Baby project in Japan cries out to be heard
TOKYO • A group of 13 Japanese governors have joined forces to let babies cry if they want to - or at least create a society that is more tolerant of tearful tots.
The "We Love Babies Project" comes against the backdrop of Japan's slumping birth rate and shrinking population. The 13 men made the pledge on Thursday to support the campaign, which encourages restaurants, shops and individuals to display stickers that say "It's OK to cry", to support beleaguered parents of bawling babies.
Viet banker jailed for 30 years, fined $940m
HANOI • A 71-year-old Vietnamese banker has been jailed for 30 years and fined US$700 million (S$940 million) for embezzlement and wrongdoing, reports said yesterday. Hua Thi Phan, a former senior adviser to the board of TRUSTBank, caused a total of US$700 million in losses for the bank. Phan pocketed US$278 million of that by selling property to the bank at an inflated price.
Durians in space: Thais seek zero-gravity tests
BANGKOK • Thailand plans to shoot durians into orbit to test their durability in a project that could see the fruit consumed in zero-gravity conditions. Lift-off is scheduled for July, when packages of durian will be sealed, and rocketed into space for five minutes.