Monthly Archive for April, 2007

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2375

The driver of a sport utility vehicle crammed with suspected illegal immigrants was fondling a female when he lost control and crashed, killing eight men.

2374

The traditional penalty for a yakuza who has erred against his gang is brutal and permanent. It is the practise of “yubitsume” the little finger is chopped off at the knuckle to demonstrate penitence.

2373

Gangsters are known for the spectacular tattoos that sometimes cover most of their bodies. Most Japanese public pools and gyms as a result exclude anyone with a tattoo of any kind.

2372

The yakuza are trying toning down their gaudy image – the distinctive short hair-styles, the elaborate tattoos, and most famously, the chopped-off little finger. Now they want the more sober style.

2371

Four million Americans believe they have been abducted by extraterrestrials. Many of them share personality traits and sleep disorders. Most of them have pre-existing new-age beliefs – they are into bio-energetic therapies, past lives, astral projection, tarot cards.

2370

News about the emperor suffering from prostate cancer mark a break with tradition for the highly secretive imperial household. The previous emperor died in 1989 before it was revealed that he too had been suffering from cancer. The new emperor is considered to have more liberal and forward-thinking views than his father.

2369

The richest woman of Hong Kong, Nina Wang, first became a household name when her businessman husband Teddy was kidnapped 15 years ago. He was never seen again and nine years later he was declared dead. She inherited his fortune.

2368

The US has banned exports of iPods, fine wines and fast cars to North Korea as part of the punishment for the country”s nuclear bomb test last year. (The sanctions are said to be targeted at North Korea”s elite, who reportedly enjoy luxuries despite the country”s desperate poverty.)

2367

Diplomatic postings are highly sought-after jobs in North Korea, and are only given to the most loyal supporters of the regime. However, once overseas, diplomats” exposure to foreign thinking brings them under official suspicion in secretive North Korea.

2366

A female Thai prisoner boosts her chances of freedom by winning the world light flyweight boxing title.