Sun, Jan 04, 2009 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■CANADA

Snowboarder, skier killed

Two separate avalanches have claimed the lives of a skier and snowboarder in British Columbia, just days after eight snowmobilers met a similar fate on the perilous slopes of Canada’s westernmost province, the Toronto Star reported on Friday. The 26-year-old snowboarder died on Thursday while snowboarding solo on a part of Whistler Mountain that was closed to the public. Whistler is to host events during the 2010 Winter Olympics. A 37-year-old skier was buried in sliding snow late on Wednesday on nearby Blackcomb Mountain, the newspaper reported. “The problem is you’ve got tempting conditions with fresh snow on the other side of the boundary lines and people are ducking the ropes to go into those areas,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Staff Sergeant Steve LeClair was quoted as saying.

■BRAZIL

US winery owner dies

A German-born businessman who owned a New York winery died while swimming in the ocean off Brazil, police said on Friday. Christian Wolffer, 70, suffered two deep cuts on his back while swimming on New Year’s Eve near the colonial town of Paraty, about 150km west of Rio de Janeiro, police investigator Luiz Carlos dos Anjos Batista said. Authorities are investigating whether the cuts were caused by a passing boat. It isn’t clear if Wolffer drowned or died from the cuts.

■UNITED STATES

Filmmaker not dead

Filmmaker George Butler, whose movie Pumping Iron featured a then-unknown bodybuilder named Arnold Schwarzenegger, wants his friends to know he’s very much alive, despite a premature obituary on a TV talk show this week. During The Charlie Rose Show’s annual New Year’s Eve tribute on PBS to notable figures who during the year, he included Butler. The screen even flashed a Butler tombstone, 1943-2008. The PBS show had confused him with another George Butler, a longtime jazz record executive who signed Wynton Marsalis, who died on April 9. What is odd about the mistake is that Rose and Butler are old friends through Rose’s first wife, meeting shortly after they graduated from college in North Carolina.

■MEXICO

Alleged killer arrested

Police in western Mexico have arrested a farmworker who allegedly hacked a doctor to death with a machete for refusing to treat his son. Prosecutors in the Pacific coast state of Jalisco say 25-year-old suspect Ricardo Garcia Barajas had confessed to killing Dr Laura Avila, who was found dead in the rural health clinic she was staffing on Dec. 26. In a Friday statement, prosecutors quoted Garcia Barajas as saying his son fell ill and he took the infant to the clinic. He said Avila told him the case wasn’t an emergency and that he should return the next day during normal office hours, which angered him.



■MEXICO

Rebel attends anniversary

Zapatista rebel leader “Subcomandante” Marcos made his first public appearance in more than a year on Friday at an event marking the 15th anniversary of his rebellion. The masked leader of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, which rose up in arms in Chiapas, southeast Mexico, on January 1, 1994, attended an anniversary meeting with leftist politicians and activists from some 20 countries. The anniversary meeting ends today.

■PORTUGAL

World’s oldest person dies

The world’s oldest living person, Maria de Jesus, died on Friday at the age of 115, the Lusa news agency reported. Born Sept. 10, 1893, Maria de Jesus became the world’s oldest living person after the death of American Edna Parker on Nov. 26, also aged 115. A family member told the Lusa news agency that de Jesus died “just after 10am while en route to hospital.” De Jesus was born in a poor area in Urquiera, close to Ourem in the center of the country. She started working in agriculture at the age of 12 and never went to school, remaining unable to write and read for her entire life. After marrying, she moved to the town of Corujo with her husband where she brought up her six children.

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