Sat, Mar 14, 2009 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ GERMANY

Dead man sent TV bill

A German mathematician who died 450 years ago has been sent a letter demanding that he pay long-overdue television license fees, residents at his former address said on Wednesday. Germany’s GEZ broadcast fee collection office sent the bill to the last home address of Adam Ries, an algebra expert who bought the house in 1525. A club in his honor was set up at the property four centuries later. “We received a letter saying ‘To Mr Adam Ries’ on it, with the request to pay his television and radio fees,” said Annegret Muench, who now heads the club. Muench returned the letter to the GEZ with a note explaining the request had come too late because Ries had died in 1559, centuries before the invention of television and radio. She nonetheless received a reminder a few weeks later.

■ ISRAEL

Chopper fall kills man

The military is investigating how a medic dropped an injured hiker to his death from an army helicopter after rescuing him from a minefield. The 24-year-old man from an Arab village in northern Israel was hiking with some friends on Wednesday when he inadvertently stumbled into a minefield left over from one of Israel’s wars and stepped on a mine. The military sent a helicopter to airlift the seriously injured man to a hospital. But as rescuers were hoisting him into the aircraft at the end of a rope, he fell 20m back into the minefield and died on impact. Video footage of the incident was shown on Israeli TV.

■ CANADA

Man recovering from plunge

The man who survived a plunge over Niagara’s Horseshoe Falls and spent about 45 minutes naked in the icy waters below is in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery, Canadian police said on Thursday. The man, who was swept over the roaring 51m falls on Wednesday after jumping into the Niagara River, was treated for hypothermia, shock and cuts to his forehead. He is just the second person to live through an unaided, intentional plunge over the falls. Police said the Canadian man — initially identified as an American tourist — was attempting suicide and no charges will be pressed.

■ UNITED KINGDOM

Nagging wife fetches offers

A British man fed up with his wife’s complaints advertised her for sale — and got a number of offers. “Nagging Wife. No Tax, No MOT. Very high maintenance — some rust,” wrote Gary Bates, 38, in a small ad in Trade-It, more usually used to buy and sell cars or household goods. “She was nagging me for doing something small, while she was watching some rubbish on TV. So I just thought I’d put an ad in to get rid of her. I didn’t think anyone would ring up but I’ve had at least nine or 10 people calling about her. It’s gone mad. There was no one I knew — just people asking, ‘Is she still available?’” Bates said.

■ MEXICO

‘Forbes’ list draws fire

Mexico is decrying Forbes magazine’s decision to include the reputed leader of one of the country’s most violent drug cartels on its list of billionaires. Forbes ranks Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, with an estimated US$1 billion fortune, at No. 701 — between a Swiss oil-trading tycoon and a US chemical heir. Guzman, Mexico’s most-wanted fugitive, is believed to head the Sinaloa cartel. Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora said Forbes is defending crime by “comparing the deplorable activity of a criminal wanted in Mexico and abroad with that of honest businessmen.”

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