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China Daily Video News: November 9
[ 2007-11-09 17:26 ]


Finland: Teen killer 'lonely rider'

Finland’s flags are flying at half-mast this morning as it mourns the victims of a school massacre, which left eight people dead.

Six pupils of Jokela High School, along with its principal and nurse, were killed when 18-year-old student Pekka-Eric Auvinen, opened fire with a .22 calibre handgun on Wednesday afternoon.

Police describe Auvinen as a "lonely rider" who was bullied by other students, but the motive for his rampage still remains unclear.

The teen belonged to a gun club and got a license for the handgun on October 19. He did not have a previous criminal record and "was from an ordinary family".

Investigators said Auvinen, appeared bent on causing maximum bloodshed before turning the gun on himself.

China: Religious freedom at Games

China yesterday slammed media reports as "a total rumor" that the Bible would be prohibited at next year's Beijing Olympic Games.

The Catholic News Agency published a report the Bible will be banned in the Olympic Village.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said: "As far as I know, Chinese religious authorities and Beijing Olympic organizers did not and would not issue such a rule and this is a total rumor."

He added that according to Chinese laws, foreigners are allowed to bring in religious objects or materials, print, audio or video, for personal use.

Australia: Scientists have whale of a time

Wops, thwops, grumbles and squeaks may not mean much to the average human but for a group of Australian scientists that’s all they’re listening to.

University of Queensland scientists studying humpback whales' sounds have begun decoding their mysterious communication system, identifying male pick-up lines and disagreements.

The Humpback Whale Acoustic Research Collaboration (HARC) project discovered the meanings of 34 different Humpback calls.

A purr by a male appeared to signify he was trying his luck to mate a desirable female. And high frequency cries and screams were associated with disagreements when males jostled to escort females during migration.

The study has recorded more than 600 sounds from 61 different herds over the past three years.

China: 2007 Giant panda births down

This year, 31 giant pandas were born in captivity in China, of which 25 have survived, the State Forestry Administration said yesterday.

Last year, there were 33 births and 30 survived.

Zhang Zhihe, head of the China Giant Panda Breeding Technology Commission, said: "Considering the difficulties in breeding giant pandas, a survival rate of around 80 percent is quite high."

He said over the 40-year history of artificial breeding, the survival rate of newborn cubs is less than 60 percent.

Due to better technology, the figure has hit 90 percent, but it is not consistent, Zhang said.

Beijing: Shrew on show

Shakespeare's classic The Taming of the Shrew was on stage in the capital on Friday and Saturday.

A new production by TNT Theatre Britain, the 16th century comic masterpiece, attracted around 2000 theatre-lovers to Peking University Hall in Beijing.

Christie Lee was also there:

TNT’s revised production follows Shakespeare’s original work on the whole, but sets the prologue and epilogue in modern times. It also took the liberty in omitting several superfluous characters from the classic comedy.

Five sung pieces by British composer John Kenny gave this new Taming of the Shrew a strong sense of musical drama.

Despite Shrew being a story of ancient times, it was well received by the local audience. The unique Shakespearian dialogue, traditional comic masks, exaggerated actions and distinctive British humour brought continuous laughter from the varied audience.

Kim: I like it a lot. It’s really funny. And we can still understand Shakespeare’s English. It’s good I think.

Guo Kaiqi and her brother: I think it’s very good and a lot of fun. I think the most laughable is that the guy said so many things in a stretch and collapsed.

Paul Stebbings, Shrew’s artistic director, says it is one of the most popular shows TNT has ever performed.

The story is time-tested. It is one of our most popular shows ever done because it’s so funny.

TNT keeps a record of the number of performances staged and countries visited among all English-language theatre companies. It has performed in more than 30 countries so far this year. Natalia Campbell, who plays Shrew’s leading lady Katherina, was excited to bring the play to China.

I like the Chinese audience. They are vocal. They don’t have a problem expressing. They want to clap. They want to cheer and laugh. They don’t hold back.

TNT wants to bring more of its shows to China. Its production of Hamlet is expected to reach the Middle Kingdom in May next year.

(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.

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