Thursday, September 06, 2007

Cruel even by Chinese Standards

Leader who blew up mistress is executed. By Jane Macartney, The Times


Mr Duan was a former chairman of the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress, or parliament, of Jinan, the capital of eastern Shandong province. He had admitted asking his nephew, Chen Zhi, a Jinan policeman, to help him to arrange a road accident to eliminate the young woman, Liu Haiping.


He took the divorced woman — about 30 years his junior — as his mistress in 2000 and gave her money to buy two cars and four apartments, one in a smart district of Jinan that she bought in the name of her mother.

The rising party cadre also arranged a job for her in the Jinan Financial Bureau and then the city Bureau of Land and Resources. Her two sisters also obtained higher-paying jobs.

But as the years passed, Miss Liu’s demands for money and marriage began to grate with her benefactor. He tried to split up with her.

Some reports said that she obtained evidence linking him to illegal income and may have been blackmailing him. His conviction said that he had taken bribes and asked for as much as 1.69 million yuan (£120,000), and that he had been unable to explain another 1.3 million in assets — well beyond his income level.

Mr Duan told police he had not intended to kill his mistress, but only to arrange an accident so that she would “lose her ability to think”.


The article has also a "TOP 5" of recent corruption cases.

Monday, September 03, 2007

My New Hobby: FedEx Tracking

Ah, international logistics. What fun. Being the cold-hearted neoliberal capitalist that I am, I recently discovered a new free time activity: FedEx Tracking! It looks like this:

Almaty! Just imagine! So, I try to generate as much tracking numbers as possible in order to insert the numbers and track the shipments! It's a little bit expensive, though :-/

To my horror, I learned today that FedEx does not deliver within Germany. Argh! In my panic, I chose DHL instead. After only five minutes in the queue, I was told that I have to buy an envelope first! But not at the DHL counter - noooo! Another 20 minutes spent in line at the normal post office counter. And back to the queue at the DHL counter. I'll try TNT next time. Then again, as I just checked the TNT web site for a little test, the system told me that "destination and zip code don't match!" So, you wanna tell me that I don't know my own zip code, or what? That's certainly not a good start...

Lessons learned today:

1.) FedEx does not do domestic Germany.

2.) The term "free-of-charge envelope" is totally unknown to DHL.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Tummy Button

Is there really a need for a colloquial expression for navel? Well, that seems to be the case.