Thu, May 22, 2008 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

■ JAPAN

Parrot talks his way home

When Yosuke the parrot flew out of his cage and got lost, he did exactly what he had been taught — recite his name and address to a stranger willing to help. Police rescued the African gray parrot two weeks ago from a roof in Nagareyama, near Tokyo. After spending a night at the station, he was transferred to a veterinary hospital. He kept mum with the cops, but began chatting after a few days with the vet. “I’m Mr. Yosuke Nakamura,” the bird told the vet. He also provided his full home address. The police checked the address and found the Nakamura family, who told them they had been teaching the bird its name and address for about two years.

■ MALAYSIA

Thieves in briefs rob house

Five robbers clad only in underwear and face masks broke into a Borneo home and left with money and goods after beating up the owner’s Indonesian maid, the Star daily said yesterday. The five men entered the home in Miri early on Monday and tied up a family of four, the paper said. The robbers then demanded to see the family’s maid and beat her with the handle of a machete. The men then escaped with more than 10,000 ringgit (US$2,940) in cash and belongings.

■ PHILIPPINES

Police told to smile or else

Police officers were told to smile in public or face suspension yesterday in an attempt to spruce up their image. The new guidelines were announced after one of the country’s bloodiest weeks in crime. “We are encouraging policemen to be community-friendly,” police Director Leopoldo Bataoil said. “There is no place for rough and brusque officers in this organization.” He said the order was in response to public complaints over officers’ behavior at road checkpoints. “Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you so much. Sir/Ma’am ... these are words of courtesy which the public wants to hear from us,” Bataoil said.

■ AUSTRALIA

Giant roo signals to space

A giant white kangaroo bounced into the science books on Tuesday as part of a global experiment to measure the amount of light the earth reflects back to the sun. The cardboard cut-out marsupial, which measures 32m by 18m, was laid out in a paddock on the grounds of Monash University in Melbourne. “We call it our kangaroo from space because two satellites flew over [and] what they were doing was measuring the amount of light reflected from our kangaroo,” said Patricia Vickers-Rich, a professor at the school. “And the point of that was to make people aware that reflected light, or lack of reflected light, has a very big effect on climate.” Scientists are concerned that the melting of the polar ice caps is quickly robbing the earth of some of the white spaces which have traditionally reflected the sun’s rays, she said.

■ NEW ZEALAND

On a wing and a prayer

Two pilots had their prayers answered on Sunday when their microlight airplane ran out of fuel and they were able to make an emergency landing in a field — right next to a sign reading, “Jesus is Lord.” “My friend and I are both Christians so our immediate reaction in a life-threatening situation was to ask for God’s help,” Grant Stubbs told reporters yesterday. After landing, the pair noticed they were beside a 6m tall sign that read, “Jesus is Lord — The Bible.” “When we saw that, we started laughing,” Stubbs said. “It was a bit of relief.”

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