Philobiblon: Surprising honesty from China

Monday, October 17, 2005

Surprising honesty from China

The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the Chinese space programme, which has just delivered two astronauts safely back to earth:

The newspaper Beijing News said Nie and Fei would undergo 40 minutes of medical check-ups after landing. "After several days of flying in space, the astronauts may look wan and sallow, so medical staff will put make-up on them to make them look ruddy," the newspaper said.

On a serious note, statistics in a piece on an American soup kitchen from the Guardian:
According to the US census bureau, poverty has been on the rise for the past four years, despite a robust economy. The number of people living in poverty increased last year to 12.7% of the population, some 37m people, the highest percentage in the developed world. Since Mr Bush took office an additional 5.4m have slipped below the poverty line. In 1970, the rate was 11.1%. Almost 8% of white people are classified as below the poverty line and almost 25% of African Americans.

The Guardian has also found that British American Tobacco has a secret factory in North Korea. Not that it really makes the involvement of Ken Clarke, former health secretary and Tory leadership candidate, any worse than it was already.


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