Man wedged in drain
Berlin police said on Wednesday they had rescued a motorist who ended up wedged upside down in a drain after trying to retrieve car keys he had dropped. The 48-year-old man was seen by a bystander falling into the street drain late on Tuesday after he removed the manhole cover. Police were at first unable to find the man but later discovered him wedged in a drainage pipe below ground. He was at first unconscious and did not appear to be breathing. After police hit him on the back he began coughing up water and breathing again.
■ United Kingdom
Math help for shoppers
For millions of shoppers struggling to calculate how much of a bargain they are getting in the winter sales, help is at hand, the government said on Wednesday. About 14.9 million adults in England do not have the math skills expected of an 11-year-old and may have problems working out even basic deals like "20 percent off" or "buy one, get the second half-price," the Department of Education and Skills said. Teams commissioned by the department will hit the high streets to offer tips on savings and help people brush up their math, as part of the government's "Get On" campaign.
■ United Kingdom
Helicopter crashes, six killed
A helicopter transporting gas rig workers crashed into Morecambe Bay in northwest England, killing six. Rescuers in helicopters and boats searched early yesterday for one more person who was missing. Lancashire police, coordinating the search, and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said six bodies had been found by searchers in the cold water of the large bay within hours of the crash on Wednesday night. The search for the other person aboard the helicopter, which was carrying five Centrica PLC employees and two crew when it went down 39km off the coast at around 6:40pm, would go on.
Death penalty censured again
Parliament is to vote next month on a bill that would revise the Constitution to include the fact the death penalty is illegal, judicial officials said on Wednesday. Although France abolished capital punishment with a 1981 law, President Jacques Chirac has said he wants to go further by making the policy part of the Constitution. Judicial officials said the bill was still under study by the Council of State, France's highest administrative body. The issue would be on the agenda when both houses of parliament meet at the Chateau of Versailles outside Paris to vote on constitutional revisions, the officials said. An exact date for the meeting of France's Congress has not yet been set.
President, VP in legal spat
President Olusegun Obasanjo and his vice president each launched legal proceedings on Wednesday in a spat over the legality of the deputy maintaining his office after accepting an opposition party's nomination to run in Nigeria's presidential elections. Vice President Atiku Abubakar maintains that only impeachment or the expiration of his elected term can end his official duties, while Obasanjo says the Constitution stipulates that changing parties should nullify his position. The two camps each filed a suit on Wednesday at an appellate court in the capital, Abuja. The ruling party expelled Abubakar on Friday after he declared his candidacy in next year's presidential elections.