Fri, Dec 08, 2006 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Austria

Thief uses priest guise

A bogus priest and his girlfriend tricked a pensioner out of US$200 after promising him a naked bathtub session with the woman. "The bogus priest and his girlfriend ran a bath for the pensioner, who undressed and got in straight away," a police spokeswoman in Linz said on Wednesday. The pensioner waited in the tub for about 10 minutes, but then he heard cupboards being opened and closed in the living room. "The credulous 65-year-old pensioner was waiting in vain in the bathtub ... while the suspect stole about US$200 in cash from his living room," a police statement said.

■ United Kingdom

No creationism in school

The British government is to write to state-run schools throughout the nation telling them that teaching materials promoting creationism should not be used in science lessons. DVDs and written materials promoting intelligent design, a creationist alternative, were sent to every school in the country by Truth in Science. Advocates of the theory argue that some features of the universe and nature are so complex that they must have been designed by a higher intelligence. Last week, the Guardian revealed that 59 schools had told Truth in Science the materials were a "useful classroom resource."

■ Israel

Sabbath flights disputed

El Al, the Israeli airline, is locked in a dispute with the country's powerful ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, which has threatened a boycott over flights on the sabbath. The row broke out after a labor dispute prompted stoppages across the country last week. As the dispute wound down, El Al flew a number of planes on the sabbath to transport passengers who had been stranded. Several senior rabbis immediately complained and threatened a potentially costly ultra-Orthodox boycott. Private negotiations between the national carrier, which was privatized less than two years ago, and some senior rabbis are thought likely to lead to a compromise.

■ Russia

Georgia vote `democratic'

The lower house of the parliament on Wednesday passed resolutions supporting two separatist regions of Georgia, a move sure to increase tensions between Tbilisi and Moscow. Abkhazia and South Ossetia fought wars in the 1990s to break off from Georgia. Since then they have been run by unrecognized governments, and Russian soldiers are deployed in both regions as peacekeepers. The regions want to gain independence or be absorbed into Russia. Moscow passed a resolution saying it regarded South Ossetia's recent independence referendum as conforming with international democratic standards.

■ Brazil
Tourism body hails critics

The nation's state tourism body applauded US film critics on Tuesday for trashing a horror movie in which tourists get slaughtered in the country. Some Brazilian media went into a frenzy over Turistas, quoting disgusted Brazilian viewers who went to see it in the US where it hit the screens last Friday. In the movie, young US backpackers are attacked and mugged by locals, lured by bikini-clad beauties only to get drugged by spiked caipirinha cocktails. They then have their internal organs removed by a crazy surgeon who runs a human organ trafficking ring.

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