The leasing of panda bears by China to a zoo in Scotland might be "feel good" news, but it draws attention away from China's mistreatment of other bear species, one reader writes. Other letter topics today: SMS direct marketing, discounted traffic fines and preventing air pollution.
China's unequal animal treatment
Your story Dubai company banking on profitable boom in mobile ads (December 8) reflects important news. SMS text marketing has become one of the most effective channels of direct marketing.
Recent research shows that SMS is capable of reaching the mass market with a better success rate than other media. As many as 90 per cent of text messages are read within the first three minutes.
I hate text ads. Everybody I know hates them. Advertisers have to find another way.
I use SMS to communicate with friends and family, people I always want to hear from. When my pleasant anticipation is disappointed by some banal ad, I get angry.
May Manardi, Dubai
Hard to obey unknown limit
I refer to Dh176m in discounted traffic fines paid (December 8).
The Dubai Police programme of temporary discounts to encourage people to pay traffic fines is commendable.
But I have now received three fines for speeding on Al Khail Road, between Umm Sequeim and the Nad Al Sheba exit, where there are absolutely no signs to tell drivers what the speed limit is.
I've been under the assumption that it was the same as Emirates Road, however, that does not seem to be the case. How can I drive within the speed limit if I don't know what it is?
Elan Fabbri, Dubai
Author's work misunderstood
Somebody at The National doesn't understand Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers very well.
In We Believe (December 8) you refer to this classic novel as "sci-fi satire". In fact there was nothing satirical about it; the proposals he made were radical (allowing only military veterans to vote, for example) but were meant seriously.
The movie version, I should add, had fascist overtones that surely would have offended Heinlein.
Cyril Pohl, Abu Dhabi
Daydreaming about superyacht
Thank you for the really interesting piece on the "superyacht" (Yas is almost ready to go, December 10). The photos and graphics really made me feel like I was aboard this amazing vessel.
High-end luxury yachts are a very special class of vessels. for a few to enjoy and for the rest of us to daydream about.
Ron Brockman, UK
Panda bear mania hides dirty secret
The recent report on Chinese pandas arriving for a 10-year stay in Edinburgh Zoo (Panda waves hello to Scotland, December 5) can be classed as a "feel good" piece of news. It illustrates international cooperation, cultural partnership, concern for wildlife - and of course those cute panda bears.
Unfortunately, China does not value all large bears in the same way.
Moon bears, equally beautiful creatures found in the wild in China, are trapped and milked for their bile almost daily and kept in cages not much bigger than their bodies.
They can be in this appalling, tortured existence for up to 30 years or until they die. Some international organisations (the World Society for the Protection of Animals and the Animals Asia Foundation) call on China to stop this awful practice, but to no avail.
Ironically, international cooperation, cultural partnerships and concern for wildlife are not valid in this case.
Angela Kent, Al Ain
Do more against air pollution
China smog problem is shrouded in fog of facts (December 9) reminds me of times I spent in China when I never saw the sun or the sky - the air was that polluted.
Governments should issue and enforce laws so that companies cannot overlook environmental pollution and related problems.
All companies should invest in renewable technologies and welcome such conventions as the Stockholm Convention, which took effect in 2004, whose purpose is to control and phase out major persistent organic pollutants.
Ali Sedat Budak, Abu Dhabi
Currency union plainly unwise
Nobody should have been surprised to read IMF against Gulf currency bid (December 8).
Anyone who follows the financial news from Europe these days will understand that currency union is not a project to enter into lightly, or at all, until tax policies, deficits and other matters have been aligned closely.
Dave McClellan, Dubai