Fake Sputnik Capsule – Berlin
Wacky Travel News that’s out of this world – (as is the totally inappropriate commentary that follows.
March 20, 2018 Edition
China banned the letter N from the internet after people used it to attack Xi Jinping’s plan to rule forever
Alexandra Ma,Business Insider
China censored the letter N from its internet for at least a day.
The ban came as China cracked down on online discussion over the Chinese Communist Party’s proposal to scrap presidential term limits.
Abolishing term limits would allow President Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely.
It’s not entirely clear why the government targeted N, but we have a few theories.
China temporarily banned the letter N from being published online after people started using it to criticize a plan which paves the way for Xi Jinping to rule the country indefinitely.
The Chinese Communist Party on Sunday proposed to abolish the two-term term limit for the president and vice-president, sparking an online backlash which it has been trying to control.
Critics flooded Weibo and WeChat — China’s version of Twitter and WhatsApp — to protest the plan, but were swiftly met by the country’s censors.
Various Chinese characters for terms like “emigrate,” “lifelong,” and “I disagree” were banned, alongside … the letter N.
The screenshot underneath shows a user on Sunday attempting to type “N” into Weibo, and receiving an error message that the “content is illegal.”
The other words that appeared to be banned in the screenshot are: “Xi JinP,” “emigrate,” and “indefinite control.”
The letter is used in China to represent unknown numerical values, like the letter X in algebra.
Professor Victor Mair, a China expert at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a Monday blog post it was “probably out of fear on the part of the government that ‘N’ = ‘n terms in office,’ where possibly n > 2.”
CA Yeung, a Perth-based China bogger, also posited that “N = infinity.”
It could also represent “no” in Y/N select items. As Twitter user Kasumi Shen said: “You can’t choose N in a (Y/N) select item as long as you are still living in China.”
Images of Winnie the Pooh were also banned on Chinese social media. Xi critics often mock him by posting images like the one above which imply that he looks like the fictional, honey-loving bear.
Chinese state media, for its part, has been trying to play down China’s latest crackdown on internet communication.
In a Tuesday editorial, state-run newspaper the Global Times accused Western critics of “hysteria” over the government’s latest round of censorship.
“The biggest reason for all this is that the rise of China has reached a critical point where some Westerners cannot psychologically bear it any longer. They wish to see misfortune befall the country,” the Global Times said.
WOEFULTOURIST says, “With the successful ‘N’ ban behind them, Chinese communists are looking into banning vowels, as well as sometimes ‘Y’.”
Christians shutter famous Jerusalem church to protest taxes
JERUSALEM (AP) — The leaders of the major Christian sects in Jerusalem closed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the traditional site of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, for several hours on Sunday to protest an Israeli plan to tax their properties.
The Christian leaders responsible for the site issued a joint statement bemoaning what they called a “systematic campaign of abuse” against them, comparing it to anti-Jewish laws issued in Nazi Germany.
The Christians are angry about the Jerusalem municipality plans to tax their various assets around the city and a potential parliament bill to expropriate land sold by the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. The churches, which are major landowners in the holy city, say it violates a long standing status quo.
The Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and the Armenian Apostolic leaders said the moves seemed like an attempt to “weaken the Christian presence in Jerusalem.”
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a major place of worship in Jerusalem’s Old City. Christians revere it as the site where Jesus was crucified and where his tomb is located, and its closing is highly unusual.
The Jerusalem municipality said it would continue to care for the needs of Jerusalem’s Christians and maintain their full freedom of worship. It said the church, just like other sacred sites in the city, is exempt from municipal property taxes and that will not change.
“However, hotels, halls and businesses cannot be exempt from municipal taxes simply because they are owned by the churches. These are not houses of worship,” it said in a statement. “We will no longer require Jerusalem’s residents to bear the burden of these huge sums.”
Jerusalem is one of the country’s poorest cities, and the tax revenue from the properties is estimated to be tens of millions of dollars.
Separately, parliament is pursuing a bill that will appropriate lands in Israel sold by churches to anonymous buyers since 2010. The bill’s sponsor, lawmaker Rachel Azaria, said these questionable sales have plunged thousands of Jerusalem residents into uncertainty over their living conditions.
She said the bill was aimed to protect apartment owners against property speculators and had “nothing whatsoever” to do with the churches. “We have no intention … to make them feel unwelcome,” she said.
WOEFULTOURIST says, “Guests at the Sepulchre Hotel and Casino Resort were unwilling to comment, or give up their favorite slot machine to take a bathroom break.”