A group of school children helped foil an armored van robbery by memorizing the getaway car's registration plate in a school yard chant, police in Liverpool said on Wednesday. A passer-by who spotted the car, but feared she would forget the plate number, she asked a group of children to memorize it. The nine and 10-year-olds remembered the plate numbers by turning them into a chant, before a classmate arrived with a pen. The three thieves were traced and arrested within 40 minutes, police said. ``The lady did not have a pen or paper on her so went over to the children and repeated the registration number to them,'' a spokeswoman for Merseyside Police said.
■ United Kingdom
Inventor makes perfect egg
A 23-year-old product design student says he has cracked the age-old riddle of how to boil the perfect egg -- get rid of the water. Simon Rhymes uses powerful light bulbs instead of boiling water to cook the egg. The gadget does the job in six minutes, and then chops off the top of the egg to allow dipping with toast. "Many people are confused,"Rhymes told BBC radio on Wednesday. "This simply uses four 500-watt bulbs to heat the egg directly." Rhymes said he has secured a patent and is in talks to mass-produce the device.
Road crash kills 16
A bus and a truck collided near the Porto Amboim, 300km south of capital Luanda, killing 16 people and injuring 14 others, Angolan Ecclesia radio reported. The accident happened on Tuesday night, when a bus connecting between Benguela and Luanda crashed into a truck parked on the side of the road, Ecclesia said. The bus was carrying 55 passengers. Authorities said the accident could have been caused by excessive speed.
Driver rams train
A car rammed into an oncoming commuter train at a crossing in Dresden early yesterday, killing the driver of the vehicle and injuring several other people, police said. It was not immediately clear why the car smashed into the train, causing several carriages to run off the tracks, said Jana Ulbricht, a spokeswoman for police in Dresden. The number of injured was also unclear.
Cabinet, governors named
President Joseph Kabila has named 15 governors and new Cabinet members after their predecessors moved on to the new parliament, according to a presidential decree on Wednesday. The new top aides included two military men, worrying to some amid tension in the lead-up to a presidential run-off at the end of the month that pits Kabila against a former warlord. General Denis Kalume was named interior minister and Admiral Liwanga Numbi was named governor of Kinshasa. The 500-member legislature was sworn in last month.
■ Czech Republic
Cats linked to male births
Researchers say women infected with a common cat parasite give birth to more sons than daughters. Toxoplasma is spread by contaminated cat feces, but also lurks in uncooked pork and beef. Scientiest reviewed the medical records of 1,803 babies borns between 1996 and 2004 and discovered that women whose antibody count was high -- suggesting a substantial infection -- had a much higher chance of having baby boys -- up to a 72 percent chance.
Beer truck thief nabbed
A man suspected of stealing a loaded beer truck was nabbed after a police dog followed a trail of beer and clothes to find him hiding on top of a porch, Edmonton police said on Tuesday. The police dog was called out to a parking lot on Monday morning where a beer delivery truck, recently stolen outside a liquor store, had been abandoned after a collision. Police spokesman Karen Carlson said the dog and its handler followed a trail of discarded beer, a cooler, a hand cart and pieces of clothing to a nearby apartment building. "I guess the dog had a pretty good scent to go on," Carlson said.