- Ri Sol-ju, first lady of impoverished North Korea, shows off luxury Dior handbag
- 12 rail lines found with quality defects, including 7 in use
- Pictures: Reporter tied a rope to make report before arrival of typhoon HaiKui
Posted: 08 Aug 2012 08:20 PM PDT
North Korea’s new first lady Ri Sol-ju, who recently was pictured with what appeared to be a luxury Dior handbag, raised eyebrows of the western world as well as the Chinese’s public.
According to South Korean media, the photos, released by North Korea’s state media on Tuesday, were taken when North Korea’s Dear Leader Kim Jong-un paid an inspection visit to a military unit and watched the performances of the soldiers with Ri Sol-ju. It was the first coverage of Kim Jong-un’s military visits by North Korea’s state media after the firing of hard-line top general Ri Yong-ho on July 15 this year.
South Korean media, which have never missed their chances to thoroughly scrutinize any photos of Kim family offcially released by the regime’s media, quickly identified the costly bag that Ri Sol-ju brought with her.
If the bag is genuine, it would cost around $1,600. The amount is 16 times the average monthly wage of North Korean workers in Gaeseong Industrial Park, where the joint ventures of South and North Korea are located. The workers’ salary there is said to be the highest in the proverty stricken country.
North Korea has suffered severe food shortages since a famine in 1990s that killed numerous North Koreans and has long been receiving the international aids, but the Kim family of dictators reportedly live a lavish lifestyle and have copious personal wealth.
The attractive and stylish wife of the Kim family’s successor has aroused intense interests from the world since she made several public appearances standing next to the successor and was officially announced as the country’s new first lady on July 25 this year.
Her luxury-looking and fashionable outfits contrast sharply with the everyday dress of her countrywomen who normally dressed conservatively in billowing dresses or Mao-style work clothes. Some western media see this a sign of potential change in leadership that the world’s youngest leader who had studied in Europe could bring to the country.
Posted: 08 Aug 2012 02:24 PM PDT
Twelve rail lines in China were found with quality defects during the routine inspections, according to a document circulating inside of the ministry of railways recently exposed.
Seven of the 12 lines have been put into service, including Yongtaiwen Railway where two high-speed trains travelling on fatally collided in the suburbs of Wenzhou city on July 23, 2011 killing at least 40 people.
The other five lines are still under construction, and several have been suspended now.
Anonymous experts were quoted as saying that the defects might threaten railway safety. For example, cracks on the railway tunnel’s arch could cause concrete chunks to break off when a high-speed train passes, destroying the train’s power supply equipment.
Obviously, corruption was involved as senior officials of the ministry helped construction companies to bid for the railway projects illegally as a payoff, and the contractors made big illegal profits from the projects by building with shabby quality.
Posted: 08 Aug 2012 11:53 AM PDT
Typhoon Haikui, the 11th tropical storm of the year, landed in Hepu township, Xiangshan county in Zhejiang province at around 3:20 a.m. on August 8.
It hammered China’s coastal areas with strong winds and floods, which have left at least 2 people dead as of now. An elderly man from Nanjing was crushed to death by a tree blown down by strong winds, and a woman from Shanghai was hit to death by a large shatter of glass smashed from a building.
The powerful typhoon is the third one coming in less than a week after typhoons Damrey and Saola hit over the weekend that killed 23 people and left nine missing.
In 20 minutes before Haikui reached the eastern coastal areas of Zhejiang province, Ningbo city’s meterological service center organized a team to make a coverage. In order to avoid being blown away by the strong storm, a female reporter tied a rope around her waist. But even so, she was still unable to keep her footing and had to squat down sometimes. Check out the pictures below.
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