the world digest


H.K. crackdown

HONG KONG — Pirate DVD vendors operating between the border control points of Hong Kong and Shenzhen, South China's biggest boomtown, have dropped in number from more than 1,000 to 50 in the past few years thanks largely to pressure from Mainland authorities. In the latest effort to choke off the supply of pirated discs to Hong Kong consumers, 62 law enforcement officers raided eight pirate DVD vendors Aug. 7 at the Luoho and Huanggang border control points, the Motion Picture Assn. said late Friday. Sixteen DVD vendors were arrested and 8,800 optical discs seized.

Rogers on MySpace

TORONTO — Expanding its partnership with U.S.-based MySpace, Canadian wireless phone giant Rogers Communications on Monday said it will offer a version of the popular social-networking Web site to its cell phone subscribers. As part of an exclusive deal with MySpace, Toronto-based Rogers said it will launch a MySpace subscription service for a $4.95 monthly fee as part of its MY5 service for mobile customers.

'Essential' changes

ROME — The international arm of Italian state broadcaster RAI on Monday announced that it will begin working under a new structural agreement that will allow its signal to be carried by more satellite providers and will split current programming among three separate channels. Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi called the new initiative "essential" in comments that appeared in the local media. Two new channels that will begin broadcasting soon will focus on Italian news and Italian entertainment and fiction programs. A third channel, to be added within a year, will focus on sports.