Vietnam defused a political storm Friday by issuing light sentences to three Vietnamese-Americans convicted of terrorism, preventing the closely watched case from clouding
President Bush’s visit next week.
The defendants had been held since September 2005 without charges after being accused of plotting to take over radio airwaves in their native country to call for an uprising to overthrow the communist government.
They, along with four Vietnamese nationals accused of the same crime, were sentenced by a judge to 15 months in prison, with credit for time served. All will be released in one month, and the Americans will have 10 days to leave the country.
“I am certainly pleased that they will be sent home,” said U.S. Ambassador Michael Marine. “These individuals have been held for quite some time. That is allowed under Vietnamese law, but 14 months without being brought to trial is a long time for anyone. So, we’re glad to see that portion over with.”
Because, you see, if America does it, it’s protecting freedom. When another country does it, it’s bad.
Randy Wooten figured he’d get at least one vote in his bid for mayor of this town of 80 people even if it was just his own.
He didn’t. Now he has to decide whether to file a formal protest.
Wooten got the news from his wife, Roxanne, who went to City Hall on Wednesday to see the election results.
“She saw my name with zero votes by it. She came home and asked me if I had voted for myself or not. I told her I did,” said Wooten, owner of a local bar.
However, Poinsett County results reported Wednesday showed incumbent William H. Wood with 18 votes, challenger Ronnie Chatman with 18 votes and Wooten with zero.
Uhm, Randy… your wife just told you she didn’t vote for you…
At the worldwide sales debut of PlayStation 3, Sony’s newest console attracted dozens of media outlets and thousands of people willing to camp outside overnight for a chance to score the 60,000 yen game system.
Minutes before the clock struck 7:00 A.M. and Sony’s new PlayStation 3 console would officially go on sale, a company representative addressed the crowd of media and the new face of early bird game console buyers – Chinese nationals.
“Everybody, the PlayStation 3 is the door to a new world of interactive entertainment,” the spunky Japanese rep trumpeted as SCE CEO Ken Kutaragi joined her on stage.
Unfortunately for her and the rest of the Sony entourage, the men and women standing patiently in the front of the line either didn’t understand what she was saying, or didn’t care – the first buyers of PS3 were largely elderly Chinese men and young Chinese women with shaky Japanese language skills.
This became readily apparent when Kutaragi welcomed the first official PS3 owner on stage for an on-spot interview. A 26-year-old Chinese man politely stood on stage while the organizers earnestly tried to squeeze some information him.
Questions like “When did you start lining up?” and “What games will you buy?” were left unanswered as the young man shook his head, refusing (or unable) to respond. The Japanese media would later catch up with him, confirming suspicions that the first PS3 buyer didn’t understand Japanese. An eyewitness claimed the young man didn’t purchase a single game for his brand-new PS3.
This is the true face of the PlayStation 3 debut in Japan. Hardcore gamers are not here waiting in line overnight, buying a first-run PS3, and running home to play some good old next-gen gaming. Rather, opportunistic Japanese businessmen have the largest presence, hiring poor Chinese men and women to wait in line for a PS3, one which will later be sold on web auctions to wealthy gamers around the world for exorbitant amounts of money.