Radioactive charms sold
A duo who marketed charms said to glow for more than a decade ran out of luck themselves when it was revealed that the products were radioactive, police said on Thursday. The pair were based in Hiroshima, site of the world’s first atomic attack, where they sold cellphone straps containing tritium, a radioactive substance that can be used in nuclear weapons. Ichiro Shimozaki, a 40-year-old unemployed man, and Kyoko Fujii, a 45-year-old company worker, have sold 5,500 straps since 2004, earning US$1,620, a police spokesman said. They imported the tritium from Britain and sold the straps through a Web site.
Border guards shot dead
Two border guards were shot dead by Indian troops along a frontier post, triggering an immediate protest by Dhaka, a security official said yesterday. “Indian Border Security Forces [BSF] suddenly started firing when our forces were patrolling along the northwestern frontier on Thursday night,” said Major Mahmud of the Bangladesh Rifles border guard. “Two of our soldiers had been fatally hit. It’s [a] serious violation by the BSF. We have lodged a strong protest with the BSF over the incident,” he said. Despite friendly relations, Indian and Bangladeshi border guards often exchange fire along the 4,000km porous border.
Bombers’ appeal rejected
The Supreme Court has given the green light for the execution of the three Bali bombers after rejecting their last appeal, authorities said yesterday. The court has sent a letter to the Bali prosecutor’s office confirming that the rejection of the bombers’ latest and third petition meant the appeals process was exhausted, Denpasar District Court head Nyoman Gede Wirya said. “The ball is now in the hands of the prosecutor’s office to carry out the sentence, the appeals process is over,” he said. A Supreme Court spokesman could not be reached for comment. The three members of the Jemaah Islamiyah regional terror network — Amrozi, Imam Samudra and Ali Ghufron — were convicted in 2003.
Thieves target friars
Thieves targeted a group of foreign friars visiting for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI, police said yesterday. They stole a total of around US$6,800 in cash from 11 friars, 10 of whom were from the US and one from Papua New Guinea, New South Wales state police commissioner Andrew Scipione said. An official at the Sydney center where the men were staying said it had not deeply upset them. “It is unfortunate but I don’t think that is enough to dampen the spirits of these guys,” Father Julian Messina said. “There is so much joy and happiness.”
Aussie reporter arrested
A television reporter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has been arrested and was expected to face drug charges yesterday, his employer said. “ABC South Asia correspondent Peter Lloyd has been arrested in Singapore,” a report on the ABC Web site said. The ABC Web site said Lloyd was expected to be charged in a court hearing at a hospital where he is being held under guard. It quoted Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith as saying he expected Australian officials to attend the hearing. Smith was quoted as saying. “If convicted, Lloyd faces imprisonment of between five and 20 years in jail and between five and 15 strokes of the cane,” the ABC said.
Twins are one-in-a-million
Twin boys of radically differing skin color have been born in a one-in-a-million chance to a German father and Ghanaian mother in a Berlin hospital, doctors at the clinic have announced. Hospital authorities said the non-identical twins were definitely full brothers, with the same father. The probability of a birth of this kind was one in a million. “Ryan came first, and everything was as usual. But when Leo was born, I couldn’t believe my eyes,” Birgit Weber, the doctor who carried out the Cesarean said. Weber said she had been present at 10,000 births over almost 20 years of hospital experience and had never seen anything quite like this. Ryan is distinctly lighter in skin color than Leo. Doctors at the clinic in the east of Berlin said a similar case had been recorded in Middlesborough in England last year. There is also reported to be a case in the eastern German city of Leipzig. The sight of her very different sons had initially left the mother, Florence, speechless, she said.
Party takes aim at carry-outs
Diners hungry for Chinese carry-out or kebabs could have their choices limited under a regional law proposed by the anti-immigrant Northern League on Thursday. The League called for the Lombardy regional council to allow cities to bar from their historic centers businesses that are “incompatible with the historical context.” “For example, fast food, Chinese restaurants, kebab, sex shops are types of commercial activity that clash heavily with a 1,000-year-old historic district, as is typical of Lombard reality,” Daniele Belotti, a regional councilor with the League, said in a statement. The measure is aimed at maintaining the character of historic town centers, it said.
Most men harass women
Nearly two-thirds of Egyptian men admit to having sexually harassed women and a majority say women themselves are to blame for their maltreatment, a survey showed on Thursday. The forms of harassment reported by Egyptian men, whose country attracts millions of foreign tourists each year, include touching or ogling women, shouting sexually explicit remarks, and exposing their genitals to women. “Sexual harassment has become an overwhelming and very real problem experienced by all women in Egyptian society, often on a daily basis,” said the report by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights. Egyptian women and female visitors frequently complain of sexual harassment.
Arrests after toddler dies
A man and a teenage boy have been arrested after a two-year-old died from serious head injuries, police said on Thursday. The 53-year-old man and 15-year-old boy are being held on suspicion of assault and are being questioned by police. The arrests came after the toddler, Demi Leigh Mahon, was found with serious head injuries at a house in Salford, Greater Manchester, on Tuesday.
Traffic police shot dead
Authorities say three traffic police officers were shot dead in a southern region. The Interior Ministry in the province of Karachayevo-Cherkessia says gunmen entered a restaurant where the officers were eating after work on Thursday and opened fire. A bystander was also injured in the shooting and the attackers escaped with two of the officers’ handguns. There was no word yesterday on a motive. Karachayevo-Cherkessia is west of war-scarred Chechnya in Russia’s North Caucasus.
City sells toilets on eBay
Seattle’s five problem-plagued public toilets could be yours if you’re flush with money. City officials decided to pull the plug on the multimillion-dollar self-cleaning toilet stalls and instead put them on the auction site eBay. Starting bids are US$89,000 apiece. Neighbors and city-commissioned analysts said the unisex facilities attracted drug users and prostitutes, and were less cost-effective than regular public restrooms. On May 19, the City Council voted to remove the problem toilets. The German-made automatic, high-tech toilets were installed in 2004 and have cost the city about US$5 million. Each has handsfree washing and drying ability and an emergency button that automatically dials emergency services.
Drug submarine captured
Troops seized a small submarine smuggling drugs in the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, the military said. A navy plane spotted the craft about 225km south of the tourist resort of Huatulco, setting off a three-hour chase, Rear Admiral Hector Mucharraz said. The green-colored submarine, carrying what was believed to be cocaine, was about 9.7m long and appeared to be a makeshift or modified vessel. Special forces troops swooped on the submarine from a helicopter and subdued the crew of four, Mucharraz said. The government is increasingly using the military to fight drug smugglers who move South American cocaine through the country and into the US.
Bush may get sewage plant
Activists in San Francisco have secured sufficient support to put on the November election ballot an initiative to rename a local sewage plant in “honor” of President George W. Bush. The Bush critics succeeded in collecting more than 12,000 signatures for renaming the sewerage plant, and an election committee confirmed it, the San Francisco Chronicle said on Thursday. San Francisco voters are to give their approval to change the name of the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant to the George W. Bush Sewage Plant in November.
McRobber promotes Big Mac
A man who held up a McDonald’s at gunpoint when he was a teenager 14 years ago is now promoting the restaurant’s signature sandwich in song. Tamien Bain is among five finalists in the fast food chain’s contest for a new jingle promoting the Big Mac. Bain was arrested in May 1994 for the holdup, when he was 14, the Orlando Sentinel reported on Thursday. He was charged as an adult and served 12 years in prison, where he became interested in making music. The winner gets a trip to Los Angeles and their song featured in a national McDonald’s ad.
Knife found in Subway bread
A New York man claimed in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday that he found a knife with an 18cm blade baked into the bread of his foot-long Subway sandwich. John Agnesini, 26, a magazine designer, said he had already taken a few bites from the sandwich late last month when he spotted the knife jutting out from the bread’s crust. The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan state court, seeks US$1 million. “If I didn’t look at it, I don’t know what would have happened,” Agnesini said. “That’s the last thing you think about a sandwich you eat all the time.” A colleague telephoned the chain to complain, but Subway never apologized, he said. Subway spokesman Kevin Kane said in a statement the company was investigating.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
WARNINGS OVER COMPLACENCY: The curves of new infections in numerous countries is climbing, while others see the the first new infections in months Spikes in COVID-19 infections in Asia have dispelled any notion that the region might be over the worst, with Australia and India yesterday reporting record daily infections, Vietnam fretting over a new surge and North Korea urging vigilance. Asian nations had largely prided themselves on rapidly containing initial outbreaks after the coronavirus emerged in central China late last year, but flare-ups this month have shown the danger of complacency. “We’ve got to be careful not to slip into some idea that there’s some golden immunity that Australia has in relation to this virus,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters. Australia recorded its
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
The Australian government yesterday said that it plans to give Google and Facebook three months to negotiate with media businesses fair pay for news content. In releasing a draft of a mandatory code of conduct, Canberra aims to succeed where other nations have failed in making tech firms pay for news siphoned from commercial media companies. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that Google and Facebook would be the first platforms targeted by the proposed legislation, but others could follow. “It’s about a fair go for Australian news media businesses, it’s about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable