153 illegal Chinese loggers get life term

YANGON: A court in Myanmar sentenced 153 Chinese nationals to life imprisonment for illegal logging, a court official said on Wednesday. A court in Myitkyina, capital of Kachin State in the north of the country, handed down sentences to 153 Chinese citizens. Two of the convicted escaped life sentences and were served with 10-year prison terms. All will have a chance to appeal the rulings, said a court official, who declined to be identified. Officials from the Chinese Embassy in Yangon were not immediately available for comment. China’s Foreign Ministry also did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The individuals were arrested in January in a crackdown on the country’s lucrative illegal logging and timber trade launched by the military, police and forestry department. According to state media at the time, more than 400 vehicles and 1,600 logs were seized during the raid. An official from Myitkyina’s prison department confirmed the sentences.

Vulgar reality TV ban

BEIJING: China’s media regulator will ban “vulgar and damaging” reality television shows and order them to promote decent Chinese values, state news agency Xinhua said on Wednesday. The government frequently takes aim at what it considers base, vulgar or politically inappropriate entertainment. Reality television shows must be a force for transmitting “positive energy” and have a “positive educational purpose”, Xinhua said, citing the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. “At present, most of the reality television shows are correctly oriented, have healthy content and are acclaimed by society,” Xinhua said, citing an unnamed spokesman for the regulator. But some shows do not reach these high standards, it said. “High quality reality television shows will get great support. Those which lack values or meaning will be given more controls, and those which are vulgar and harmful will be investigated, dealt with or rectified until they are banned.”