Career Diplomat Homeward Bound
Wang Guangya, China's Permanent Representative to the UN, ended his five-year tenure on September 26.
There has been speculation that Wang, 58, will serve as first vice minister of foreign affairs after returning to Beijing, filling a vacancy left by Wang Yi who was promoted to minister of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council in June.
Before his departure for home, Wang told reporters in New York that it's a pleasant experience to work at the UN because China's growing national strength and international influence have allowed its diplomats to be more active in international and regional issues.
A graduate of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and the London School of Economics, Wang is known as one of China's most experienced diplomats in the field of multilateral affairs. He was vice minister of foreign affairs in 1999-2003 before heading the Chinese Mission to the UN.
History-making Chess Prodigy
Though Chinese finalist Hou Yifan lost her first bid to be the women's world chess champion on September 18, she did scoop another coveted title. She is now the youngest ever female to qualify for chess's highest title of grandmaster (14 years, six months and 16 days), overtaking Koneru Humpy from India (15 years, 1 month and 27 days).
According to Hou's coach Ye Jiangchuan, also a grandmaster, her achievement is a milestone in the history of chess. With an FIDE rating of 2557 (July 2008), Hou is now the fourth-ranked female player in the world.
Hou was born on February 27, 1994. Since she started playing chess at the age of six, she has smashed a handful of world age records. She acquired the titles of woman FIDE master and woman grandmaster in January 2004 and January 2007, respectively. She was also the youngest participant in the FIDE Women's World Championship and the Chess Olympiad (12).
On September 12, Hou beat Humpy, the world's second-ranked female player, in the semi-finals of the Women's World Championship in Russia's Nalchik to secure her last grandmaster norm. But in the four-game finals, she lost to Russian Alexandra Kosteniuk 1.5:2.5.
Hacker to Stand Trial
Hong Lei, author of a popular pirated edition of Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, was arrested on September 18, said news portal sina.com. An earlier report by sina.com revealed that Hong had been detained by the police for investigation since mid-August, after Microsoft filed a complaint against him to the copyright watchdog.
Hong reportedly unveiled his "Tomato Garden" edition of Windows XP in 2003 for free downloads, which removed product activation requirements of the licensed edition and added some enhancements. The pirated software was estimated to have been installed in more than 10 million computers in China.
The transcript of a talk between Hong and a friend in 2006, which was released by sina.com, showed that Hong had made a huge illegal fortune, about 100,000 yuan ($14,000) per month, from the distribution of the pirated software through avenues such as built-in advertisements.
Microsoft denied the accusation that it had deliberately remained quiet toward Hong's piracy to expand the market share of its operating system in China.
Lawyers predicted that if the amount of Hong's income from the pirated software really topped 2 million yuan ($280,000) as expected, he would receive a jail term of up to seven years.