Sun, Mar 07, 2004 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take



■ MacedoniaPresident buried

Macedonia's late President Boris Trajkovski, killed in a plane crash last week, was laid to rest Friday as dozens of world leaders gathered for a state funeral and a top European Union official pledged to help the Balkan country eventually join the bloc. Trajkovski, 47, was en route to an international conference on Feb. 26 when his turboprop plane crashed in heavy fog in southern Bosnia, just hours before his country was to submit its application for EU membership in Ireland. An estimated 100,000 people, many of them sobbing, lined the streets of Skopje as the somber funeral procession slowly made its way to a cemetery.

■ United States

Unusual garnish

An Ohio woman was served a salad containing part of a restaurant worker's thumb sliced off while chopping lettuce, a health official said on Friday. The woman "thought it was gristle or something like that" when she tried to chew the unexpected garnish, said William Franks, health commissioner for Stark County, where the incident occurred earlier this week. "Physically I think she's OK, other than hysteria," Franks added. Stark County officials did not release the woman's name. The restaurant worker accidentally sliced off the tip of his thumb while chopping the ingredients on Monday night at the Red Robin restaurant near Canton, Ohio, he said.

■ United States

Politically overcorrect

This might not end 'til the plus-sized lady sings. A Los Angeles Times music critic who wrote that a Richard Strauss opera was "pro-life" -- meaning a celebration of life -- was stunned to pick up the paper and find his review changed by a literal-minded copy editor to read "anti-abortion." Music critic Mark Swed said the copy editor was adhering to a strict Times policy banning the phrase "pro-life" as offensive to people who support abortion, and didn't seem to realize that the epic Strauss opera Die Frau Ohne Schatten had nothing to do with that politically charged issue. "It's about children who aren't born yet screaming to be born -- not abortion," Swed said. "Somebody who didn't quite get it got a little bit too politically correct ... and we had a little breakdown in communications."

■ Germany

State won't pay for porn

A German court rejected a legal bid on Friday by an unemployed man who wanted the state to provide him with free pornography and trips to brothels because his wife is in Thailand. The court in the southern town of Ansbach ruled that social services did not extend to satisfying the 43-year-old's sexual needs after he attempted to sue his local welfare office because it had refused to finance his appetite for prostitutes and porn. "He wanted them to pay for four trips to the brothel a month, eight porn films a month, plus condoms," said court spokesman Peter Burgdorf. The man had earlier asked the Foreign Ministry to fly his wife back from her native Thailand, to which she had returned in 2002, saying that he could not afford the ticket.

■ IndiaTry, try and try again

A 64-year-old Indian man has vowed not to marry until he passes his class 10 examination, it was reported yesterday. Shayodan Yadav, a resident of Alwar district in the northwestern desert state of Rajasthan, made his first attempt in 1965, but failed. Since then he has tried 37 times, the Statesman newspaper reported. Only this exam would "qualify" him for marriage, Yadav said in a classroom full of his friends' grandchildren. Nothing will deter him from trying repeatedly, he said, not even his relatives' taunts that he is over-aged for both school and marriage.

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