Bare-faced robbery: thieves steal 6,000 hygiene masks in Japan

Bare-faced robbery: thieves steal 6,000 hygiene masks in Japan

Tokyo (AFP) – Thieves in Japan have made off with some 6,000 surgical masks from a hospital, with the country facing a mass shortage and a huge price hike online due to the coronavirus.Four boxes containing the face masks disappeared from a locked storage facility at the Japanese Red Cross hospital in the western port city of Kobe, a hospital official said on Tuesday.”We still have a large number of masks — enough to continue our daily operations at the hospital, but this is so deplorable,” the official told AFP.Police have launched an investigation as they suspect the thieves intend to resel… (more…)

Love boat: Valentine’s Day on a quarantine cruise

Love boat: Valentine’s Day on a quarantine cruise

Tokyo (AFP) – “Cupid’s avocado” for dinner, heart-shaped messages for the crew, but also painful separation: for those trapped on board the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, Friday is no ordinary Valentine’s Day.Wearing a red dress and a red hair tie, the ship’s entertainment manager Natalie posted a Valentine’s Day video on Twitter to try to keep spirits up.”I just wanted to check in with everybody and say that we are all hanging in there, doing fine and keeping together as a big family,” she said, admitting with a smile: “This hasn’t been my regular attire for the last week or so.”Pa… (more…)

Couples exchange vows high above Chiang Rai

Couples exchange vows high above Chiang Rai

Happy couples flocked to district offices across the country to register their marriages on Valentine’s Day, with many opting to exchange their vows in hot-air balloons floating above Chiang Rai.Twenty-five “Balloon Love’’ couples tied the knot in the sky above Singha Parking in Muang district of Chiang Rai.Among them were actor Warit Thipkomut and national team footballer Adisorn Promrak and their sweethearts.In Chon Buri, 138 returnees from China’s Wuhan city still in quarantine received red roses from the navy at Sattahip naval base.One of them posted a message on her Facebook thanking the … (more…)

How Oscar-winner ‘Parasite’ reveals gold spoon and dirt spoon class divide in South Korea

How Oscar-winner ‘Parasite’ reveals gold spoon and dirt spoon class divide in South Korea

The invisible, indelible boundary drawn by smell depicts the severe inequality in South Korea through two families in the Oscar-winning film “Parasite.” But the movie dives more into the country’s social problems, running deep and wide.The South Korean film won big Sunday at the 92nd Academy Awards, including becoming the first non-English language film to win best picture. Bong Joon-ho, who won best director and best original screenplay, became the first Korean filmmaker to win those prizes. Fans were jubilant on Twitter and Instagram.“Parasite” stunned the audience with an adrenaline-inducin… (more…)

One unreliable witness put two men behind bars for 25 years. Now they’re ‘finally, finally’ free.

One unreliable witness put two men behind bars for 25 years. Now they’re ‘finally, finally’ free.

Two men serving life sentences for a crime they say they didn’t commit stepped out a back door and into the cold behind New Jersey State Prison on Wednesday.“Finally, finally!” Kevin Baker shouted as he embraced his attorney.“Yes sir, yes sir!” Sean Washington replied. He wrapped his arms around his mother, who waited hours on a sidewalk outside the prison along with a contingent of supporters, not knowing when, exactly, they would be released.Baker and Washington won their freedom after an appellate court threw out their convictions in December and prosecutors decided not to retry them earlie… (more…)

The brothels of Daulatdia: Sex workers to get ‘honourable’ funeral

The brothels of Daulatdia: Sex workers to get ‘honourable’ funeral

Daulatdia (Bangladesh) (AFP) – Often treated as less than human in life, there has been little dignity in death for the sex workers of one of the world’s biggest brothels: their bodies frequently tossed into unmarked graves or dumped in the river.Until now.On Thursday, Hamida Begum became the first sex worker from Bangladesh bordello Daulatdia to receive a formal Islamic funeral, breaking a longstanding taboo in Muslim majority Bangladesh where prostitution is legal but regarded by many as immoral. Scores of women gathered at the graveside, weeping for the 65-year-old’s passing but also becaus… (more…)