Man Recites Pi to 100,000 Decimal Places
TOKYO — Akira Haraguchi, 60, recited pi to 100,000 decimal places from memory, setting what he claims to be a new world record. The feat took over 16 hours, starting at 9 a.m. to 1:28 a.m., breaking his personal best of 83,431 digits set in 1995.
The Guinness Book of Records currently lists Hiroyuki Goto, also from Japan, as the official record holder for reciting pi from memory. He recited the ratio out to 42,195 decimal places in 1995, but never entered Haraguchi’s 1995 feat.
Haraguchi, a psychiatric counselor and business consultant, took 5-minute breaks every one to two hours to use the restroom and eat rice balls.
China Threatens Shoe Retaliation
BEIJING — China has threatened to retaliate in response to the European Union’s agreement to impose tariffs on Chinese shoe exports to Europe.
The financial penalty of 16.5% will affect all leather shoes imported from China over the next two years.
The tariff came as a measure to resolve pressure from manufacturers, who allege that China is “dumping” shoes in Europe at less than market prices.
Beijing said the tariff, approved by a 13 to 12 vote, violates global trade rules.
Shoe manufacturers in Vietnam have also criticized the EU’s move, arguing that up to 70,000 jobs in the industry could be affected.
— BBC News
Killer Doctors Caught On Camera
CHANDIGARH, India — Ten medical practitioners were caught on camera during a sting operation on illegal abortions.
The sting operation, using a team of a local health magazine, a TV channel and a female decoy, showed that the decoy received the sex-determination test and also caught gynecologists agreeing to perform abortions.
This discovery comes after the shocking excavation of about 100 female fetuses from a dry well in Punjab, and not only negates the health authorities’ claims of launching intensified measures to check female feticide, but also exposes other paramedical professionals involved.
— The Times of India
Low Marks for India, China in Bribery Poll
Companies from India, China, Russia and Turkey are among the most likely to bribe when doing business abroad, according to the 2006 Bribe Payers Index.
The survey, based on responses of more than 11,000 business people in 125 countries, produced a list of 30 countries rated for their tendency to bribe abroad. Hong Kong was at 18th, alongside Israel.
Switzerland, Sweden and Australia topped the survey as those countries least likely to bribe, with Britain ranking sixth and the United States ninth.
The survey shows that overseas bribery by companies is still common despite international anti-bribery laws criminalizing such practices.
— The Standard
China’s Richest Is A Female Paper Tycoon
SHANGHAI, China — Zhang Yin, 49-year-old founder of the Nine Dragons Paper Co., is the wealthiest person in China with a fortune estimated at $3.4 billion, and is the first businesswoman to top Shanghai-based researcher Rupert Hoogewerf’s annual list of China’s richest individuals.
Yin, the eldest of eight children, born to a military family, immigrated to Hong Kong and built up her business shipping waste paper from the United States to China, where it is recycled into material for containers at factories in southern and eastern China.
The ranks of China’s wealthiest expanded, with 15 people having fortunes exceeding $1 billion, up from seven last year.
Vietnam Death Row Inmate Pregnant
HANOI, Vietnam — A Vietnamese woman held in solitary confinement was discovered to be three months pregnant.
Nguyen Thi Oanh, 39, convicted for possessing more than $63,000 of heroin, was being held on death row when she became pregnant.
Police say the father of the child is a fellow inmate who delivered food to death row inmates.
Under Vietnamese law, pregnant women cannot be executed, and, therefore, their sentences must be commuted to life in prison.
— BBC News
Worker Beheaded In South Thailand
BANGKOK, Thailand — Suspected Muslim insurgents in southern Thailand beheaded a man in a gruesome attack carried out in the presence of his 16-year-old daughter.
The man was a 45-year-old Burmese worker at a prawn farm in Pattani province, one of three Muslim-majority provinces in Thailand that has been gripped by a deadly insurgency since 2004.
Four armed men entered the farm, blindfolded the daughter and shot him at close range before beheading him, and driving to a site where they tried to blast it with a bomb, but the device failed to detonate.
The government of ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a coup Sept. 19, flooded the restive region with thousands of soldiers and police. Residents and local Muslim leaders persistently denounced the strategy as provocative and urged a peaceful approach to resolving the violence.
Vietnam Set to Become WTO Member
It seems highly likely that Vietnam will become the 150th member of the World Trade Organization.
Member states said all the problems regarding Vietnam’s entry had been resolved during the negotiations.
This next step is for the chairman of the working party on Vietnam’s entry to provide a draft treaty to member states in time for its approval at upcoming meeting of the negotiating group.
If there are no last-minute issues, the treaty will then be sent for rubber-stamping by a special meeting of the WTO in early November.