Women prefer manly men
The recession has made beefy blokes like Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig more appealing than scented metrosexuals like Hugh Grant and Leonardo DiCaprio, an Australian sociologist said yesterday. “During the downturn, the theory is that women are concerned about safety, security and food supply, so their taste in men will shift from the androgynous, hairless metrosexual towards the more muscular, primal, hairy male,” demographer Bernard Salt told Australian news agency AAP. He predicted the desired body shape would “shift from hairless, sleek, a bit wimpy, to the more muscular” as economies sank deeper into recession. Film-star looks were likely to change too, with the androgynous Zac Efrons fading from view and the hirsute, sweaty Russell Crowes taking their place.
Mass grave discovered
Searchers discovered a mass grave of 35 North Vietnamese soldiers killed at a military airport during the 1968 Tet offensive, a military official said yesterday. The remains were discovered on Saturday in a search of the former Vinh Long army airport, said the head of the provincial military command’s political department, Vo Hieu Hoa. “We had the names and addresses of all of them, but could not identify who is who,” Hoa told reporters, adding that the search for the 35 began in the 1980s. He said several more bodies of soldiers killed by US troops when they tried to occupy the airport had still to be found.
Detainees set free
The government yesterday freed 13 people detained under controversial security laws, police said, after new Prime Minister Najib Razak ordered their release. Najib was sworn in on Friday and announced in his maiden speech that he was revoking a ban on two newspapers and releasing 13 people held under the Internal Security Act, which allows for indefinite detention without trial. The 13, including two ethnic Indian leaders of a banned group, were greeted by family members and supporters as they left the detention center in northern Perak state where they were held. Najib had said their release was good for the country and denied it was a bid to win back support for the ruling party.
Bad moonshine kills 14
At least 14 people including two women were killed after drinking illegally brewed poisonous alcohol in India’s northeastern state of Assam, a news report said yesterday. The deaths occurred in the Saboti area in the Lakhimpur district, some 400km east of state capital Guwahati, on Saturday night, the PTI news agency reported. Thirteen villagers who were seriously ill after consuming the alcohol were admitted to different state-run hospitals in the area. Doctors said the death toll could rise.
Polio survivor turns 82
A polio victim confined to a Melbourne hospital and an “iron lung” respirator for the past six decades completed her 82 birthday yesterday. June Middleton, who entered the Guinness Book of Records three years ago as the person who had spent the longest time in an iron lung, had 160 well-wishers around her bedside. Middleton was rendered a quadriplegic when she contracted polio at the age of 22 — just a week before she intended to marry. Thousands of Australians died and tens of thousands were crippled in the polio outbreak of 1949. There are now few people confined to the telephone box-sized iron lung, which inflate the lungs.