Sunday, March 7, 2010

Loose change for March 7, 2009

 Economic news 
  • The Chosun Ilbo warns that South Korean corporations are asleep at the wheel while Chinese firms by up beleaguered Japanese companies. In a move uncharacteristic of the Chosun Ilbo, this one contains no pictures of women in bikinis. 
  • South Korea's construction companies are having liquidity problems.
  • Korea Gas Corporation (KoGAS) plans to expand its exploration, production, and sales of oil in Iraq.
  • Industrial Bank will begin to make loans to mediums-sized companies instead of just smaller firms. 
 North Korea news and stuff 
  • KCNA denies report of "food robbery" from train that was reported in Japan's Sankei Shimbun.
  • Apparently, a group of pro-North Korea folks called the "Pan-national Alliance for Korea's Reunification" (Pomminryon) held their annual meeting of their US chapter in Los Angeles. I'd really like to know who these folks are that the KCNA is so enthusiastic about supporting.
  • The KCNA also has reports on the teachers' trade union, a chinboista group that openly (nowadays) acts as a fifth column for Pyongyang.
  • The KCNA reports on foreigners who praise North Korea's free education and ample opportunity for all to learn.
 Other Korea-related stuff 
  • The AP is also carrying the story about the Internet-addicted couple who let their real-life baby die. Internet-addicted Koreans are quickly becoming the meme du jour, replacing fifty-years-to-get-a-driver-license lady. 
  • A woman who grew up in poverty and was poor most of her life has donated her life savings to offer scholarships to needy kids at her elementary school alma mater.
  • The Prime Minister's residence in central Seoul will be inspected by the courts, apparently a first.
 Americana and miscellany 
  • The Los Angeles Times linked to a Chicago Tribune article from 2009 explaining why they spell Kim Yuna as "Kim Yu-na." To be honest, though, the article is fraught with misunderstandings and inaccuracies, among them that 김 ("Kim") is pronounced with "a hard G, like gimmick." It's not Korean that's hard; it's Korean-in-English that's hard. 
  • As beleaguered US Representative Charles Rangel steps aside, his seat as head of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee is temporarily replaced by Representative Sander Levin, an opponent of FTAs with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama.
  • Some people in America want to take President US Grant off the $50 bill and replace him with Ronald Reagan.
  • In an update to a story from last year that I now can't find, Santa Ana High School has replaced its decades-old plaques of high school alumni who died in various wars. The original was stolen, presumably for its value as scrap metal.
  • 27% of construction workers are jobless.

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