November 5, 2005 in Nation/World

North Korea pushes traditional dress

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review
 

North Korea’s communist government is urging women in the country to wear traditional Korean clothes instead of pants, according to a North Korean monthly magazine.

“Keeping alive our dress style is a very important political issue to adhere to specific national cultural traditions at a time when the U.S. imperialists are maneuvering to spread the rotten bourgeois lifestyle inside North Korea,” the Joson Yeosung magazine said, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.

The magazine said exotic dress dampens the revolutionary atmosphere in society and blurs national sentiment and asked the public to reject clothes that aren’t North Korean style.

The campaign comes as North Korea struggles to tighten its control over an influx of outside influences, which it claims is part of a U.S. psychological offensive aimed at toppling the communist regime — a charge Washington denies.

Four killed as protests spread in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Violent protests of disputed elections spread Friday from the capital to other parts of Ethiopia, leaving four people dead, and the prime minister vowed to prosecute opposition officials after a week of bloody clashes, state media reported.

Police have killed at least 40 people since the confrontations began Tuesday in the capital, following largely peaceful protests Monday, medical officials said. Government officials put the number of dead this week at 24 civilians and seven police officers.

Fire causes evacuation in Petronas towers

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Hundreds of screaming and coughing moviegoers fled a cinema complex in the Petronas Twin Towers on Friday night after a fire filled parts of the Malaysian landmark with thick, acrid smoke. No serious injuries were reported.

About 700-800 people rushed from the 13-screen Tanjong Golden Village facility on the third floor of the towers shortly before midnight.

“It was really terrible. People were running helter-skelter. We were choking and coughing and it’s a miracle there was no stampede,” said Minati Panda, a Kuala Lumpur resident who was at the movies.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

The glass-and-steel Petronas Twin Towers, once the world’s tallest skyscraper before being upstaged by a building in Taiwan, are Malaysia’s most famous landmark.

New Russian holiday not totally understood

Moscow Russia observed a new holiday dedicated to national unity on Friday with a mix of celebration, confusion and anger, including a right-wing march in Moscow calling for illegal immigrants to be expelled from the country.

The Day of People’s Unity was signed into law last year by President Vladimir Putin, the second holiday set up to replace the Great October Socialist Revolution day, which marked the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. The holiday was one of the Soviet Union’s most important celebrations.

A poll last month by the respected Levada Center found that 51 percent of the 1,600 respondents nationwide did not know what the new holiday was about and that only 8 percent knew its correct name.

Reflecting the widespread bewilderment, state-run television led newscasts with explanations of how the new holiday commemorates Moscow’s liberation from Polish invaders in 1612.


Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email