Fri, Dec 08, 2006 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Mexico

Workers admit to grisly video

Three employees of a funeral home in the city of Reynosa have acknowledged making and distributing a grisly video showing the autopsy of murdered banda singer Valentin Elizalde, authorities said Wednesday. Elizalde died in a hail of bullets on Nov. 25 shortly after finishing a performance. The video, filmed with a cell-phone camera and posted on Friday on YouTube.com, shows Elizalde's bloody body on an autopsy table and the clothes and boots he wore during his last performance. The footage was used in several subsequent videos posted on the site, at least one with bouncy background music.

■ Colombia

Paramilitaries dump peace

The nation's far-right paramilitaries pulled out of a peace process with President Alvaro Uribe's government late on Wednesday following the decision to transfer jailed militia leaders to a maximum security prison. "This is simply a matter of ending a process where there is no confidence, [a process] filled with tricks, no honor of agreements and where there is no commitment," said Ernesto Baez, a spokesman for the paramilitaries, in an interview with the television station CMI. The peace agreement was thrown into crisis on Friday when the government transferred 59 imprisoned paramilitary warlords from their special prison to a high-security installation on rumors of a possible prison break.

■ United States

Practical joke backfires

A man who created a "winning" lottery ticket and planted it at work as a practical joke was sentenced to a year of probation for forgery and tampering with public records. James Koons Jr, 38, also was fined US$2,500 on Tuesday and may have to pay the legal fees of the co-worker who was arrested after trying to redeem the ticket at Pennsylvania Lottery headquarters. Koons' lawyer said his client meant to play a prank on co-workers when he left the bogus US$853,000 ticket underneath a newspaper in his trucking company's break room in November last year. Koons pleaded guilty. "In hindsight, it was a terrible joke," said Koons' attorney, Stephen Ellwood.

■ United States

Portion distortion increasing

A Rutgers University study supports earlier research that people in the US today eat bigger servings than they did 20 years ago. "People aren't realizing how much they are eating," said Jaime Schwartz,one of the study's authors. The research replicated a 1984 Penn State University study. Both studies asked students to take portions of various foods. Diners were offered three sizes of plates, bowls and cups in a buffet-like setting. In a comparison of breakfast servings, the students in 2003 took 20 percent more cornflakes than students took in 1984, Schwartz said. The same for milk. The glass of orange juice grew by more than 40 percent compared to 20 years ago.

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