S Korea to slap ban

Seoul: South Korea said today it has decided to ban single-hulled oil tankers from entering the country’s ports beginning 2011 as part of its efforts to help prevent oil spills.The land, transport and maritime affairs ministry said in a statement the move was to comply with international calls for banning single-hulled tankers — more vulnerable to maritime accidents than double-hulled vessels — either from 2011 or 2016. South Korea has decided to ban single-hulled oil tankers from 2011 in an effort to prevent large-scale oil spill accidents off its coasts, it said. Single-hulled oil tankers will also be phased out at the country’s ports from 22 per cent of the total this year to 15 per cent in 2010, it added.

Anti-corruption call

JAKARTA: Thousands of hardline Muslim protesters staged rallies in Indonesia on Sunday urging the government to apply Islamic law as the only way to tackle widespread corruption. Members of Hizbut Tahrir demonstrated in several cities including capital Jakarta, venting anger at a $700 million bank bailout at the centre of a corruption scandal that has put high-level officials under fire. In Jakarta, thousands of protesters took to the streets with their families and children, carrying banners condemning the capitalist system as the root of corruption. "The Bank Century scandal proves the failure of capitalism system," read one big banner. "By adopting sharia under Islamic caliphate, Indonesia is free from corruption," said another.

Apple acquisition

Washington: Apple Inc has purchased online music company Lala Media Inc, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday in a move it said may signal an expansion of its music strategy. The newspaper said financial terms of the deal could not be learned. Lala, which boasts a playlist of more than eight million tunes, hosts users’ digital music collections on the Web, allowing access from varied locations in what it describes as “music in the clouds.” Lala also provides an application that scans Apple iTunes collections and then stocks their Lala account libraries with the same songs on the premise that they have already been purchased. The songs cannot however be downloaded to a portable music player such as Apple’s iPod. The Journal said Apple may seek to adapt Lala’s Web song offerings or incorporate its technology into a subscription service of some kind.

China crackdown

Beijing: Chinese authorities have offered rewards of up to 10,000 yuan ($1,465) to Internet users who report websites that feature pornography, state media reported today. However, the censors’ latest campaign against content that harms public morality appears to have encouraged Internet users to look for porn online. Within the first 24 hours, a hotline set up on Friday by Internet Illegal Information Reporting Centre was flooded with more than 500 phone calls and 13,000 online tips, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The centre is looking for websites and mobile phone-accessible sites that contain obscene material or advertise sex products, the report said. Rewards ranging from 1,000 yuan to 10,000 yuan will go to the first person to report each website.