Sat, Sep 19, 2009 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■RUSSIA

Clown plans fun in space

The man who plans to be “the first clown in space” said on Thursday in Star City he had some surprises planned for the crew of the International Space Station. Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte told reporters he planned to tickle the professional astronauts while they’re sleeping and was also bringing red clown noses to try to lighten things up on the orbiting station. “I’m a person with a pretty high spirit, who’s there to crack jokes and make jokes to those guys, and while they’re sleeping, you know, I’ll be tickling them,” Laliberte said. The 50-year-old Canadian creator of the famed circus troupe is paying US$35 million to blast off later this month on a Russian spacecraft.

■UKRAINE

Pilgrim bites policeman

A Hasidic Jewish pilgrim bit a Ukrainian policeman, while other pilgrims smashed a TV camera in a row over kosher food, Channel 5 TV reported on Thursday. The incident took place in the city of Uman, a pilgrimage site for one of the nine main branches of Hasidic Judaism. The conflict began after Uman police attempted to shut down a group of kiosks operated by the pilgrims, said a report citing Svetlana Lipinska, an Uman city official. The owner-operators said they were providing kosher food acceptable to Hasidic teachings that were unavailable elsewhere in Uman. The law enforcers alleged the kiosks were not registered businesses and violated city health codes.

■UNITED KINGDOM

Thames got lost in the Tube

London’s subway bosses have erased the River Thames. Mayor Boris Johnson on Thursday joined a chorus of disapproval at a new version of the London Underground map that does not show the river, which divides north and south London. Subway operator Transport for London said the map was simplified after becoming cluttered. Bands denoting different fare zones and some small print have also been removed. Johnson’s office said the mayor “has ordered the river to be reinstated as soon as possible” without incurring extra costs. Transport for London said it would heed the negative reaction and put the river back the next time the map is revised, in December. Thousands of copies of the new map have been printed on posters and leaflets and distributed in the last week.

■FRANCE

Farmers dump milk, dung

A farmers’ union said it dumped 3 tonnes of milk and 1 tonne of cow dung in the reception hall of a branch of Credit Agricole in the small town of Boen-sur-Lignon to protest the way banks make better profits than dairy farmers do. The APLI milk producers’ union said farmers in this mountainous area weren’t paid enough for their milk, obtained in difficult conditions. Farmers around Europe are dumping milk to call attention to sagging milk prices and a plan to phase out milk quotas.

■NORWAY

Rest helps cows give milk

Comfortable cows are producing more milk and have less udder infections since new regulations allowing them to relax for up to half a day on soft rubberized mattresses were introduced. In 2004, the government introduced rules to gradually replace all sheds where cows are kept in stalls with ones that allow them to move more freely and lie down on a softer surface. The change has helped raised production rise by 5 percent to 6 percent, doctoral student Lars Erik Ruud said after researching the impact of the rules.

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