From the South China Morning Post this week in: 1978
Agriculture and Fisheries department officials are thinking hard about how they would inoculate a snake against rabies after a report proposed that new anti-rabies legislation would include reptiles. The report has started a scare that two popular delicacies, snake soup and civet cat, will become extremely expensive after the bill is introduced.
'It would be a somewhat ticklish job to inoculate a snake for rabies,' a spokesman said. 'And have you ever seen a rabid reptile frothing at the mouth?'
He said the civet cat, which can cost up to $600 in a restaurant, is protected in any case and should not be served on the dinner table.
The human wave of legal immigrants from China is expected to climb to an all-time monthly record of 10,000 this month. By Monday, nearly 9,000 legal immigrants had entered Hongkong from China this month.
The Chief Secretary, Mr Jack Cater, said if legal immigration continued at the same rate there would be 400,000 Chinese migrants in Hongkong by 1986 - about the same as the population of Tsuen Wan.
Punk rock star Sid Vicious pleaded not guilty to the stabbing murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen in a New York hotel.
Vicious (21), looked tired and weak when he arrived at Manhattan Supreme Court. He sat silently with an arm around his mother until his name was called. The British bass guitarist of the Sex Pistols spoke only once at the hearing, saying only, 'I plead not guilty' when charged under his real name - John Simon Ritchie.
Judge Betty Ellerin ruled that Vicious could remain free on bail of US$50,000 until his trial, provided he continue regular treatment at a New York clinic for heroin addicts and report daily to police. Vicious was committed to hospital not long after the death of Miss Spungen because of an apparent suicide attempt. He told friends that he wanted to join the 20-year-old Miss Spungen, a former go-go dancer, in death.
The mass suicides by People's Temple followers in Guyana appear to be an isolated phenomenon and not something the public should fear from other cults, a US Government psychiatrist said.
'We have no information that the cults people are more familiar with are vulnerable to this type of extreme behaviour,' said the assistant director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr Stephen Hersh.
Dr Hersh said some individuals had complained to the Government that their children were being brainwashed into joining such religious groups as the Hari Krishnas, the Unification Church, the Divine Light Mission and the Children of God.
The charges of brainwashing are 'clearly exaggerated in most cases', he said, although recruits are often subjected to 'high pressure salesmanship'.
Permission to marry is now being granted only to young Cambodians who have killed Vietnamese, the Vietnamese News Agency said. The agency quoted newly arrived Cambodian refugees as saying that only those who scored a 'high mark' in killing Vietnamese would be promptly permitted to marry.
Men Veang (44) from Kampong Cham province in eastern Cambodia said that his female cousin was in love with a teacher and had asked for permission to marry late last year. But he was told by the authorities that he would first have to 'go fight Vietnamese'.
He said couples back from the battlefields were ordered to delay their weddings pending official consideration of their exploits in killing Vietnamese. If either of the pair had not chalked up a 'kill' they were not permitted to marry.