31 December, 2005

msn shuts anti

The website of Michael Anti, one of China’s most provocative bloggers, have apparently been shut by MSN Spaces, following posts on a series of posts on the walkout by reporters at Beijing News and after Chinese blog service provider Bokee ran a column suggesting that authorities pay attention to Anti. Via ESWN.:

The Anti Blog Is Gone Upon information and belief, the Anti blog has been removed by MSN Spaces. For much of today, the message is that: “Space not available. This space is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.” I have tried other MSN Spaces, but this is the only one not available. Similarly, Anti’s English blog is not available either.

I see two precipitating factors. The first relates to the three most recent posts at the blog. The oldest one was an announcement of the removal of the three senior editorial members of Beijing News. The next one urges Beijing News subscribers to call in and cancel their subscriptions (see copy in Chinese). The latest one tells current Beijing News workers to walk out of their jobs as a moral imperative (see copy in Chinese). At this time, the name Beijing News (=Xinjingbao) is banned from Chinese forums (i.e. you cannot bring up the subject and you cannot comment on it).

BokeelogoThe second precipitating factor is most unfortunate, and it is described in detail in this post Good And Bad Things Happened To Mr. Anti. The Bokee columnist wrote that the government’s Internet supervisory department should be paying attention to Anti’s blog as well as MSN Spaces. Well, they did. Whether this is the true reason or not (and we will never know for sure), Bokee is going to go down in Internet history as calling in the Internet police to crack down on a blogger for exercising his constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and the police did just that, and the motivation of Bokee was commercial in nature (that is, they want to use the government’s security apparatus to damage MSN Spaces as a competitor). I know that this is one columnist’s opinion, but Bokee had better make it very clear that they did not support that opinion AND also they do not support the disappearance of the Anti blog.

Andrea notes that Anti’s English blog has also vanished.

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by @ 6:26 pm. Filed under Blogs, China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Weblogs, Censorship

kimchi saves

Kimchi sales have jumped in the US on reports that it can cure avian flu.:


Ho Jin Lee, president of Kim Chee Pride Inc. of Maspeth, N.Y., which supplies kimchi on the East Coast, said sales jumped 20 percent this year.

A sudden new joie d’epice in the American diet?

Try avian flu.

Blame it on the Internet, the anxiety of life in the 21st century, or a volatile combination of the two, but publication of a minor study by a South Korean academic last spring has apparently triggered a minor run on kimchi, a daily staple of the Korean diet that the bland-of-palate are likely to avoid like a global pandemic.

Which presents a potentially difficult choice given the work of Kang Sa-Ouk of Seoul National University, who took 13 chickens infected with avian flu virus and a couple of other diseases, fed them kimchi juice and found that 11 of the birds recovered.

Word of the study has been circulating on the Internet. As fears about bird flu have grown in the recent months, Yoon and operators of other ethnic groceries have gotten more phone calls about kimchi.

Kimchi was also said to prevent SARS, plus as Kimchi.or.kr notes “rich Korean history intensifies the depth in the taste of kimchi.”

(Via Avian Flu Blog)

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by @ 5:41 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, South Korea, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

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