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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: February 10, 2010 NO. 7 FEBRUARY 18, 2010

Ambitious New Soccer Boss


Wei Di, the newly appointed chief of the Chinese Football Association (CFA), pledged to lead the scandal-tainted sport back to top level in Asia during his tenure.

At his media debut after taking office on February 2, Wei, who has five years before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 60, said, "Though five years is too short for an overhaul for a sport as big as football, I will try my best."

More than 20 officials, players and club managers, including Wei's predecessor Nan Yong and Nan's deputy Yang Yimin, have been arrested or detained over the past two months in a clampdown on gambling and match-fixing.

"I will resign if I fail," Wei said.

Before taking over the CFA on January 22, Wei was head of the Aquatic Sports Administrative Center of the General Administration of Sport. Since 2001, when Wei took over, Chinese athletes have made great breakthroughs in winning the country's first canoe, rowing and sailing gold medals in Olympic history at the 2004 and 2008 games.

Holding a Master's degree in educational science, Wei also served as president of the Shenyang Sports Institute and as a director of boxing and heavy sports administrative centers.

Laureate Mathematician


Shing-Tung Yau, a Chinese-American mathematician working in differential geometry, will share this year's Wolf Prize in Mathematics with Professor Dennis Sullivan at Stony Brook University, New York. Organizers said that Yau was being honored for his work in geometric analysis.

The annual Wolf Prize is an international award originating in Israel from 1978. It will be presented on May 13 this year.

Yau, 61, has been a professor at Harvard University since 1987. He is the second Chinese, following Shiing-Shen Chern in 1984, to win the Wolf Prize in Mathematics, one of the world's top honors recognizing life achievement.

In 1976, Yau proved the Calabi conjecture in differential geometry, which concerns volume and distance being measured not in four, but in five or more dimensions. Then in 1979, Yau and Richard Schoen proved Albert Einstein's positive mass conjecture by applying methods devised by Yau. Their proof provided an important tool for understanding how black holes form.

In 1982, Yau was awarded the Fields Medal, the highest award in mathematics.

Rogue Police Officer


Wen Qiang, the highest-raking official to be prosecuted during the massive crackdown on organized crime in southwest China's Chongqing, stood trial on February 2-7.

Prosecutors said Wen, 55, former Director of the Chongqing Municipal Bureau of Justice, took bribes totaling more than 16 million yuan ($2.4 million) personally or through his wife from 1996 to 2009. In return, Wen, who had served as a senior police officer in Chongqing for 16 years, protected criminal rings, offered posts to officials, and helped businesspeople obtain ill-gotten gains and evade police investigations, prosecutors said.

Wen was also charged with rapes. In addition, Wen could not account for the source of more than 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) of his personal assets.

"As the arms sales to Taiwan pose a threat to China's national security, China has the right to penalize the companies."

Zhang Hanlin, Director of the WTO Institute of the Beijing-based University of International Business and Economics, on reports that China might sanction U.S. companies selling arms to Taiwan

"While needing to do more to reduce market access asymmetries, China is certainly open to foreign investment, much more than in the past and increasingly so in diverse industries."

Robert Kuhn, an international investment banker and author of How China's Leaders Think, on U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke's recent accusation of China creating "headaches" for U.S. companies

"The search for justice should be pursued in a manner not detrimental to the search for peace."

The African Union, saying in a statement that a decision by the International Criminal Court to consider adding genocide charges to an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Beshir harmed the peace process in Sudan

"I want peace but not at the cost of women's freedom."

Farida Tarana, a female provincial legislator in Afghanistan, fearing that President Hamid Karzai's plans to mediate with Islamist insurgents could risk Afghan women's hard-won gains in education and employment

"No one has any reason to fear Europe, but everyone should be able to depend on Europe."

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, supporting the establishment of a European army in a speech at the Munich Security Conference on February 6

"This is an effort to stop the country's course toward the cliff."

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, when announcing on February 3 tough austerity measures aimed at cutting Greece's soaring public debt

"For a dinosaur scientist, this is like the birth of color TV."

Luis M. Chiappe, a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, on new research providing evidence of the colors of dinosaurs

"Those who are already on the wrong side already have the book and already read it from their own point of view."

Stephan J. Kramer, Secretary General of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, criticizing Germany's refusal to allow a scholarly version of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf (My Struggle) to be published

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