Daily> has taken videos, photos and audios. The troublemakers should be taken away. I don't have photos yet, but I will upload photos and videos later on.
@Zimo 17:00 The troublemakers have been taken away from <National Business Daily> by the police.
@Zimo 17:37 Photos about Bawang Company's attack on <National Business Daily> will be posted later.
@Zimo 17:50 The troublemakers from the Bawang Group! (photo attached).
@Zimo 18:04 Upload the photo. No need to explain.
@Zimo 18:11 <National Business Daily> has issued a statement about the assault incident (URL attached).
@NBD 18:16 Before the "Police Alert Gate" incident (note: at <The Economic Observer>) has even calmed down, <National Business Daily> has run into "Siege Gate" by Bawang. At around 16:00, a man who claimed to be the Shanghai office manager of Bawang entered the Shanghai office of <National Business Daily> along with several other men. They used verbal and physical assault on a <National Business Daily> reporter. This may be related to the previous <National Business Daily> reporting on <The Bawang Shampoo storm> (URL attached).
@Bawang Shampoo 18:23 We were very shocked to read about this news on the Internet. We have immediately sent senior company managers to Shanghai to understand the situation. If this really did happen, we will deal with it seriously; all along, we greatly respect the right of the media to make objective reports. We will absolutely not allow this type of thing to happen. We thank everybody for their attention.
@NBD 19:14 (<National Business Daily> statement) The media have the right to make fair and objective reports about public matters in order to protect the public's right to know. Such are the rights and duties that media ought to have. Our newspaper strongly condemn provocative methods to threaten the personal safety, interfere and interrupt the normal order and operations of newspapers (URL attached).
@Bawang Shampoo 23:16 Please wait for the objective truth of the <National Business Daily> incident to emerge (we are still trying to understand the situation. What <National Business Daily> said is not the objective truth. We are beginning to understand the situation now. Please look at the facts fairly and objectively (URL attached).
1. Bawang Company marketing department worker Mr. Hong thought that <National Business Daily> had recently been seriously inaccurate in reporting on the company that he works for. He felt that those reports were seriously wrong with respect to the facts. So he thought on his own initiative that he ought to visit the newspaper to understand the situation. On this afternoon, he went there in the company of two friends.
2. Mr. Hong arrived at the front desk and asked to meet with the relevant newspaper leader Ms. Lei Ping. The front desk person asked him to wait in the reception room. The two other companions were to wait in the front lobby.
3. More than 10 minutes later, a Mr. Lin came out to the reception room. The other two persons waited in the front lobby. The two sides had a smooth exchange.
4. Ten minutes later, Mr. Hong heard people quarrelling outside. He saw <National Business Daily> people rushing into the reception room while hurling insults. Mr. Hong and Mr. Lin got out of the reception room. Mr. Hong told his two friends to sit down while Lin told the <National Business Daily> people to return to their business.
5. Hong and Lin returned to the reception room to chat.
6. It was getting chaotic outside. Hong went out and found out that his two friends were being kept outside the glass door. Furthermore, the <National Business Daily> people were taking photos. The two persons locked outside the glass door told the <National Business Daily> people not to take photos.
7. Hong and Lin returned to the reception room. Two to three minutes later, another group of people entered the reception room. They provoked Mr. Hong. Someone was yelling: "Come over here and hit me? Come over here and shove me?" Mr. Hong said, "I am having a good talk with Mr. Lin. Why is it necessary for you people to do this?" Then someone from <National Business Daily> yelled: "You are over here on our turf. You scram out of here." Mr. Hong asked him to "use cleaner language." Then there was some shoving and pushing. The <National Business Daily> people called the police. Both sides (Hong and his two companions; eight persons from <National Business Daily>) were taken down to the public security bureau.
8. The public security bureau took down statements. All eleven persons from both sides have now left the public security bureau.
9. The <National Business Daily> statement was revised three times. The first edition is as follows with illustrated photos. Please note these major points:
A. Hong entered <National Business Daily> after going through the front desk receptionist.
B. Nobody was blocking the door. <National Business Daily> closed the door themselves in order to take photos. Two persons were locked outside and one person was locked inside.
C. There were a lot of <National Business Daily> people taking part in this incident. The police took away 11 persons in total.
D. The photos were not about the direct clash.
E. Nobody got hurt during the process.
@Bawang Shampoo 23:25 We are not the media. We do not have information channels like <National Business Daily> does. We can only inform the public and the media from here about the true situation. If there are other developments, we will relay them truthfully.
@Zimo 23:30 <National Business Daily> assault video (URL attached)
(Agence France Presse)
Shanghai's National Business Daily said an editor and several journalists were attacked Friday by men claiming to work for a shampoo maker whose products have been alleged to contain toxic chemicals. The newspaper's spokeswoman Xu Yuanyuan said police detained a man claiming to be a sales manager for BaWang International and three others after the attack at the newspapers' office. Calls to police went unanswered when AFP tried to confirm the detentions. BaWang officials were also unavailable for comment.
The four men had demanded to see the newspaper's editor and the reporter who wrote about a government investigation into the company's shampoo, Xu said. The men began punching the glass doors in the offices reception area as the editor spoke to them and the situation escalated as journalists took photos of them, Xu said. A scuffle broke out involving several journalists. "Companies that act out of vengeance over media reports should be condemned," Xu said, adding that no one was seriously injured. The man, surnamed Hong, allegedly confirmed to police that he worked for BaWang but the three others remained unidentified, according to Xu.
Fifteen years ago, a blood transfusion decided the fate of Ji Qiaozhen and her son Ding Xiaoqiang. The tragedy occurred when Ding was three months old. A physical check-up at the hospital revealed that Ding had AIDS. Subsequently, the hospital admitted fault and paid 40,000 yuan to Ji Qiaozhen.
When Ding was three years old, his father left home without a trace. At the time, Ji Qiaozhen was also not feeling well. She believed that her son had infected her. When her in-laws found out, they refused to have anything to do with her.
From then on, Ji Qiaozhen's sole income was 60 yuan in aid from the Xinmi city government.
Ding Xiaoqiang's immune system was very poor. At age 11, he weighed only 35 jin. Every several days, Ji Qiaozhen had to take him to the hospital for for a protein injection that costs 180 yuan.
When her savings were exhausted, Ji Qiaozhen began to borrow money from people around her. But they were afraid of the two and would not lend them money. Out of anger, she said: "If you don't lend me money, I will prick you with a needle!" That was how Ji Qiaozhen succeeded in getting a "loan" for the first time.
In the spring of 2008, the economically needy Ji Qiaozhen wrote a letter to the head of the Xinmi city civil affairs bureau. She wanted to receive more aid. But she did not receive a reply. Ji Qiaozhen then visited the bureau in person and she got a very pleasing answer.
"The worker who received me at the Civil Affairs Bureau said that the government was really unable to provide more aid. However, I can go and obtain 'donations' from other people on my own." Ji Qiaozhen said.
That response was nothing less than a "sacred order" to Ji Qiaozhen. Previously she had moved it with Yao Xijian without telling him that she might have AIDS. Although the two were not officially married, they addressed each other as husband and wife. Ji told Yao that her son Ding Xiaoqiang has AIDS and they could obtain "donations" on the roads of Niudian and Xiazhuanghe. She wanted Yao to his Chery vehicle to carry them around to solicit donations.
Ding Xiaoqiang did not object to the idea of using his physical health to get money. He brought along his friend Bai Guangdong, also an HIV carrier. According to the police, Bai Guangdong was infected when he went to work in southern China.
These two AIDS patients, one unmarried couple and a red Chery formed a small "donations" collection team. Their main tool is their special status as AIDS patients.
In truth, the phenomenon of "stopping traffic for donations" began in Xinmi city around 2006.
At the time, the police received multiple reports that AIDS patients were extorting people. The local police called it "stopping traffic for donations."
Xinmi city is located in the middle of Henan province and about 40 kilometers away from the provincial capital Zhengzhou. It has rich deposits of coal, aluminum, limestone and silica. The trucks that haul away the minerals are usually driven by out-of-towners who have to meet strict deadlines. They are therefore the ideal targets for extortion.
Beginning in July 2009 at 10am each day, Ji Qiaozhen and company set up on the road near Jiangbo Village. They claimed to suffer from AIDS and needed money for treatment; they issued verbal threats; they stood in front of the vehicles to block progress; they hold bricks in their hands in menacing fashion; they demanded payments that vary between 20, 30 or 50 yuan each time. They worked until 5pm before they left.
Since many of the drivers live near Jiangbo Village, they were very bitter. So the security patrol organized villagers to use sticks to chase Ji Qiaozhen and company away. "But they came right back the next day. It was like as if they were working a regular 9-to-5 shift."
On December 21, 2009, Ji Qiaozhen and company intercepted the coal truck driver named Lu. The truck did not stop, so Yao and Ji chased him down in their Chery and forced him to stop. Then they broke the front window of the truck.
In the afternoon of January 25, 2010, Ji Qiaozhen and company attempted to stop the driver named Liu, who had been extorted many times before. Liu was irate and did not brake for them. "I wanted to run them over."
So Yao and Ji chased him down in their Chery. Yao got out of his car with a crowbar in hand. But Liu also took out his own crowbar and they began to fight. Two friends of Liu came along in their own trucks and got out to help Liu. In the melee, Yao was hit in the back by a crowbar and fell down on to the ground.
With two cars stopped in the middle of the road, traffic was stopped. Residents from nearby villages came out to watch.
After being struck a couple of times, Yao got down on the ground and screamed: "My back is broken! My back is broken!" The driver Liu summoned the police.
The police came and so did an ambulance. A villager told the doctor on the ambulance: "It's AIDS people trying to extort money." The ambulance turned around immediately and left.
Ji Qiaozhen and company were taken down to the police station. According to normal procedure, they were given warnings and released.
During the process, Yao demanded compensation from the driver Liu but got no response. According to the police, Yao's back problem was a chronic illness that had nothing to do with this incident.
But Yao and Ji decided to travel to Beijing and petition. They complained that "the Xinmi public security bureau was unfair in handling their case and also abusing AIDS patients."
"These types of unreasonable petitions give us plenty of headache. The police come under a lot of pressure."
The Xinmi police brought Ji and Yao back home. They debated over how to deal with the group. In the end, they decided to arrest them and charge them with extortion.
This is the first case for the Xinmi procuratorate involving criminals with AIDS. They studied the evidence and found that there was too little to charge Ji Qiaozhen with extortion. Instead she could only be charged with provocation.
Next came the problem of how to keep AIDS patients in detention. If AIDS patients are detained along others, there is the risk of infection. In all of China, there is only one prison in Wuhan for AIDS criminals. There are rarely other facilities that can keep prisoners in isolation and other necessary conditions. This is the reason why prisons and detention centers often don't take in AIDS patients.
After Ji Qiaozhen was arrested, the local center for disease control tested her and found her HIV-negative. Instead, she only had hepatitis. However, Ding Xiaoqiang and Bai Guangdong were both HIV-positive.
Since Ding Xiaoqiang was under 16 years old, he was not prosecuted. Since the local detention center could not accommodate an AIDS patient, Bai Guangdong posted bail.
The procuratorate was concerned whether Bai Guangdong would not appear for his trial. There are plenty of similar cases already. In Zhengzhou, an AIDS patients named Nan participated in 16 crimes (including stealing a van, air conditioner, electric bike and electrical cable) involving more than 200,000 yuan in ill-gotten gains. He was arrested first in May 2004, found to be HIV-positive, posted bail and did not show up for his trial. In July 2007, Nan was arrested again for committing theft. Once again he was bailed out. It was reported that while outside, Nan was involved in gambling, theft and even patronising prostitutes (thus becoming a source of AIDS).
On July 15, the <Democracy and Legal Times> reporter met with Ji Qiaozhen in the Xinmi city detention center. "The Civil Affairs Bureau leader told me that I could get 'donations.' I had no idea that I was breaking the law." She complained to the reporter and tried to defend her innocence. When the reporter brought up Ding Xiaoqiang, she began to cry aloud.
If Ji Qiaozhen were to be convicted and sentenced to prison, Ding Xiaoqiang might become a street urchin. Since he has AIDS, nobody will take him in.
The police and the prosecutors handling this case do not have an answer for this question.
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