7/14/09

If it bleeds, it leads in this post

1,109 murders in Korea last year

According to the Korea Herald: "Last year a total of 1,109 murder were a 2.3 percent increase from the 1,084 in 2004, according to the ministry data. The number of reported rapes leapt by 42.2 percent from 6,956 in 2004 to 9,893 last year."

So a little more than 3 people are killed every day in Korea, mostly Koreans done in by other Koreans (the American cases get attention the way racial cases in America get more attention). There are about 50 million people in this country.

I recently arrived from Washington, D.C.. With a population of less than 600,00, had 186 homicides in 2008. That's a lot, but something to celebrate compared to the early 1990s when D.C. was the undisputed murder capital. With the same murder rate as D.C., more than 15,000 people in Korea would have been killed last year.

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313 killed on bicycles

"According to the Road Traffic Authority, Tuesday, Korea had 7,922 accidents involving bicycles in 2006, but the figure jumped to 10,848 last year, a 37 percent hike. Most of the accidents were collisions involving bikes and cars.

"From those accidents, 11,425 people died or were injured last year, up 38 percent from 2006's total of 8,291. Among the casualties, 313 were fatal, accounting for 5.3 percent of the total number of people who died from traffic accidents last year, 5,870.

The increase in bicycle accidents is contrary to the decrease in total traffic accidents: there were 215,000 traffic accidents in 2008, down 26 percent from 290,000 in 2000. But during the same period, the number of bicycle accidents skyrocketed by 71 percent."
In the inevitable call for more government spending:
"We need infrastructure for bicycles, and especially that for daily living rather than riverside ones for leisure. It is more convenient to ride a bicycle than a car when going to a close place, but people take cars when visiting a market just 500 meters away from home because the road conditions are unsafe and inconvenient for bike riders,'' Kim Young-bok, head of the Korea Bicyclists Association's Seoul branch, said.
He forgot to mention that it is also easier to haul groceries in a car than on a bicycle.
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Constitutional revision gains momentum

According to the Korea Herald: "According to a recent survey jointly conducted by the Herald Media and the KM Research, more than 44 percent of citizens felt a constitutional revision was necessary, whereas 26 percent believed it was not needed and another 29 percent were unsure."
Such surveys never report the percentage who said, "Leave me the hell alone."

In a story about Americans like this, I would wonder what percentage of the people surveyed had recently read the Constitution. According to a previous survey of Americans: More Americans Can Name Rice Krispies Characters Than Supreme Court Justices!

According to that poll, from the Polling Company:
Washington DC- A recent poll of 800 Americans found that the nation is vastly unaware of WHO -- or even HOW MANY -- Justices sit on the United States Supreme Court.

I would suggest before pollsters ask about the Constitution that people be required to READ it before answering...

But then, U.S. Congressmen and presidents have been known to sign legislation without reading it, so I may be asking for too much...

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30 Percent of College Students Seek Cosmetic Surgery

According to the Korea Times: "In fact, more than 30 percent of 921 male and female university students said in a survey Tuesday that they plan to seek some kind of plastic surgery during their summer vacation."

CJL