Sexist cups draw ire
A popular tea shop chain has apologized for a range of cups and tea bags sporting sexist slogans, after they sparked widespread outrage on the Internet, the Shanghai Daily reported yesterday. Modern China Tea Shop, based in Hunan Province, was selling tea bags captioned with “the mouth says no, but the body says yes,” and “my dear, I want you.” One mug referred to women as a “big bargain,” saying that customers could pick up an unexpected deal by meeting beautiful women while they wait for their tea. Modern China apologized on Saturday, saying it took responsibility for offending women and would not mistake sexist jokes for creative ideas, the paper reported. The offending items are no longer on sale, the newspaper added.
Minister urges caution
Minister of Health Jens Spahn on Sunday urged caution in the face of rising COVID-19 infection numbers, just as schools across the country prepare to reopen. “The virus isn’t making it easy for us,” Spahn told broadcaster ARD. “We’re seeing that the numbers are climbing again. That’s annoying, and it brings back some uncertainty. That’s why caution, testing and vaccinating must continue to guide our path.” The country has been in a partial lockdown since November last year and had succeeded in bringing down the infection rate in the past few weeks. However, the numbers then began to plateau and even slightly increase in the past few days, a trend blamed on the rapid spread of the more contagious British variant of the virus.
Officer shot in standoff
An Arkansas police officer was hospitalized on Sunday after being shot during a confrontation at a McDonald’s restaurant with a man who was allegedly kidnapping a 14-year-old girl, authorities said. Two Lonoke, Arkansas, police officers confronted the driver of a sports utility vehicle (SUV) parked at the fast-food restaurant on Saturday night after the vehicle was connected to a North Carolina child abduction case. The driver, later identified as William Robert Ice, 38, began shooting at the officers as he exited the SUV. One officer was hit, while the other one returned gunfire as Ice entered the vehicle again and fled until the vehicle became disabled in a snowbank. The girl fled and was secured by a state trooper. Inside the SUV, a trooper found Ice fatally injured from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Forty homeless people in St Petersburg on Sunday received COVID-19 jabs under a charity initiative that has received the backing of local officials. “Here there are many people at risk. It is important for them to be vaccinated,” said Taysia Suvorova, of the Nochlezhka non-governmental organization that provides aid to the homeless in the country’s second city.
Captive passengers freed
Kidnappers have released 53 people they seized on a bus, local authorities said, while dozens of others taken from a school in a separate incident were still missing. A gang last week seized the people, including 20 women and nine children, who were traveling on a state-owned bus in Kundu village in Niger State. “I was delighted to receive the 53 ... bus passengers who were abducted by armed bandits a week ago,” Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
Some say that the third time’s a charm. Not so for SpaceX, whose unmanned rocket on Wednesday exploded on the ground after carrying out what had seemed to be a successful flight and landing — fresh on the heels of two fiery crashes. It was yet another flub involving a prototype of the Starship rocket, which SpaceX hopes one day to send to Mars. “A beautiful soft landing,” a SpaceX commentator said on a live broadcast of the test flight, although flames were coming out at the bottom and crews were trying to put them out. The rocket exploded a few minutes later,
LEGAL ORDEAL: The heavy caseload involving 47 defendants and the vagaries of a Beijing-imposed security law made it difficult for the court to rule on bail requests Dozens of Hong Kong democracy advocates charged with subversion yesterday returned to court to complete a marathon bail hearing that was adjourned overnight when four defendants were rushed to hospital after hours of legal wrangling. Police on Sunday arrested 47 of the territory’s best-known dissidents for “conspiracy to commit subversion” in the broadest use yet of a sweeping National Security Law that Beijing imposed on the territory last year. The defendants represent a broad cross-section of Hong Kong’s opposition, from veteran former pro-democracy lawmakers to academics, lawyers, social workers and youth advocates. Hundreds of supporters gathered outside a courthouse on Monday for the
The plane laden with vaccines had just rolled to a stop at Santiago’s airport in late January and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera was beaming. “Today is a day of joy, emotion and hope,” he said. The source of that hope: China — a country that Chile and dozens of other nations are depending on to help rescue them from the COVID-19 pandemic. China’s vaccine diplomacy campaign has been a surprising success: It has pledged about 500 million doses of its vaccine to more than 45 countries, according to a country-by-country tally by The Associated Press (AP). With just four of China’s many
Sarong-like cloths strung out on lines might seem innocuous, but long-held superstitions around women’s clothes appear to have stopped security forces in their tracks as they move to quell an uprising against a coup by the junta in Myanmar. The country has been in an uproar since the military ousted the civilian government and seized power on Feb. 1, triggering mass protests that the junta has sought to quash with increasingly lethal force. They have used tear gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets and sometimes live rounds against protesters, who are responding with imaginative tactics of their own. The latest involves hanging women’s undergarments