Washington's man in Beijing scored a PR victory over the Beijing Daily by releasing details of his monthly salary and personal assets on the microblogs of the US embassy and its consulate in Shanghai. The disclosure was made in response to a demand by the Communist Party mouthpiece, which was attempting to show that US officials were just as reluctant as mainland officials to declare their assets.
The 24-year-old Liverpudlian was fined HK$10,000 in Eastern Court for breaching conditions of stay by establishing a business, but he was acquitted of obtaining property by deception, for which he could have been jailed for up to 10 years if convicted. The more serious charge - of selling fake tickets for the Rugby Sevens tournament - was struck out after the alleged victim, Norwegian sports ticketing agent Alexander de Sola Torgersen, failed to return to court. McConville was accused of receiving Euro10,000 (HK$98,800) for the fake tickets, 10 times more than his fine.
The ethnic Albanian refugee from what was once a part of Yugoslavia received a bachelor's degree in classics from New York's Columbia University, where he works as 'heavy cleaner'. As an employee of the university, the 52-year-old did not have to pay for the classes he took and used this opportunity to study in Latin and Greek, among other subjects. Filipaj fled Montenegro in 1992 to escape a brutal civil war. His ambition is to get a master's degree, and maybe even a PhD, and become a teacher, while translating his favourite classics into Albanian.