Chinese park installs facial recognition software to stop toilet paper thieves

It seems like the pettiest of powder room problems, but apparently toilet paper theft has gotten so bad at the Temple of Heaven Park in Beijing, authorities have installed facial recognition software in the stalls.

In order to get a few sheets, visitors now need to make eye contact with a computer before the dispenser spits out a serving of TP. The facial recognition program keeps the dispenser from offering another round to the same person; if you need more, you reportedly need to sit tight — literally — for nine whole minutes.
Visitors say the biggest targets of this new crackdown are older people who stuff their bags and pockets full of toilet paper to take back home.
“Many old people come here for free toilet paper. They were probably born in 1940s or 1950s,” said Wu Qingqi, a visitor to the park. “During that time, people were very poor. And they somehow still are in fear of being poor. Other migrant workers come here too.”
The people CNN spoke to said that while the process can be inconvenient, it’s a necessary evil.
“I think it’s necessary. There are many people wasting public resources,” Wu said.
“They should have done this decades ago,” said Zhang Shaomin, who is retired and visits the park frequently.
The whole idea of having to introduce yourself to a machine before getting toilet paper may seem very “1984,” but China has a different relationship with public bathrooms and personal freedoms than say, the United States. In some areas, Wu said, people will walk to a public bathroom rather than use their own.
Many public restrooms in China do not provide toilet paper, and visitors are expected to bring their own. But due to the growing number of both domestic and international tourists, the country is in the process of revamping and adding thousands of public toilets that are more in line with foreign travelers’ expectations.
While privacy may be an issue, it takes a backseat for many to eliminating the problem of paper-nappers.
“You can do nothing about it even though it’s related to personal privacy,” said Liu Mei, a housewife visiting the park. “People come here for free toilet paper, they have already lost their self dignity. Do you think they would understand what personal privacy is?”

Court orders remand of 2 Chinese men charged with importation of fake tyres

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday ordered the remand in prison of two Chinese, Tao Shen and Jing Yau, charged with importation of fake tyres.

Shen, 36, and Yau, 22, are charged alongside a Nigerian, Chinedu Madubuike, and two companies, Sino Nig. Import and Export Ltd, and Nedeca International Ltd for importing fake tyres into the country.

The accused are standing trial on four counts bordering on importation of substandard products.

When the charges were read to the accused, and translated into Chinese language by an interpreter, they pleaded not guilty.

The trial judge, Mojisola Olatoregun, consequently, fixed March 21 to determine the bail application for the accused.

In the charges, the accused were said to have committed the offence in February (this year) by conspiring to import tyres which did not meet the relevant Nigeria industrial standard.

They were alleged to have stuffed various sizes of tyres into one, knowing same to be in a dangerous state, or being injurious to human lives.

The accused were said to have imported the tyres which did not comply with the mandatory Nigeria standard by stuffing different sizes into one, thereby, making the tyres to be unfit for its purpose.

The tyres were said to have failed to meet the relevant Nigerian industrial standard and likely to endanger human lives.

Again, the accused were alleged to have failed to furnish returns on the conditions of the imported tyres as required by law.

The offences are said to have contravened the provisions of Sections 320 and 510 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation, 2004.

They are also said to have contravened the provisions of Sections 26 and 32 of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) Act, No 14, Laws of the Federation, 2004.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that SON arrested the two Chinese nationals, Taolung Shen and Xu Jing Yau, for importing substandard tyres worth over N5 billion in a statement it issued late February.

The suspects, according to the statement, were paraded after their arrest, and the warehouse where they had been cloning different sizes of tyres under different brand names was sealed.

They were first arraigned in a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on March 8, 2017.


Source: NAN

Two labour unions clash over dues of Chinese company operating in Nigeria

ZTE Nigeria Limited, a Chinese company operating in Nigeria, has lamented the disruption of its activities by two labour unions, which are laying claims to its check-off dues.

The unions, National Union of Postal and Telecommunications Employees (NUPTE) and Private Telecommunications & Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PTECSSAN), have pledged allegiance to Aliyu Wabba and Joe Ajaero, factional leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), respectively.

Brielle Gao, country human resources manager, ZTE Nigeria, said the situation had become embarrassing.

She said ZTE Nigeria has been remitting appropriate labour dues to NUPTE since 2011 because local staff of the company belonged to the union and that for ZTE Nigeria to embrace the change being sought by PTECSAN, due process must be followed.

“The management contacted NUPTE immediately it received the mail regarding the changes, but we were told that they (NUPTE) are not aware of anyone leaving their union. The law is very clear on the matter. Every individual member has to write to the union and copy the management if anyone desires to opt out of the union,” Gao said.

“The management, as required by law and practice sought the comments of NUPTE towards the request of the staff of ZTE Nig. Ltd. This request was made to NUPTE to avoid double payment that may result from NUPTE and they wrote to inform us that no such information has been given to them by any of the staff of ZTE Nig. Ltd. They further insisted that remission of dues should be made to NUPTE.

“While management does not intend to infringe on the right to freedom of association, it would take steps to protect the rights of others who may be forced to belong to where they do not want to belong.”

In a letter to ZTE Nigeria on February 28, Mary Nwosu, head of department, administration and finance of NUPTE, said “the federal ministry of labour and employment is in a better position to address this issue since it has taken a dimension of your organization receiving threats from an association on labour related issues.”

Nwosu said the action of PTECSSAN was questionable because “for any association to request members of a registered industrial union to migrate to theirs is a direct poaching which is unacceptable in the labour movement in Nigeria.”

However, PTECSSAN said its action was to register its displeasure to the way the ZTE management was treating the issue of workers’ migration.

Okonu Abdullahi, general secretary of the union, accused ZTE of victimisation of workers and attempt to deny them right of association.

“It has become glaring to us that your management is not only uncomfortable with your workers’ membership of our union but also you have resolved to ensure that you deny them their rights to freedom of association as enshrined in Section 40 of constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said in a letter written on February 22.


Source: The Cable

Chinese govt demands dry yam from Nigeria

The Chinese government has demanded dry yam from Nigeria to meet industrial and domestic needs.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Thursday, in Abuja, which a technical working committee was inaugurated to fast track the exportation of yam by July 2017.

The Minister said Nigeria has remained one of the world’s largest producer of yam, which accounts for 61.7 per cent of the global production of the root crop, while there are over 60 varieties of yam, but sadly, Nigeria not among yam exporting countries.

He assured that local production and consumption of the commodity would not be affected by the move to export yam soon, rather government would scale up intervention in yam production, as farmers in the country have indicated willingness to increase production to meet both local and international demands.

He noted that high level of yam production was going on in Zakibiam in Benue State, the Minister said government would leverage on it and also spread production across the entire country.

However, he lamented Ghana, which produces far less than any yam producing state in Nigeria, has taken over the European market.

According to him yam consumed in the United States were imported from Ghana and a tuber of yam cost as high as $15. He said: “Ghana is controlling Africa’s yam export market where Nigeria is one of the world’s largest producers. I am not sure if Ghana produces as much yam as any state of the federation”.

The Minister noted that the private sector driven committee was deliberate in other to guide the government on how to get a fair share of the global yam market. He noted that the Nigerian yam export promotion programme was aimed at taking Nigerian yam production, processing and marketing to next level in line with what is done in other country.

He also emphasised the need to ensure that Nigerian agricultural produce meet the standard of foreign markets, and stressed the need for the country to design produce that would meet Nigerian health standard.

The minister tasked the committee to develop a framework for establishment of Nigeria yam export sea and airport where all documentation relating to the export are prepared, adding that they should facilitate acquisition warehouses at the receiving destination, rationalize the bureaucracy of export and enforcement agency located within one roof designated for Nigeria yam export park houses.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Committee, Prof Simon Tsange, said they have been doing underground work on the programme adding that the committee would ensure that in six months time, Nigerian yam would hit the international market.

Nigeria secures $1.5 billion Chinese loan for Lagos-Ibadan rail

The Federal Government has secured $1.5 billion (about N450 billion) counterpart funding from China for the Lagos-Ibadan rail project set to commence in March.

The Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, made the disclosure on Wednesday when he appeared before the Gbenga Ashafa-led Senate committee on land transport to give report of his ministry’s 2016 budget and defend the proposal for 2017.

“In the first quarter of 2017, the foundation of the Lagos-Ibadan segment two of the Lagos-Kano rail project will be laid,” said Mr. Amaechi; adding that, “the implication here is that we will start the Lagos-Ibadan rail line before the end of March.

“Our target is to commence from the Apapa seaport down to Ogun and then to Ibadan.”

Lagos-Ibadan rail line is a segment of the Lagos-Kano railway project, one of the most important and ambitious infrastructural targets of the Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress government.

In January, the government announced wholesale release of N72 billion as Nigeria’s counterpart funding for the Lagos-Ibadan railway.

Mr. Amaechi  explained to the senators that the $1.5 billion counterpart funding had been approved by China and was being processed by the China Exim Bank.

“The counterpart funding is ready, but don’t forget that we are borrowing the money from China. The China Exim Bank is processing it.

“Our 15 per cent is ready; so, we are waiting for China Exim Bank. They have managed to release and approve $1.5 billion for the Lagos-Ibadan line.

“It is also envisaged that segment three of the Lagos-Kano rail project, which is the Kano-Kaduna stretch, as well as the first phase of the coastal railway line Lagos-Calabar, commencing from Calabar to Port Harcourt with extension to the Onne Deep Seaport will commence after the conclusion of the negotiation of a financing loan agreement,” said Mr. Amaechi.

He then urged the National Assembly to approve the $30 billion national (rolling) borrowing plan of the government. He said the approval was essential for securing funds needed to finance rail projects in the country.

“The National Assembly needs to give us approval for the borrowing plan so that we can commence work. We can’t sign the loan agreement with China unless there is an approval from the National Assembly.

“What the National Assembly has approved is the counterpart funding, but we need the approval to borrow the remaining money. If you look at $6.1 billion in naira, and we are paying 15 per cent, you will know that the remaining amount is coming from China and until we have approval, we cannot do anything.

“Even now, the China Exim Bank has approved $1.5 billion for the Lagos-Ibadan line. We are not able to sign the loan agreement because we need the approval of the National Assembly.”

On the performance of the 2016 budget, the minister said uncompleted projects in the previous year had been included in the proposed 2017 budget.

Speaking for the Senate, Mr. Ashafa promised cooperation with the transportation ministry to ensure implementation of the infrastructural objectives.

Police declares Chinese wanted for attempted murder in Kano

The Kano State Police Command has declared Yang Zhong, a Chinese national wanted over alleged attempted murder of another Chinese.


The command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Magaji Majiya, said that Zhong was declared wanted in connection with attempted murder of a Kano-based Chinese businessman, Mr Wu Haiwang, on July 17.


“Mr Yang Zhong, also a businessman, is suspected to be behind the murder attempt made on Mr Wu Haiwang,’’ he said.


“As a result, Mr Yang Zhong, holder of Passport No. G58738024, suspected to be the brain behind the murder attempt, has been declared wanted by the police,’’ Majiya added.


Majiya said the Chinese embassy has been contacted to help track down the suspect.


He said three other suspects had been arrested and charged to court in connection with the murder attempt while efforts were being made to arrest the remaining suspects.

Chinese websites block searches for ‘Fatty Kim the Third’

Chinese websites have again blocked searches for “Fatty Kim the Third”, as many Chinese mockingly call North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with China’s foreign ministry saying it did not approve of ridiculing foreign leaders.

Chinese internet users began reporting last week that searches on the Twitter-like microblogging site Weibo and search engine Baidu for the expression returned no results, the normal sign that something is being blocked despite its wide usage.

The term – which refers to the weight of Kim, his father and grandfather – was last blocked in September after neighboring North Korea’s latest nuclear test.

Kim is unpopular in China because of his country’s repeated nuclear and missile tests.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said reports the government had banned the search term “did not accord with the facts”.

“What I want to stress is that China has always dedicated itself to constructing a rational, cultured and healthy environment for public opinion,” Geng told a daily news briefing.

China “does not approve of insulting or ridiculing language to address any country’s leader”, he added, without elaborating.

Both Baidu Inc and Sina Corp, which owns Weibo, declined to comment.

China’s internet regulator did not respond to a request for comment.

Many Chinese, however, took to Weibo to suggest multiple other terms which sound similar to “Fatty Kim the Third” and which are not blocked.

Chinese Security Official Elected Interpol Chief

A top Chinese security minister has been elected president of the international crime fighting and police cooperation organization Interpol.

Meng Hongwei, China’s vice minister for public security and a former head of Interpol China, took the post Thursday at the organization’s general assembly in Bali, Indonesia.
The move could bolster China’s efforts to repatriate fugitive officials but critics have voiced concern that Beijing could use the crime-fighting body to track down dissidents based overseas.
He is the first Chinese official to become Interpol president, according to Xinhua.
Interpol’s secretary general is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day work of the organization, currently Jurgen Stock.
Read More: CNN

Innoson, Chinese group target 7,000 workers for technology transfer.

About 7,000 workers are expected to benefit from a technology transfer initiative between Innoson motors and a Chinese group, Shandong Broadcasting and Television.

The group said that the initiative is under its expansion of investment into the media and Information Communication Technology sectors.

Chairman of Innoson Group, Dr. Chukwuma Innocent, said in Abuja recently after a meeting with the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, that the partnership will be in the area of broadcasting, direct home TV, satellite broadcasting, e-policing and ICT.

He further informed that his vehicle production factory is working towards getting a partner for engine manufacturing in Nigeria once the patronage level reaches a desirable level.

“We can establish the engine factory in Nigeria when we get a measure of patronage,” he said.Earlier at the meeting, the Minister eulogised Innoson for working to ensure that the Nigerian economy remained strong.

“We are happy you have this partnership with China and the ministry is ready to support it. Innoson is helping in our economic transition to ensure we can produce what we use in Nigeria,” he said.

To the Chinese team led by Deputy Minister and Chairman of Shandong Broadcasting and Television, Liu Baoju, Onu expressed happiness that there would be technology transfer, which he said would further strengthen economic relations between both countries.

Chinese People Engage In Sleeping Competition

While many people are packing their suitcases for a trip during China’s seven-day National Day holiday, also known as “the Golden Week”, some people in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, are packing their sleepwear for a sleeping competition.

The competition lasted two days and participants needed to sleep on their deck chair from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm. During the 10-hour sleeping marathon, the competitors cannot leave their chair for bathroom or meal breaks, or touch any electronic devices.

On the first day, a total of 16 people finished the competition, while only eight stayed the course on the second day amid the rain and temperatures falling to as low as 0? at dusk.

Although it was cold, participants were also not allowed to leave to get thicker quilts.

Participants from different places around the world joined the challenge with different intentions.

“I will win the game for my parents because winners are awarded a two-day stay at a spring hotel in Dalian, a coastal city. I want to take them there,” a female participant told the Harbin-based newspaper, Modern Evening Times.

“My girlfriend registered for me. I will prove that I can win,” a participant, nicknamed Leifeng Cap, said.

It was reported that the sleeping competition was not only a respite from electronics, but a challenge to people’s physical well-being.

Credit: CCTV

Police Rescue Two Kidnapped Chinese In Ogun

The Police have rescued two Chinese Nationals – Shen Ximing and Wei Futang – from kidnappers in Ogun State.

Shen and Wei, who were last week kidnapped in Odeda in Odeda Local Government Area, regained their freedom after exchange of gunfire between the abductors and Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) operatives.

They were kidnapped while working on a quarry site at Odeda, but were rescued about a week later.

They are recuperating at an undisclosed hospital

Acting police spokesman Abimbola Oyeyemi told reporters at the command’s headquarters at Eleweran, Abeokuta, that the expatriates were rescued on Wednesday.

Oyeyemi, an Assistance Superintendent of Police, said a police team, comprising men of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit and FSARS, were deployed to combat the abductors.

He added that the kidnappers  abandoned the victims and took to their heels, following pressure piled up on them during a gun-battle at their hideout.

The police spokesman added that the expatriates, who were rescued unhurt, have also been handed over to their company.

Read More:

Police rescue two kidnapped Chinese in Ogun

Integrate Chinese Language Into Schools’ Curricular – NGO tells FG

A Non-governmental Oganisation (NGO), Initiative of African Friends of China, has called on the federal government to introduce the teaching of Chinese Language in secondary schools across the country.

The President of the NGO, Mr. Fred Ogwazu, made the call while signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with DBS Media Ltd, a Nigerian creative media content agency in Lagos recently.

Ogwazu said the development if considered will tend to explore maximally the socio-economic corporations, educational and cultural exchanges as well as technological and skills acquisition.

He said in the new world order, Africa and China seem to have slots in common, hence the believe that Africa has so much opportunity in China and vice-versa.

“To further boost this advocacy, we have already concluded plans to commence the teaching of Chinese Language in some centres across Africa, starting from Nigeria. The Nigeria centre will be located in Abuja with business men and other interested persons as our target, while others will be cited in African countries such as Ethiopia and South Africa.

“Already, we have written to the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria to provide us with volunteer teachers for the language and we are sure to commence very soon.”

According to him, the development would also promote good ideas for indigenous African companies intending to partner Chinese companies and making recommendations where necessary.

Ogwazu said the relationship between Nigeria and China has been growing by the day, following the commendable activities of institutions like Forum on China-Africa Corporation and the China-Africa Development Fund.

“Initiative of African Friends of China is therefore calling for greater awareness among African governments and private sectors to key into the developmental opportunities provided by the Chinese Government through this platform towards tackling most of Africa’s challenges.”

He said apart from advocating for the teaching of Chinese Language in schools across Nigeria and other African countries as a way of strengthening socio-economic and cultural ties with China, the MoU also seeks to connect opportunities with investors through the provision of timely information.

He said such information is mainly on opportunities available in China and in the continent.

Ogwazu added that the MoU was tailored around changing the perception of products and services exchange between China and other African countries and provide feedback channels where necessary among others.

“To also realise this, we in conjunction with DBS Media Limited would implore the use of documentary videos and movies in creating the much needed awareness on the potential in Nigeria and Africa at large.

“Our partnership with DBS Media is strategic as we intend to do a well-researched documentary and video that will highlight the developmental drives by Chinese Government to African nations.”

In his remarks, the Managing Director, DBS Media, Mr. Cletus Chukwuma, said he is looking forward to a fruitful working relationship with the association, as the agency has all it takes to meet its expectations. “We are not new in packing of quality contents that satisfies the curiosity of the viewing public.”

50 Year Old Chinese National Commits Suicide In Lagos

A 50-year-old Chinese national identified as Si Guicai, committed suicide at his home in Itohan Avenue, Ikeja area of Lagos on Friday July 29th. Guicai allegedly hanged himself to the iron window of his apartment at 9:00 p.m. The reason behind his action is not yet known.

Confirming the incident, the spokesperson of the Lagos state police command, Dolapo Badmos said “One Si Guicai, a Chinese, allegedly hanged himself to the iron window in his room. A team of policemen attached to Man-centre division visited, examined and photographed the scene, while corpse was removed and deposited at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja
morgue for autopsy while investigation is ongoing.”?

Nigeria Offered $6bn Chinese Loan, Agrees Currency Swap To Shore Up Naira

China has offered Nigeria a $6 billion loan to fund infrastructure projects, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyema, said yesterday in Beijing the Chinese capital.

“It is a credit that is on the table as soon as we identify the projects,” he told reporters travelling with President Muhammadu Buhari to China.

“It won’t need an agreement to be signed; it is just to identify the projects and we access it,” he said.
The confirmation by Onyema coincided with an agreement reached between Nigeria and China yesterday on a currency swap deal, as it looks for ways to shore up the naira and fund a record budget deficit, possibly by issuing yuan-denominated bonds in China, reported Reuters.

Nigeria is facing its worst economic crisis in decades as sinking oil prices eat into its foreign reserves and the naira weakens against other currencies.

Nigeria has been for months looking for sources to help plug a projected 2016 deficit of N2.2 trillion ($11.1 billion) as Buhari plans to triple capital spending in the 2016 fiscal year.

According to Reuters, during Buhari’s visit to Beijing, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC), the world’s biggest lender, and Nigeria’s central bank signed a deal on yuan transactions.
“It means that the renminbi (yuan) is free to flow among different banks in Nigeria, and the renminbi has been included in the foreign exchange reserves of Nigeria,” Lin Songtian, Director General of the African Affairs Department of China’s foreign ministry, told reporters.

The agreement was reached following a meeting between Buhari and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Credit: Thisday

Employees Set Chinese Boss’ House Ablaze After Stealing His N450k

months ago, Tom Wu, a Chinese businessman based in Benin, Edo State, employed Frank Chukwuneye, 30, and Abdullahi Zakari, 25, to serve respectively as his interpreter and security guard, on a
monthly salary of N70,000 and N30,000 respectively

But on December 29, greed got the best of them after Wu withdrew N450,000 from the bank and asked Chukwuneye to put it in his bedroom, after which he went out with him. Chukwuneye had conspired with Zakari to steal the money.

He gave Zakari the spare key to Wu’s bedroom and told him to set the house ablaze after stealing the money. He also promised to give him N100k. Upon learning that his house was on fire, Wu suspected foul play, so he went to report the incident to the police.

In the course of investigation, the trail led to the two employees and when properly questioned, they confessed to the crime. Wu, who felt deeply betrayed, said: “I was shocked to learn that the two Nigerians I employed and made them comfortable and also paid them regularly committed the crime.

I employed Frank as my interpreter and gave him everything he wanted, yet he betrayed me. He was the only person who knew that I brought N450k from the bank and put it in my bedroom. I want justice to be done and the police to recover my money from them.”

Buhari Meets Chinese President; Fayemi, Amaechi Others In Attendance

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday met with his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari, calling for boosting bilateral cooperation and upgrading the two countries’ strategic partnership.

China and Nigeria enjoy a traditional friendship and their strategic partnership featuring win-win cooperation has brought substantial benefits for their peoples, said Xi, who is in New York to attend a
series of summits marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.

The two sides should firmly grasp the general direction of China-Nigeria friendship and promote bilateral ties from a strategic height and a long-term perspective, he added.

He said the two countries should also bring into full play their advantages in traditional friendship and highly complementary economies to explore new areas and ways for practical cooperation.

#DidYouKnow: More Chinese Restaurants In US Than McDonald’s Stores Worldwide

Experts estimate that there are more than 40,000 Chinese restaurants in the US now, a number that outstrips the total number of McDonald’s outlets in the world, estimated at 36,000.

Chinese food has been around in the US since the mid-1800s, when a huge influx of Chinese immigrants came to California during the Gold Rush.

The newcomers started opening restaurants and eventually began settling elsewhere thanks to the railroad expansion. That resulted in the establishment of Chinatowns all over the place.

For decades, Chinese food was considered exotic and available only if you ventured to a predominantly Chinese neighborhood. But today, you can walk almost anywhere in the US and you’re likely to come across not just one, but multiple Chinese restaurants

Read More: cctvnews

Chinese Company To Fine Workers Who Get Pregnant Without Permission

A Chinese company plans to demand its employees seek approval to get pregnant and fine those who conceive a child without permission, reports said, provoking a media firestorm Friday.

“Only married female workers who have worked for the company for more than one year can apply for a place on the birth planning schedule,” read a policy distributed by a credit cooperative in Jiaozuo, in the central province of Henan.

“The employee must strictly stick to the birth plan once it is approved,” it added. “Those who get pregnant in violation of the plan such that their work is affected will be fined 1,000 yuan ($161),” it said.

Read More: punchng

Chinese Restaurant Offers Cheap Meals To People With Short Skirts

In a bid to improve sales, a Chinese restaurant recently ran a special promotion – they offered discounts to female customers based on the length of their skirts. Read more from Oddity Central:

The shorter the skirt, the heavier the discount! The amount of skin-show upwards of the knee was measured upon arrival, and the discount percentage was determined accordingly. The promotion, which ran all of last week at Yang Jia Hot Pot restaurant in Jinan, was a huge success.

Hordes of women lined up outside the establishment, waiting to have their skirts measured. The highest hemline recorded was 13 inches above the knee, attracting a huge 90-percent discount. The lowest was at three inches, earning a 20 percent saving.

Eason Yang, founder of Yang Jia Hot Pot, said that the promotion was important because this happens to be the “low-season” for hot pot restaurants. “We wanted to start a promotional campaign that could attract our core audience,” he explained. “Our restaurant has opened for five months. We have one special promotion every month. We wanted these promotions to bring good sales to us.” Given the success of the hemline promotion, the restaurant ran the unique promotion for the second time this month, this weekend.

“Freedom is a Good Thing”- Boko Haram Cameroonian Hostages Open Up

Abducted Cameroonians, including the wife of one of Cameroon’s deputy prime ministers, shared their experiences during their stay with the Islamist since their abduction in July during two simultaneous assaults, blamed on Boko Haram, in which at least 15 people died.

Abdouraman Seini, among the released hostages who survived a gunshot to his hand, told VOA that he and the other captives were forced to eat whatever was provided and most times went for days without water to drink. He said they lived in miserable conditions and that they were tortured by men armed with knives and guns, adding that “Freedom is a good thing, I pray such a thing never happens to anyone.”

Abdouraman Seini added that he did not see any of the more than 200 girls from Chibok, Nigeria that Boko Haram claimed responsibility for kidnapping in April. According to him “women are separated from men in the various detention camps run by the militants in the bush”.

Seini also told VOA he believes it is very likely Boko Haram fighters will continue their attacks because they are running out of food for the hundreds of fighters and the hundreds of captives they have.

One of the released Cameroonians, Seiny Boukar Lamine, told state radio, “we were in these sort of huts in a pretty dense forest, it was in a savannah with big trees and a lot of brush. We slept on the ground”. He said he was held with his wife and six children.

Totally Wipe Out Boko Haram- Cameroonian President

Cameroonian President, Paul Biya stated on Monday that his administration will hunt down Boko Haram “until it is totally wiped out”.

Speaking after the release of the abducted 27 hostages comprising 17 Cameroonians and 10 Chinese, Biya said “The Cameroonian government assures you that it will ceaselessly continue to fight Boko Haram until it’s totally wiped out”.

Although he did not mention how these hostages were freed, a source revealed that a ransom was paid and around 20 imprisoned Islamist were freed in exchange. 

The 27 Cameroonians and Chinese were delivered to authorities on Friday night.