Monday, March 12, 2007

Notable news

[Update, March 15]

The Chosun Ilbo reports that a 21 year old woman died 2 days ago while getting eyelid surgery.

[Original Post]

The Hankyoreh has a cautionary tale about a lawsuit by an unnamed Korean pop star against her plastic surgeon. You'd hope that stories like this would make people think a little more about possible negative consequences of cutting/sawing/putting implants into your (or your child's) face, but if the plight of this woman, which was publicized in April of 2005, did little to affect plastic surgery statistics here, I don't know what would.

Over at the Korea Times, Andrei Lankov relates the history of the Korea Herald, and, in what I hope is a weekly column, the Times lists the top ten most popular searches for the week at Naver and explains them, giving insight into the day-to-day pop culture concerns of Korean netizens. In an article about the debate over harsher sentencing for teenage offenders, the Times continues the English language press tradition in Korea of reporting on shocking sex crimes involving youth only days or weeks after the fact, if at all.
Last month, Koreans were shocked by the murder and rape of a girl by middle school students in Kyonggi Province. The girl was the same age as the offenders.

Six male students were involved. Three of them had a previous history of wrongdoings, booked by police on charges of theft and resisting arrest.
This took place in Namyangju, just east of Seoul, north of the river, on the night of February 27, when 6 local middle school boys and a middle school girl from Seoul, who had been there visiting a friend, drank together on a hill until she got incredibly drunk and three of the boys took turns raping her. They then carried her, unconscious, down to a field and the other three boys took their turns before covering her with plastic and leaving her there, where she froze to death. They were all 14, though whether that's western age or Korean age I have no idea (Korean articles are here and here, and a TV report is here). Whatever their age, it's all pretty shocking.

To end on a more uplifting note, youtube has a video telling the story of a Korean student who saved the life of a Japanese woman who had fallen onto the train tracks at a station in Tokyo - the same place where another Korean student died 5 years earlier trying, along with a Japanese photographer, to save the life of a drunken man who'd fallen on the tracks. The latter story was the subject of a recent Japanese film.

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