World in brief: Sept. 14, 2010

Chinese UN diplomat goes on drunken rant about Americans

China’s top-ranking UN diplomat, Sha Zukang, apparently had a little too much to drink during a meal at a UN retreat in Austria last week, and proceeded to rant about his dislike for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the entire American race. According to the Telegraph, the 62-year-old allegedly went on for about 15 minutes before they were able to coax him away from the microphone. Sha kicked things off by saying that he never liked Ki-moon, before moving onto American UN diplomat Bob Orr with “I don’t really like him. He’s an American, and I really don’t like Americans.” When he sobered up the next morning Sha said sorry to the former, but there is no word on whether Mr. Orr got the same apologetic treatment.

230,000 elderly Japanese fall off the government radar

A survey released last week revealed that over 230,000 Japanese people still listed in the country’s government records cannot be located and are likely dead. All family registration records in Japan were reviewed after the Justice Ministry found nearly 900 people still listed who would be at least 150 years old, and almost 80,000 who would be 120. Based on these figures, officials have admitted that faulty bookkeeping is behind the statistical mistake and that since they cannot confirm whether many of these elderly people have passed away, their whereabouts will simply be listed as unknown. To find those who may be still alive, we suggest they check the mall and the park.

Brokes and smokes: mine melodramatics

Miners in Spain have chosen an odd form of self-punishment in order to protest low wages and support for the country’s coal mining industry, according to the BBC. Fifty mine workers have been staging a “sit-in” 500 meters below ground since Sept. 2, consequently preventing their employers from continuing to work, as a protest against unpaid wages and the government’s lack of investment into the coal industry while it pushes funding at renewable energy projects. As these 50 Spaniards voluntarily stay underground, across the Atlantic, 33 Chilean miners would do anything to get themselves above ground after being trapped 700 metres below for over a month. At least now, however, they’ll be able to relax with a nice smoke. After initially refusing to send down cigarettes, improvements to the ventilation system have prompted the country’s health officials to approve the transfer of two packs a day down to the workers. Unfortunately for them, officials are still saying no to alcohol.

“I do, your hono… I mean Father.’

When Rodney King was infamously beaten by L.A. police in 1991, he probably didn’t expect anything good to come of it. But not only did he win a cool $3.8M in a suit against the city of Los Angeles, now one of the jurors who helped award him that sum of money will soon become his wife, reported Radar Online. After meeting for a pizza following the case, King and juror Cynthia Kelly apparently “got along” quite well. Having been in a relationship for a while and then splitting up, the duo reunited four months ago and King decided to put a ring on it.


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