Asian news in brief

HONG KONG: A court in Beijing is playing Richard Clayderman songs as background music to sooth the tempers of litigants during trials, a news report said yesterday.  

Chaoyang District Court decided to use the music of the 49-year-old French pianist, famous for his easy listening style, to defuse tensions in trials, said the South China Morning Post.  

The court paid 200 yuan (RM91.80) to China's copyright association to allow it to play Clayderman's songs inside public courtrooms, the newspaper said. – dpa 


HANOI: Two European journalists and their American translator arrested on June 4 in Laos while reporting on the Hmong minority were sentenced yesterday to 15 years in prison, a diplomatic source said. 

Belgian freelance journalist Thierry Falise, 46, French cameraman and photographer Vincent Reynaud, 38, and Naw Karl Mua, an American translator of Hmong origin, were held along with four Laotians in the Xieng Khuang province. – AFP 



TOKYO: Publishers said yesterday they will launch a campaign this week to stop digital shoplifters – people who visit bookstores to photograph magazine pages with their cellphones rather than make a purchase. 

Digital shoplifting is becoming a big problem as cell phones with cameras are spreading fast and improving greatly in quality, said Kenji Takahashi, a Japan Magazine Publishers Association official. – AFP 


BEIJING: China's version of “Bigfoot” has been spotted again, and this time it may have left a urine sample. 

Six people, one a radio reporter, said they saw the “mythical ape-like animal” in central China's Shennongjia Nature Reserve, the Xinhua News Agency said yesterday.  

Xinhua called it “Bigfoot,” after the legendary North American ape-man. – AP 


WAGAH (India): Pakistan's high commissioner designate Aziz Ahmed Khan crossed into India yesterday, taking the first step towards normalising ties between the two archrivals. 

Khan and his wife drove to Indian soil mid-morning at Wagah in the northern state of Punjab, the only land crossing between the countries. – AFP 

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