Glass found in KFC food
Small pieces of glass were found in food sold at two outlets of restaurant chain KFC, the company said yesterday. The glass came from a broken thermometer in a refrigerator at a vegetable factory and had fallen onto shredded cabbage, it said in a statement. Two customers complained of hurting their teeth on the glass. One man said his tooth chipped when he chewed a glass shard, and another said a filling fell out, a KFC spokesman said. The company suspended sales of dishes containing shredded cabbage at its 228 outlets across Japan.
New minister named
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday named an agriculture insider to replace farm minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka, who committed suicide amid allegations of corruption. Norihiko Akagi, a lawmaker whose grandfather was a six-time farm minister, said he would use his position to try to push ahead stalled WTO talks. "We asked him to accept the post as he is a man with ready fighting potential," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki, the government's chief spokesman, told a news conference. "There is a lot of talk going on right now about the WTO and free trade accords," Shiozaki said.
22 die in heatwave
A heatwave has killed 22 people this week with temperatures soaring above 40C, media reports said yesterday. Doctors said that in the northern district of Pabna alone, about 100 people — mostly children and the aged — had been taken to hospitals due to heatstroke. The hot and humid weather has also led to an outbreak of diarrhoea, fever and respiratory problems across the country, health officials said. The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Dhaka has admitted more than 500 patients, mostly children, on average each day over the past week. Weather officials said they recorded temperatures between 37C and 41C on Thursday.
Tuneless singer slain
A jobless man was shot dead by a security guard for singing out of tune in a karaoke bar, police said on Thursday. Romy Baligula, 29, was halfway through his song on Tuesday night in a bar in San Mateo town, east of Manila, when 43-year-old security guard Robilito Ortega yelled that he was out of tune. As Baligula ignored his comments and continued singing, Ortega pulled out his revolver and shot him in the chest. Senior Superintendent Felipe Rojas said Baligula died instantly. The security guard was detained by an off-duty policeman shortly after the shooting. Deaths and violence are not uncommon in Philippine karaoke bars. The popular Frank Sinatra song My Way has been banned in many karaoke bars in Manila.
`Elvis' wins spot on council
Council meetings in Reus, near Barcelona, could take a turn for the bizarre after the northern town voted in a councilor who promised to turn up dressed as Elvis Presley and wants to turn the square into a nudist pool. Ariel Santamaria, a former postman, stood for a small independent party dressed in full Elvis regalia complete with sideburns and won enough votes last weekend to take a council seat. His platform included plans to paint the town hall pink, plant marijuana in the parks and give the police GPS to find people who might need a light while rolling a joint.
Cocaine found in Rome air
A report from Italy's National Research Council released on Thursday found that there are traces of cocaine and cannabis in the air of the Eternal City. The institute made the discovery during a study of toxic substances in the air of Rome, Taranto, in the heel of boot-shaped Italy, as well as in Algiers. The results found that in Rome, there were traces of cocaine and cannabis -- as well as nicotine, caffeine and benzopirene, which is commonly released in cigarette smoke and auto emissions. "The highest concentrations of cocaine were found in the center of Rome and especially in the area of the University of La Sapienza," said lead investigator Angelo Cecinato.