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Campaign to rid New Zealand of cats angers animal-lovers

 The controversial call to rid the country of cats is being led by Gareth Morgan, a prominent businessman, who tells owners on his newly created Cats to Go website: "The fact is that your furry friend is actually the friendly neighbourhood serial killer."

Under a picture of a kitten with red devil's horns, the website asserts "cats are the only true sadists of the animal world" and that they "torture their victims slowly and without mercy".

It goes on: "Every year, hundreds of millions of birds are murdered by cats.

"Some cats will kill over a thousand birds each year."

Although the campaign stops short of calling for cats to be euthanised, it points out that that is an option.

It also calls on cat owners to keep their pet inside 24 hours a day and, when the time comes, "ensure this is the last cat you ever own".

Cats should also be neutered and have a bell hung around their necks to warn birds they are nearby, it says.

The website asks for signatures on a petition calling for cats to be registered and micro-chipped like dogs.

"Imagine a New Zealand teeming with native wildlife, penguins on the beach, kiwis roaming about in your garden," Mr Morgan says.

"Imagine hearing birdsong in our cities."

New Zealand is renowned for its unique birdlife, most of which flourished for thousands of years without predators.

So benign was the natural environment that species such as the kiwi, the national symbol, became flightless.

But Mr Morgan's campaign was bound to spark an angry backlash in a country that owns more cats per capita than any other, with nearly half of all households having at least one.

Cat lovers were quick to take to the internet and talkback radio to air their protests.

Some have even set up anti-Gareth Morgan web pages.

More than 70 per cent of visitors to the Cats to Go website expressed disapproval of the proposals, while on news websites, comments such as "Mess with my cat and I'll mess with you" summed up the mood.

Bob Kerridge, executive director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, rounded on Mr Morgan, saying: "Butt out of our lives.

"Don't deprive us of the beautiful relationship that a cat can provide, individually and as a family.

"People consider cats to be a member of the family.

"So he's trying to, quite frankly, take away the civil liberties we all have, to choose who we want in our home."

B.N

 

 

Campaign to rid New Zealand of cats angers animal-lovers

By Paul Chapman in Wellington

The controversial call to rid the country of cats is being led by Gareth Morgan, a prominent businessman, who tells owners on his newly created Cats to Go website: "The fact is that your furry friend is actually the friendly neighbourhood serial killer."

Under a picture of a kitten with red devil's horns, the website asserts "cats are the only true sadists of the animal world" and that they "torture their victims slowly and without mercy".

It goes on: "Every year, hundreds of millions of birds are murdered by cats.

"Some cats will kill over a thousand birds each year."

Although the campaign stops short of calling for cats to be euthanised, it points out that that is an option.

It also calls on cat owners to keep their pet inside 24 hours a day and, when the time comes, "ensure this is the last cat you ever own".

Cats should also be neutered and have a bell hung around their necks to warn birds they are nearby, it says.

The website asks for signatures on a petition calling for cats to be registered and micro-chipped like dogs.

"Imagine a New Zealand teeming with native wildlife, penguins on the beach, kiwis roaming about in your garden," Mr Morgan says.

"Imagine hearing birdsong in our cities."

New Zealand is renowned for its unique birdlife, most of which flourished for thousands of years without predators.

So benign was the natural environment that species such as the kiwi, the national symbol, became flightless.

But Mr Morgan's campaign was bound to spark an angry backlash in a country that owns more cats per capita than any other, with nearly half of all households having at least one.

Cat lovers were quick to take to the internet and talkback radio to air their protests.

Some have even set up anti-Gareth Morgan web pages.

More than 70 per cent of visitors to the Cats to Go website expressed disapproval of the proposals, while on news websites, comments such as "Mess with my cat and I'll mess with you" summed up the mood.

Bob Kerridge, executive director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, rounded on Mr Morgan, saying: "Butt out of our lives.

"Don't deprive us of the beautiful relationship that a cat can provide, individually and as a family.

"People consider cats to be a member of the family.

"So he's trying to, quite frankly, take away the civil liberties we all have, to choose who we want in our home."

B.N

 

Miss Asia 2012 crowned

 

Amy Chen, a 26-year-old student with a Masters Degree who represented Hong Kong and Macau emerged the winner of Miss Asia 2012.

According to Jayne Stars, on 21 January, Amy Chen has been announced as the winner of Hong Kong's 2012 Miss Asia pageant, hosted by ATV, defeating favourites Annie Qi, who was named first runner-up, and 21-year-old Svetlana Gulakova from India, who finished as second runner-up. She also defeated the night's most popular contestant, 19-year-old Vika Kong from Jiangxi, China.

In addition, Amy also won the Asian Charisma award. When asked about her upcoming plans, she revealed that she plans to join the entertainment industry, but her top priority is to practice her Cantonese, as she is a Hong Kong immigrant from Taiwan.

About her triumph over Vika, Amy said, "She is very young, but I did not lose confidence on my part, because I have tried my best."

A total of 18 contestants competed for the crown that night, with former ATV artist and 2010's Mr. Hong Kong winner, William Chak, serving as one of the judges for the pageant.

M.W

China is world's top smartphone producer

Beijing Bulletin-China last year shipped 224 million smartphones, making the country the world's largest smartphone producer, according to official data released Wednesday.

In 2012, over 730,000 Chinese apps were launched on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad platforms, Xinhua cited the China Academy of Telecommunication Research as saying.

Beijing-based research firm Analysys International has predicted that China's mobile internet market will reach 429.6 billion yuan ($68 billion) in 2015.

In 2012, China added 50.9 million internet users, bringing the total to 564 million, according to the China Internet Network Information Center.

With mobile phones becoming the primary channel for using the internet in China, the number of mobile internet users increased 18 percent to 420 million.

B.N

 

Pregnant Shakira launches on line baby shower

NEW YORK - Colombian pop singer Shakira and Spanish footballer Gerard Pique are asking fans to donate gifts like mosquito nets and vaccines for the world's poorest children in an online baby shower to mark the couple's first child.

The 35-year-old pop star, who is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, with her FC Barcelona center back boyfriend has said they had launched a "virtual living room" for purchase of life-saving items which will be distributed to children and communities in some of the poorest parts of the world.

The singer, who has not announced her due date but has posted recent photographs indicating the baby is likely due later in January.

"To celebrate the arrival of our first child, we hope that, in his name, other less privileged children in the world can have their basic needs covered through gifts and donations," the couple said in an announcing the "Inspired Gifts" program.

Fans and supporters can enter the virtual shower and pay for items ranging from a $5 mosquito net, which protects babies from malaria or $10 for polio vaccines for 17 children, to the top-priced $110-item-therapeutic food, which is a peanut-based paste that can save an acutely malnourished child.

Shakira has also been working on her eighth studio album and will fill in for Christina Aguilera as one of the regular coaches for the next season of the US singing competition "The Voice."

Shakira first publicly confirmed her relationship with Pique in March 2011 .

Source:China Daily

M.W