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Chatter: What we're hearing

Need to know: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned that North Korea must face consequences for sinking a South Korean ship. Citing "overwhelming" evidence that North Korea sank the warship, Clinton warned the communist state of international repercussions. After discussions in Tokyo, Clinton planned to consult with counterparts in Beijing and Seoul on appropriate measures. The Korean incident has dominated her three-nation tour through Japan, China and South Korea.

Want to know: What goes on behind the scenes at the Cannes film festival? Watch this video about the less glamourous side of the the French extravaganza. It may not be luxurious but it still looks like fun.

Dull but important: European Union finance ministers have agreed to be tougher on member states' budgets in the wake of the Greek debt crisis. Following criticism that Europe did too little, too late to defend the euro, they pledged to react more quickly and efficiently in future. At the first meeting of a new EU economic taskforce, they agreed new sanctions were needed to enforce rules.

Just because: A twice-divorced Chinese computer science professor was sentenced to three and a half years in jail for organizing 18 orgies in his apartment. Ma Yaohai, 53, appeared to be dedicated to his students and to caring for his elderly mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. But he was convicted of being a member of a swingers club that practiced group sex and partner swapping.

The jail term is for a crime the Chinese government calls “crowd licentiousness.” Ma remains unrepentant and plans to appeal, saying his sex life is his own business, not subject to the law as long as he causes no social disturbance, according to his lawyer, Yao Yong’an.

Wacky: A white South African rapper is poking fun at the country's notoriously redneck Afrikaner farmers. Young musicians are giving a new hip image to Afrikaans, the Dutch-based language of apartheid. That doesn't sound wacky? Take a look at a photo of Jack Parow, called the "Afrikaans Eminem."

 

http://www.globalpost.com/notebook/africa/100521/chatter-what-were-hearing