Thailand's Cabinet has set December 23 as the date for the country's first general election since last year's military coup.
The date was approved during the weekly Cabinet meeting, dispelling earlier rumors that the election might be delayed for another 12 months.
Last year's coup toppled elected Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was accused of corruption and abuse of power.
Earlier this year, his Thai Rak Thai party was convicted of electoral fraud and disbanded, with its top executives, including Shinawatra, barred from running for office for five years.
China: Six new subway lines
Beijing's urban planning authorities have approved permission for six new subway lines to begin construction by the end of the year.
The six lines, which will be completed by 2012, will have a total length of 152 km, according to the Beijing municipal commission of urban planning.
Beijing currently has five subway lines in operation, with a total length of 142 km.
The commission said "The city aims to raise the proportion of residents using public transport to 45 percent from 30 percent by 2015, and the subway passenger volume will increase to 8 million a day from the current 2.2 million."
Australia: Man defies underwear fall
An Australian man wearing only his underpants survived a 30m fall from his ninth-floor apartment after trying to walk to a neighbor's balcony while balancing on a plank, police said yesterday.
A garden gazebo broke the 35-year-old man's fall, and he was taken to hospital in a serious condition.
A spokeswoman for Western Australia state police, said rescue workers found the man wearing only his underpants.
"He was skylarking around, building planks across to his neighbor's place, when it happened," she said.
China: Tycoon buys island
A Chinese businessman told Xinhua yesterday that he bought an artificial island in Dubai for $28 million.
Hu Bin, developer and director of the Shanghai Zhongzhou International Holding Group, bought the 40,000-sq-m Shanghai Island, part of "The World" development in Dubai, which consists of 300 islands made from reclaimed land in the shape of the world map.
Hu said he planned to spend up to $200 million in the next three years to build hotels and villas on the island and turn it into a tourist resort.
The resort will also include canals and buildings resembling Shanghai landmarks like the Huangpu River and the Bund.
China: 'ghosts' complain of bullying
Part-time actors hired by Hong Kong’s Ocean Park to be "ghosts" in its haunted houses have complained of bullying by visitors.
A woman who identified herself as Coco complained she was molested and hit by a man. She confronted the man but he was defiant and then fled the scene.
Similar incidents have been logged in online forums, but Ocean Park said it has not had any complaints from employees and has sufficient security measures. The Ocean Park Halloween Bash, held every October, is very popular.
Some 500,000 people visited last year and the number of ghosts has increased from 200 to 250.
Psychologists said some people may turn aggressive to show they are not afraid.
（英语点津 Linda 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Marc Checkley is a freelance journalist and media producer from Auckland, New Zealand. Marc has an eclectic career in the media/arts, most recently working as a radio journalist for NewstalkZB, New Zealand’s leading news radio network, as a feature writer for Travel Inc, New Nutrition Business (UK) and contributor for Mana Magazine and the Sunday Star Times. Marc is also a passionate arts educator and is involved in various media/theatre projects in his native New Zealand and Singapore where he is currently based. Marc joins the China Daily with support from the Asia New Zealand Foundation.
Bernice Chan is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Bernice has written for newspapers and magazines in Hong Kong and most recently worked as a broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, producing current affairs shows and documentaries