Zooming In

March 14, 2006

The Hindi Film-Actor Plague

Gelf highlights overlooked coverage from local media around the world. In this edition: Bangladeshis' movie-star looks cause "social problems"; a missing mystic; and Japanese reaction to a blown call.

David Goldenberg

Zooming In
Paul Antonson
Some of the most insightful writing from outside the U.S. comes from local media. In this occasional feature, Gelf identifies noteworthy stories that haven't gotten much attention outside local borders.

Japan: A recent controversial ruling in the World Baseball Classic has Japanese fans fuming. Plate umpire Bob Davidson ruled that Tsuyoshi Nishioka had not appropriately tagged up before outrunning Randy Winn's throw home. The call left the game tied, and the US went on to win by one run. After replays clearly showed that Davidson's call was wrong, Japanese newspapers were flooded with complaints about home-cooking for the Americans. Even the chief of Japan's football association, Saburo Kawabuchi, weighed in, telling the Japan Times that Davidson "was an American umpire so you can only think that's [the reason] why he made an inexplicable call like that. I think this has left an ugly blot on this competition." There's a great discussion (in English) about the call, the Japanese reaction, and the importance of the WBC over at the Japanese site CrissCross.

Malaysia: Even though English is widely spoken in Bangladesh, many Bangladeshi immigrants to Malaysia are on student visas and enroll in English classes at local colleges. Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad is extremely suspicious, telling the New Straits Times that agents for employers are seeking to circumvent laws barring Bangladeshis from working in the country. "They go to Bangladesh and recruit the workers. They make a deal with the colleges for student visas and bring the workers in as students and place them for employment," he says. "The student visa provision is being made a mockery." According to the article, the Malaysian government barred employers from recruiting Bangladeshi workers due to a strange problem. As Razdi explains, "They have blue eyes and look like Hindi film actors and they create social problems here."

Mongolia: Two Chinese nationals were caught trying to smuggle out pieces of a Tyrannosaurus fossil to sell in China. The men had illegally purchased the fossil, as well as eight T-rex eggs, according to an article in the UB Post.

Nepal: A teenager who had supposedly fasted without food and water for 10 months while meditating in the jungles of Nepal has disappeared and may have been kidnapped (AP). The boy, who had attracted thousands of followers who thought he was the reincarnation of Buddha, disappeared earlier in the week after witnesses saw two vans take him away in the middle of the night. In an interview shortly before her son's disappearance, Mayadebi Bomzon told the Nepali Times that she could not bear to go visit her son. "I'm too scared. I am afraid of what I might see. After he left school, I was afraid my son was going to be a good-for-nothing, after he started meditating the neighbours said that he had gone mad. But now I’m just worried about him."

Norway: A woman who was checking out her neighbor’s online apartment ad found that the residence was chock full of her stolen stuff. "She recognized curtains, some cushions, a picture, some Indian masks and other ornaments," local police officer Bjørg Ahlbom told Aftenposten. "When police searched the apartment they also found a great deal of stolen clothing." It turns out that the neighbor had been stealing from the woman's storage area in the building for several years, and had collected objects worth up to $15,000.

Pakistan: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to block all websites that publish caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (PakTribune). Though many sites are blocked, the one specifically named in the court ruling is www.muhammadcartoon.com, a site based on a server in the US. Advocate Qamar Afzal argued that the sites constitute "intellectual terrorism," and in its decision, the court asked the attorney general to look into ways to implement a global ban (Daily Times).

Post a comment

Comment Rules

The following HTML is allowed in comments:
Bold: <b>Text</b>
Italic: <i>Text</i>
<a href="URL">Text</a>


Article by David Goldenberg

Contact this author