Slice of Life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 January, 2008, 12:00am

From the South China Morning Post this week in: 1980

Nairobi, January 7

Naturalist and author Joy Adamson was murdered and three of her former employees were being questioned, according to police.

Mrs Adamson (69) was first reported to have been killed by a lion at a remote bush camp in the Shaba Game Reserve. But Eliot Monks, executive director of the World Wildlife Fund and an associate of Mrs Adamson, said a post-mortem examination showed conclusively that she had not been killed by a lion. Mr Monks said: 'We are more outraged than shocked that her life ended in this manner. It is so pointless.'

According to the first account, Mrs Adamson's body was found by one of her workers, a 19-year-old male. The police have sealed off the Adamson compound and were questioning the young man and two others.

New York, January 7

Five chemical companies that manufactured the military defoliant Agent Orange in the 1960s and 70s have charged that the Federal Government's negligent misuse of the chemical is responsible for any injuries and disabilities Vietnam veterans and their families may have suffered from it.

The companies also accused the Government of failing to inform servicemen of the potential dangers of exposure to Agent Orange, a chemical known as 2,4,5-T that contains traces of an extraordinarily toxic substance called dioxin, and of failing to provide medical care to veterans and their families suffering from the chemical's alleged effects. Their assertions were in reply to a class-action suit brought against them by a Vietnam veterans' association.

The group, Agent Orange Victims International, contended that the defoliant caused serious maladies in the servicemen exposed to it and caused birth defects in some of their children.

London, January 7

Ilie Nastase, the tempestuous Rumanian tennis player, was fined HK$12,500 by the organisers of the World Doubles Championship for his disruptive behaviour during the tournament.

Tournament director Miles Davies said: 'The game needs colour and flamboyant characters but Nastase went too far. He must be taught that he must show respect for the umpires and linesmen, who are doing a voluntary job for the love of the game, and to his opponents, who are on the court trying to do the same thing he is - earning a living.

'More than that, we have to think about the public, especially the women and children in the audience, who must be protected from such terrible bad language as we heard the other day.'

Hongkong, January 8

Hongkong is a capitalist hell where only the bosses are free. This is the view of two Manchurians who emigrated four years ago but recently returned to China in disillusionment. Mr Wu Jinhai, from Liaoning province, told the Workers' Daily: 'In Hongkong they say you have freedom to choose your job ... but in less than four years I worked in 11 different places.' His wife, Zhu Zhaoyun, said prices were going up all the time, and they never knew when they might lose their jobs.

The national newspaper quoted Mr Wu as saying many people in Hongkong were forced to become beggars when they were out of work due to disease, injury or old age. The article appeared to be evidence of a campaign to dissuade the growing number of Chinese who try to cross into the Colony.

Hongkong January 10

Hongkong's once flourishing trade in pirated recordings has now been all but eradicated, Customs officials said. The underground trade in pirated recordings and cassettes that reached multimillion-dollar proportions in the mid-1970s has been battered down to a mere fraction of its former size.

A spokesman for the Copyright Protection Unit of the Customs and Excise Service said that, at present, 99 per cent of sound recordings sold in Hongkong were genuine originals. But new technological and marketing advances were creating new challenges. The unit's assistant superintendent, Lo Man-hung, said video-cassette recordings were the next likely area for an upsurge in pirating.