It’s a Weird World

Lesotho Times - - Cartoons & Puzzles -

Baby-mak­ers bed for free in Italy

ROME — Ho­tels in the Ital­ian city of As­sisi are do­ing their bit to boost the coun­try’s flag­ging birth rate by of­fer­ing a free hol­i­day to cou­ples who con­ceive there.

Ten ho­tels are of­fer­ing re­funds or a free fu­ture stay to guests who fall preg­nant un­der the Fer­til­ity Room cam­paign.

Guests will sim­ply have to pro­duce a birth cer­tifi­cate to prove the baby was born around nine months af­ter their stay in the me­dieval city.

“Giv­ing birth to a child is an act of deep love, which should be en­cour­aged de­spite the mul­ti­tude of dif­fi­cul­ties in life,” or­ga­niz­ers said as the cam­paign launched on Fri­day.

Lo­cal tourism coun­cil­lor Eu­ge­nio Guarducci, the man be­hind the ini­tia­tive, said the aim was to en­cour­age travel to the Um­brian town in cen­tral Italy -- the birth­place of Saint Fran­cis -- and help re­verse Italy’s low fer­til­ity rate.

Italy has the low­est birthrate in the Euro­pean Union and one of the low­est in the world, with only eight ba­bies born for ev­ery 1 000 res­i­dents in 2015, ac­cord­ing to EU fig­ures re­leased in July. — AFP

China web­sites block ‘Fatty Kim’ searches

BEI­JING — Chi­nese web­sites have again blocked searches for “Fatty Kim the Third”, as many Chi­nese mock­ingly call North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with China’s for­eign min­istry say­ing it did not ap­prove of ridi­cul­ing for­eign lead­ers.

Chi­nese in­ter­net users be­gan re­port­ing last week that searches on the Twit­ter-like mi­croblog­ging site Weibo and search en­gine Baidu for the ex­pres­sion re­turned no re­sults, the nor­mal sign that some­thing is be­ing blocked de­spite its wide us­age.

The term - which refers to the weight of Kim, his fa­ther and grand­fa­ther - was last blocked in Septem­ber af­ter neigh­bor­ing North Korea’s lat­est nu­clear test.

Kim is un­pop­u­lar in China be­cause of his coun­try’s re­peated nu­clear and mis­sile tests.

Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry spokesman Geng Shuang said re­ports the gov­ern­ment had banned the search term “did not ac­cord with the facts”.

“What I want to stress is that China has al­ways ded­i­cated it­self to con­struct­ing a ra­tio­nal, cul­tured and healthy en­vi­ron­ment for pub­lic opin­ion,” Geng told a daily news brief­ing.

China “does not ap­prove of in­sult­ing or ridi­cul­ing lan­guage to ad­dress any coun­try’s leader”, he added, with­out elab­o­rat­ing. — Reuters.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.