Woman's curse backfires
A starving woman placed a powerful tribal curse on God, accusing him of sending famine, and died in her sleep, local newspapers said on Thursday. The woman from eastern Kenya's drought-ravaged Kangundo district decided to invoke a dreaded oath from the Kamba community, famed for its potent witchcraft, media reports said. "Whoever brought this famine, let him perish," the woman chanted, striking a cooking pot with a stick. "She accomplished the feat at 10am and waited for the results, but God's wrath struck at night. She died peacefully in her sleep," the Kenya Times said.
Officer sued for branding
Authorities in San Pedro Sula on Wednesday briefly detained a police officer accused of tying up his wife, gagging her and then branding the letter "P" for prostitute on her left buttock after she allegedly cheated on him. A Honduran judge ordered Sergeant Miguel Antonio Torres, 40, to be detained for less than 24 hours and then told him to stay away from his 37-year-old wife. Noelis Rossany Diaz said she was 17 when her husband branded her 20 years ago after accusing her of being unfaithful. But she was afraid to tell authorities until four years ago, when she finally sued him for divorce because of alleged domestic violence.
■ New Zealand
Doctor to open brothel
A doctor who closed his medical center last year after a row over government funding will reopen it as a licensed brothel, the Northern Advocate, Whangareia newspaper reported yesterday. "It's about providing a private service and maintaining confidentiality, which is what my medical practice was about, so it's not a big leap, really," Neil Benson said. He has been granted a brothel operator's certificate to run what he says will be an upmarket bordello at Coopers Beach, in the country's Far North. Benson said he had done everything possible to keep his medical center open, but he was not supported by the local primary health organization responsible for dispensing government funds or the community.
Reznor for animal rights
The frontman of US rock band Nine Inch Nails has become the latest celebrity to speak out against Chinese cruelty toward cats and dogs, through an animal rights video launched yesterday. Trent Reznor narrated a video for People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), released ahead of the Chinese Year of the Dog that begins tomorrow, showing how cats and dogs are killed painfully and on an industrial scale for their fur. "Every year, millions of cats and dogs are killed for their fur," Reznor said in a PETA statement.
Ministry warns hospital
The health ministry issued a warning yesterday over a serious incident of medical malpractice at a public hospital that led to nine patients losing their eyes. Nine patients at the Suzhou City Hospital in China's Anhui Province became so seriously infected from cataract surgery last month that they had to have their eyeballs immediately removed, the ministry said on its Web site. Another patient had to have part of his cornea removed, state press said. The ministry criticized the hospital for illegally collaborating with a private firm unlicensed for medical services to carry out the operations, the English-language China Daily said. The head of the hospital was sacked over the incident, other reports said.