It will inevitably result in a book and a film, but the story of Germany's cannibal has already brought a summer chart hit to the country's masters of the macabre: the hard rock band Rammstein. \n"He loves me so much he could eat me. The soft and the hard parts are all on the menu; it's so good with seasoning and flambed," go the not so subtle lyrics of Rammstein's Mein Teil, or My Part. \nArmin Meiwes was jailed in Germany in January for more than eight years for killing and eating a willing victim: both men allegedly tried to eat the man's severed penis before he died. \nThe story of the "cannibal of Rotenburg" was manna from hell for singer, Till Lindemann: "It's so sick that it becomes fascinating and there just has to be a song about it," he said. \nMein Teil took second place in its first week in the charts in Germany after its release in early August, slipping down to sixth place by mid-month. \nThe video clip, which shows the musicians held on a leash by a transvestite and rolling around in mud, has sparked heated debate and is only being aired by music television channel MTV after 11pm. A few other stations have been giving daytime airings. \nBut controversy is not new to Rammstein, which adapted its name from the site of a 1988 air crash in which 70 people died. \nThe six-piece group from Hamburg was formed in 1993, and their fusion of industrial, progressive rock and heavy metal has made them globally popular. \nRammstein's first success came in 1995, with Herzeleid or Heartbreak, but the group's second album Sehnsucht (Nostalgia) two years later made them famous. The disc went platinum in Germany and the US. \nStage shows including firebreathers, explosions and flame throwers have contributed to their notoriety. They have also been known to walk on stage through a giant fake uterus in their underwear. \nIt's a repertoire that has won them fans as far away as Japan and Australia, not to mention their following in Europe. \nBut it has won them few fans among police in the US. Lindemann's musings in his deep, guttural howl and grinding against the group's keyboard player during the song Bueck Dich (Bend Over) earned the two a few hours in custody after a show in Massachusetts. \nThe teenage gunmen in the 1999 Columbine high school massacre that killed 12 people declared that Rammstein was their favorite group. \nThat same year, though, the band won the Echo award in Germany for "best artist abroad" and received a US Grammy nomination. \nFilmmaker David Lynch also included two of their songs on the soundtrack to his Lost Highway. Even Kurt Cobain, the late frontman for the grunge group Nirvana, had described them as a dream band.
‘TRAVEL FREELY’: Visitors from 10 countries deemed low-risk would be allowed into Thailand, while others must still undergo a week of quarantine at a hotel Thailand plans to fully reopen to vaccinated tourists from countries deemed low risk from Nov. 1, the country’s leader said on Monday, citing the urgent need to save the kingdom’s ailing economy. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand attracted nearly 40 million visitors a year drawn to its picturesque beaches and robust nightlife, with tourism making up almost 20 percent of its national income. However, pandemic-related travel restrictions have left the economy battered, contributing to its worst performance in more than 20 years. Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha announced that the country would be reopening its borders to vaccinated tourists travelling by air from
Vaccination is highly effective at preventing severe cases of COVID-19, even against the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, a vast study in France has shown. The research published yesterday — focusing on prevention of severe COVID-19 and death, not infection — looked at 22 million people over 50 and found those who had received jabs were 90 percent less likely to be hospitalized or die. The results confirm observations from the US, the UK and Israel, but researchers say it is the largest study of its kind so far. Looking at data collected starting in December last year, when France launched its vaccination campaign,
Australia’s highest court yesterday dismissed an intellectual freedom claim by a university physicist who was fired in part over his public statements that scientists exaggerated damage to the Great Barrier Reef. Five High Court judges unanimously dismissed physicist Peter Ridd’s claim that he had been unlawfully dismissed in 2018 by James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland. The court ruled that a clause in his employment contract that protected his intellectual freedom was not a “general freedom of speech” clause and did not protect him from being fired for serious misconduct under the university’s code of conduct. Australian Minister for Education Alan Tudge said
South Korea yesterday said that it would lift COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings next week as the country prepares to switch to a “living with COVID-19” strategy amid rising vaccination levels. A new panel established this week is drawing up a plan for a gradual lifting of curbs, aiming to lift restrictions and reopen the economy next month on the expectation that 80 percent of the adult population will be fully vaccinated. From Monday, the South Korean government is to allow gatherings of up to four unvaccinated people and ease operating-hour restrictions imposed on venues such as restaurants, cafes and cinemas, South