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Kim Jong Un May Be Suffering From Cheese Induced Gout

Kim Jong Cheese

Kim Jong Un’s mysterious month long absence from the public eye has led to speculation that the North Korean leader’s weakness for cheese has caused a bad case of gout.

The Supreme Leader’s health problems are so severe that even the North Korean media, which typically portrays the isolated nation’s leader as indestructible, has confirmed Kim is “suffering discomfort.”

The admission of “discomfort”, along with a video from July showing the increasingly overweight 31-year-old walking with a slight limp, have fueled the rumour mill.

The Chosun Ilbo, South Korea’s largest newspaper, reported that Kim had fractured both of his ankles and had surgery in Pyongyang in the middle of September to treat them.

“I heard that Kim Jong Un injured his right ankle in June after pushing ahead with on-site visits and ended up fracturing both ankles because he left the injury unattended,” the source was quoted as saying.

Well, that makes sense. Whenever you injure one ankle and leave it unattended, the other one will break itself in a gesture of solidarity. But even with two broken ankles, the Supreme Leader trudged on.

“Despite some discomfort, our Marshal continues to come out and lead the people,” said the narrator of a documentary called “Improving the Lives of the People,” showing footage of Kim limping through the Taedonggang Tile Factory last month.

“His whole body is drenched in sweat, but he does not stop working hard, instead showing concern for the health of the other workers.”

Other non-propaganda commenters have guessed that Kim has gout, which runs in the family, as well as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol partially brought on by an excessive cheese habit. The North Korean dictator is known to send representatives around the world in search of high-quality cheese after acquiring a taste for it while studying in Switzerland. In fact, some rumours have gone so far as to suggest that Kim got so fat from eating cheese that his ankles simply gave out.

Meanwhile, the rest of the impoverished country continues to starve.

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Thai Prime Minister: Wearing a Bikini is Unsafe

Thailand bikinis

According to Thailand’s new military ruler, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, wearing a bikini in Thailand will get you killed… unless you’re ugly – then you’re in the clear.

In the wake of the brutal murders of two British tourists, PM Prayuth Chan-ocha warned “beautiful” Western visitors that wearing a bikini in Thailand may attract unwanted attention… from murderers.

“Tourists think that Thailand is beautiful, safe and that they can do anything they want here. That they can put on their bikinis and go anywhere they want. I ask, can you get away with wearing bikinis in Thailand? Unless you are not beautiful?” Prayuth said in a televised speech.

The PM’s comments were made following the death of two British tourists, David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23. The duo were found dead after attending a beach party on the island of Koh Tao last Monday. Apparently both were wearing bikinis??

This is not the first time Prayuth Chan-ocha has suggested that the victims were to blame for their demise. On Tuesday the army general said that the “behaviour” of Witheridge and Miller should also be investigated.

“We have to look into the behaviour of the other party too because this kind of incident should not happen to anybody and it has affected our image,” he told reporters.

The Prime Minister has since apologized for his bikini remarks, telling a press conference on Thursday:

“I apologize that I have spoken too harshly…I didn’t mean to criticize or look down on anyone. Today I can guarantee that Thailand is still safe … I wanted to warn [the tourists] to be careful.”

So if you’re a female tourist headed to Thailand, leave the bikini at home… or be really ugly. Preferably both. Although, this advice is coming from the same Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha who thinks his enemies are using black magic against him, so maybe take it with a grain of salt…

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China Creates Cellphone Lane for “Zombie Pedestrians”

Cellphone lane

While cities like Toronto are struggling to get a few bike lanes, city authorities in Chongqing, China, have introduced a cellphone lane for pedestrians who use their phones while walking.

Local officials in the city of Chongqing were sick and tired of pedestrians distracted by their phones and constantly bumping into someone or something. Since moving as far away from China as possible wasn’t a viable option, the city divided a sidewalk on one of its busiest streets into two lanes – one for cellphone users and the other for the cellphone-less.

There are white lines painted on the pavement, which clearly distinguish the lanes for cellphone users and those wanting to walk at a quicker/normal pace. How pedestrians so distracted by their phones that they are constantly bumping into things will be able to stay within the white lines or even notice the existence of the lane in the first place is still undetermined.

The 100-foot stretch of sidewalk, located in a popular tourist spot in the southwest Chinese city, is also accompanied by warning signs to remind pedestrians that “it is best not to play with your phone while walking”.

“There are lots of elderly people and children in our street, and walking with your cellphone may cause unnecessary collisions here,” said Nong Cheng, a marketing official with Meixin Group, which manages the area in the city’s entertainment zone.

It seems that plan may have backfired though. The cellphone friendly sidewalk has now become something of a tourist attraction in Chongqing, with tourists stopping to take hundreds of photos of the new idea – on their cellphones of course.

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Death By Crocodile… And Other News

Death by Crocodile

Instead of popping some pills or fastening a noose the good old fashioned way, a Thai woman has come up with a new method of suicide: jumping into a crocodile pit.

A 65-year-old woman from Bangkok killed herself by jumping into a crocodile pit at a reptile farm near the capital. Wanpen Inyai, who appeared depressed prior to the incident, took off her shoes and jumped right into the 3m deep pond that contained hundreds of adult crocodiles. Staff tried to use long sticks to stop the crocodiles from attacking her, but those crocodiles were mighty hungry. The reptile farm owner said the farm, which has, like most Thai tourist attractions, extremely lax safety rules, had already installed additional fences and other security measures along the walkways. The crocodile will not be charged. BBC News

Cab OdorPassing their driving test (or getting held up at gunpoint) is no longer cab drivers’ biggest worry – now, they must also pass a smell test. Officials at San Diego International Airport are using body odor as a criteria for judging taxi drivers—and the cabbies aren’t happy, complaining it stinks of prejudice and discrimination. Body odor is now among 52 criteria that officials at San Diego International Airport use to judge taxi drivers, along with the usual proof of insurance, functioning windshield wipers, adequate tire treads, good brakes, etc. Anyone who flunks the smell test is told to go home and change before picking up another customer. Sounds good to me, but not to Drivers with United Taxi Workers of San Diego who say the smell test perpetuates a stereotype that predominantly foreign-born taxi drivers smell bad. Body odor is body odor no matter where you’re from, but whatever, I’ve got an Uber account. Huffington Post

Ebola OutbreakThe Ebola virus has continued to terrorize West Africa, killing 2,461 so far and threatening the region’s economic growth. In fact, the Ebola crisis has gotten so out of hand that the U.S. announced it will step up efforts to combat the outbreak. On Tuesday, President Obama announced a plan to send 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the region with the intention of building 17 new health-care facilities with 100 beds each and training as many as 500 health-care workers a week. Others are doing a little less to reign in the highly contagious virus. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has fired 10 government officials who have been “out of the country without an excuse” amid the national crisis. “These government officials showed insensitivity to our national tragedy and disregard for authority,” said a statement from the president’s office. The ten senior officials were given a one-week ultimatum back in August to return to Liberia or they would be fired immediately. Turns out unemployment was more appealing than the chance of catching a viral hemorrhagic fever. Bloomberg

alan-henningAl Qaeda is turning into one big softie. The terrorist organization responsible for the 9/11 attacks appealed to IS (the group formerly known as ISIS) to release the British hostage Alan Henning because it believed he was an innocent aid worker who was genuinely trying to help suffering Muslims. Al Qaeda told IS its capture of the British aid volunteer, who had traveled four thousand miles to deliver vital medical equipment to Syrian refugees, was simply unacceptable. In the Islamic State’s latest film showcasing the brutal beheading of aid worker David Haines, the IS militant warned Henning would be next. The question is, will IS listen to reason? No. When even al Qaeda makes you look bad, you knw you’re a horrible organization. Independent 

Auschwitz93-year-old Oskar Groening has been charged with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder for serving as an SS guard at the Nazis’ Auschwitz death camp. Groening is accused of helping operate the death camp in occupied Poland between May and June 1944. The ex-nazi was responsible for taking the possessions of those imprisoned at Auschwitz. “He helped the Nazi regime benefit economically, and supported the systematic killings,” state prosecutors in Hanover, Germany, said. Groening has spoken openly about his experiences at the Nazi death camp but has said while he witnessed horrific atrocities, he didn’t commit any crimes himself. In 2005, he told Der Spiegel he recalled one incident on “ramp duty” when he heard a baby crying. “I saw another SS soldier grab the baby by the legs. He smashed the baby’s head against the iron side of a truck until it was silent.” Well, that will give the 93-year-old something to think about during his life sentence – which will probably only last a couple months. CNN

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Japan Stocks Up On Toilet Paper (Just In Case)

Japan Toilet Paper

The Japanese government has launched a new campaign to make sure civilians stockpile a critical emergency item: toilet paper. Translation: Prepare for the shit. Before it hits the fan.

The government and paper companies kicked off a “Let’s stockpile toilet paper!” campaign to mark Disaster Prevention Day. Apparently a lack of TP during a national emergency is a legitimate concern in Japan. The campaign warns of a possible toilet paper crisis because nearly half of the TP supply comes from one of Japan’s most earthquake-prone areas and it’s one of the first items to fly off the shelves during an emergency.

Officials said people immediately think of food and water as emergency supplies, but easily forget toilet paper, and get desperate when it’s too late.

“After running out of toilet paper, people start using tissue, and that could clog up precious workable toilets,” said Toshiyuki Hashimoto, an industry ministry official in charge of paper products.

“Along with food, toilet paper was among the first items that disappeared from store shelves during the disaster, even outside disaster-hit areas,” he continued.

So to avoid panic later, start stockpiling toilet paper now! You don’t want to be without a hefty roll of TP when an earthquake causes you to crap your pants. As the campaign posters say, “Be prepared and no regrets!”

“Toilet paper is an indispensable part of daily life,” Satoshi Kurosaki, chairman of the Japan Household Paper Industry Association, said. “And yet 41 percent of the supply comes from the extremely high-risk zone. So we should be prepared.”

“A family of four should be able to survive for a month on a six-roll pack, priced at 460 yen ($4.40) and with a five-year expiration date,” Kurosaki said.

Wait, toilet paper has an expiration date…? And a family of 4 can survive on a pack of 6 rolls for a month…? What are they eating over there???

Unfortunately for some Japanese civilians, having an adequate TP stockpile to wipe their ass is the least of their earthquake problems. Four men employed to clean up the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant are suing Tokyo Electric Power and subcontractors for 65 million yen in unpaid hazard money. The Fukushima Daiichi plant, which was damaged in a March 2011 earthquake, resulted in reactor meltdowns and a contamination of the area. The men tasked with removing contaminated debris and patrolling the area say they have not been properly compensated for the dangers in their work and are worried about long term health problems. And that’s something a month’s supply of toilet paper can’t just wipe away.

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Japanese Schoolgirl Decapitates Classmate

Japanese Schoolgirl

Teenage schoolgirls? Gruesome decapitation? It’s a Japanese horror movie come to life!

A 16-year-old Japanese girl was arrested on suspicion of murdering a classmate by hitting her repeatedly, strangling her, and then dismembering her body.

The teen reportedly confessed to killing and decapitating her fellow classmate and leaving the mangled body in a bed in her apartment where she lived alone. Apparently she didn’t pass Hiding Evidence 101. But she did pass Creepy Motives with flying colors. The teen reportedly told investigators she killed her classmate because she “wanted to dissect” someone.

“I wanted to kill someone. I bought tools by myself,” the girl was quoted telling the police.

The accused has admitted she strangled the victim before severing her head and left hand, “using tools … and something like a cord”, a police investigator said.

“The victim was found decapitated, with her left wrist chopped off,” the investigator added. Her belly was also cut open.

The two girls attended the same high school in Sasebo, a city that hasn’t seen a schoolgirl crime this violent since a primary school girl stabbed her classmate to death in 2004.

Violent crime is relatively rare in Japan, but when it rains, it pours.

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North Korea Not Pleased with Kim Jong Un Parody Dance

Kim Jong Angry Parody Dance

In between eating expired meat and worrying about catching the bubonic plague, the Chinese have come up with a parody video featuring a fake Kim Jong Un dancing and fighting his way through a series of absurd situations.

The parody video shows Kim Jong Un being kicked to the ground by President Obama after pirouetting through a ballet studio, dancing with Russian President Vladimir Putin, doing “the Carleton”, and acting as a dance-loving member of the grounds crew at a baseball game.

The video, which first appeared on the Chinese video-sharing site Tencent, quickly became popular in China – but not so much in North Korea.

According to the Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, officials in Pyongyang are reportedly furious about the 3 and a half minute video because it “seriously compromises Kim’s dignity and authority.” I think his haircut alone is enough to compromise his dignity, but whatever.

The newspaper goes on to say that after North Korea asked China to stop the video from spreading, “Beijng was unable to oblige.” Unable or unwilling?

If mocking a dancing Kim Jong Un is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

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Taiwan Plane Tumbles in Typhoon

Taiwan Plane Crash

A passenger plane trying to land at a Taiwan airport in stormy, Typhoon-like weather crashed and killed 47 people.

2014: not a good year for aviation.

Flying during the tail end of Typhoon Matmo, pilots on a TransAsia Airways turboprop plane made a second attempt to land but instead the plane crashed and caught fire in the Penghu Islands. The failed emergency landing left 47 people dead, 11 injured, and multiple buildings ablaze.

“It was thunderstorm conditions during the crash,” said Hsi Wen-guang, Penghu County Government Fire Bureau spokesman.

“From the crash site we sent 11 people to hospital with injuries. A few empty apartment buildings adjacent to the runway caught fire, but no-one was inside at the time and the fire was extinguished.”

The flight was from Taipei, the capital, to the island of Penghu, which is halfway to the Chinese mainland. Although Typhoon Matmo had caused many flights to be cancelled, by the time the TransAsia flight was scheduled to take off, the typhoon warning had been lifted – a little prematurely in hindsight.

So far, 2014 is not shaping up to be a banner year in terms of air travel. With Wednesday’s crash in Taiwan and the two Malaysia Airlines flights, the total death toll for 2014 is now 606 (compared with 489 in 2013 and 439 in 2012).

Of course, MH370 could be just flying around somewhere still. Or all the passengers could be living on the moon…

Missing Plane on Moon

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China: Meat Scares and the Bubonic Plague

China Meat Scare

Looks like smog isn’t the only health-hazard the Chinese have to watch out for…

A Shanghai meat supplier is being investigated for selling expired beef and chicken to fast-food joints – and to make matters even worse, the bubonic plague is back.

Chinese branches of McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, and even Starbucks (noooo!) have stopped using meat from a supplier in Shanghai following allegations it sold them out of date meat. A Chinese broadcaster has accused meat supplier Husi Food Co. of repackaging expired beef and chicken with new dates.

The Shanghai Municipal Food and Drug Administration said it had “decided to investigate claims of the alleged use of expired raw food material production and the processing of it in food”.

China’s investigation of Husi Food Co. prompted the FDA to seal off the company’s factories for further inspection.

But expired re-processed meat is the least of concerns for the 30,000 residents of Yumen, China who are not allowed to leave the city after a man died of the bubonic plague last week. A 38-year-old contracted the diseased after coming in contact with a dead marmot and feeding it to his dog. He developed a fever and died shortly after and now a huge chunk of the city has been sealed off from the rest of the country. Plus, 151 people have been quarantined after coming into direct contact with the man who contracted the disease.

The plague, which killed tens of millions of people throughout Europe during the 14th century, affects about 1,000 to 3,000 people every year, but bubonic plague outbreaks are rare in China. Unless of course you find a dead marmot and decide to chop it up and feed it to your dog…

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Japanese Artist Jailed for Vagina Kayak

Vagina Kayak

A Japanese artist who modeled a kayak after her vagina is “outraged” by her arrest and has vowed to fight the obscenity charges against her.

Megumi Igarashi, 42, was arrested last Saturday for sending data that could be used to create 3D models of her vagina. The Tokyo-based artist had built a yellow kayak with a top shaped like her vagina after raising about $10,000 through crowdfunding. Igarashi then sent 3D printer data of her scanned vagina – the digital basis for her kayak project – as a thank you to a number of donors. Thanks for the money – now here’s my vagina!

But before Igarashi, who also goes by the moniker Rokudenashiko, which means “no-good girl” in Japanese, could get to work on her next vagina boat, she was arrested for distributing indecent material.

The vagina “has been such a taboo in Japanese society”, Igarashi wrote on her website. “It’s been overly hidden although it’s just a part of a woman’s body.”

“I cannot agree with the police’s decision to label the data as obscene,” she later said. “To me, my vagina is like my arms and legs. It’s nothing obscene.”

But according to Japan’s obscenity laws, which ban the depiction of genitalia and blur them out in broadcast media and images, 3D vaginas are the definition of obscene.

Maybe so, but if they allow little girl urine flavoured ice cream, can vagina kayaks really be that bad?

Japan Ice Cream

At least they didn’t try go with the chocolate flavour…

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