January 15, 2004

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What the hell is going on in the world? Today's SCMP provides a plethora of goodies to make you laugh and cry. And that's just the writing.

Firstly there's the disease of the week. SARS is so last year. Now it's bird flu, and the SCMP intones The spectre of a pandemic is as real as ever, experts said yesterday as Asia tried to put a stop to rapidly spreading bird flu that has led to chicken slaughters in three countries and is feared to have killed at least 12 people in Vietnam. After several "race against time" style cliches, we get to the real solution: City University microbiologist Desmond O'Toole said what was happening to bird flu was a result of farming practices in Asia in which ducks, chickens and pigs are raised together. "The sale of live birds must also be stopped," he added. Translation: hygiene helps prevent disease. Remarkable, isn't it?

There's a few articles on the inevitablility of nothing happening to advance democracy in HK until 2099. The Glorious Motherland is sending a couple of experts to quash once and for all any hopes: Two mainland experts on the Basic Law will arrive in Hong Kong today, a day before they are due to discuss constitutional reform at a forum that will be attended by hundreds of lawyers, academics and politicians.
It is understood that Xiao Weiyun and Xia Yong - who with Xu Chongde and Wu Jianfan are known as the "four guardians" of the Basic Law - will also meet other political figures to discuss the reforms, before leaving Hong Kong on Tuesday.
Sure that reads like a press release by the CCP, but I'll bet the "guardians" aren't here to tell us what a good idea democracy is.

Then the good stuff:

Female followers of the Green Dragon Temple cult, who were allegedly lured into prostitution, were promised they would earn a place in heaven if they could each raise $500,000, it emerged yesterday.
The women had to work 12 hours a day and provide sex for at least 10 men every day in rooms in Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei and Mongkok, according to police.

One investigator said the women, who were housed in a hostel, had to donate all their earnings to the cult for charity so they could go to heaven and become goddesses when the world ended.

That's one for the gullible. But here's another.
A student played detective to tail a "rather important" target in an alleged joint operation between Hong Kong and Macau police only to be snared in a gambling scam, a court heard yesterday. Tung Kin-yip, 21, said he "absolutely" believed that a man who called himself "Wong sir" was an intelligence officer with the Hong Kong police and had recruited him for a secret mission last April.
Tip to self: don't engage in secret undercover police missions.

But the most important news of all is left for the inner pages:

Plans for the redevelopment of Ocean Park have been slowed until after the incoming chief executive has settled in, chairman Allan Zeman said...The 26-year-old park will be redeveloped once Disneyland opens - expected to be late 2005 or early 2006 - but will not close once construction starts, Zeman said.
Good news at last. Only 2 more years and Ocean Park will join the modern era. I bet those men in the panda suits will be relieved.

posted by Simon on 01.15.04 at 10:47 AM in the


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The State I Am In
Excerpt: I thought writing this entry would be enough to purge my obsession with silly band names, but it wasn't. A few more: School of Quietude (inspired by Ron Silliman's blog), Francois and the Brown Berets (inspired by Toothpaste for Dinner,...
Weblog: Metastasis
Tracked: January 15, 2004 08:51 PM


Misplaced blockquote alert!

Interesting stuff, by the way.

posted by: Nicholas Liu on 01.15.04 at 11:14 AM [permalink]

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