Fri, Jan 08, 2010 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ROMANIA

Family recovers savings

Newspapers are reporting that a family who hid 40,000 euros (US$57,768) in a pair of old shoes, then threw them away by mistake, has recovered the bulk of its savings. Newspapers Evenimentul Zilei and Gandul reported on Wednesday that a man from the city of Alba Iulia hid the savings in the shoes without telling his wife. The papers say the wife cleaned house before Christmas and threw the shoes away. The papers reported that the couple informed police, who discovered that a woman found the shoes — and bought a 22,000 euro cottage. The family recovered 11,000 euros from the woman and 19,000 euros from the people who sold the house.

■KENYA

China to develop port

China will finance the building of a second port in the east African nation, a transport corridor and the upgrading of a railroad linking Mombasa port and the Ugandan capital, a statement said on Wednesday. The second port is to be built in the coastal town of Lamu, the statement from President Mwai Kibaki’s office said without giving figures. Initially, the port was to be financed by Qatar under a deal to lease swathes of arable land to the Gulf state, but the agreement was shelved. The road could provide a route to export Chinese oil from southern Sudan.

■UNITED KINGDOM

Affairs Web site growing

Britons snowed in by wintry weather have been flocking to an extra-marital dating site in the last 24 hours. Illicit Encounters, which provides a platform for married people to conduct affairs, said on Wednesday it has seen an unexpected increase in visitors over the past 24 hours, and received a record number of new profiles on Wednesday morning. The Web site said most new members are registering from areas worst hit by this week’s extreme weather, including Hampshire, Berkshire and the West Country, and the site has taken on several temporary staff members to cope with the rush. The Web site said it has gained 2,567 new members in the last six days, suggesting that this month will be its busiest month ever.

■EGYPT

Churchgoers gunned down

Three men in a car sprayed automatic gunfire into a crowd of churchgoers in the south as they left a midnight Mass for Coptic Christmas, killing at least seven people in a drive-by shooting, the church bishop and security officials said. The Interior Ministry said the attack on Wednesday just before midnight was suspected as retaliation for the November rape of a Muslim girl by a Christian man in the same town. The statement said witnesses have identified the lead attacker. The attack took place in the town of Nag Hamadi in Qena province, about 64km from the famous ancient ruins of Luxor.

■ICELAND

‘Obligations will be honored’

The country will “honor its obligations” over the more than US$5 billion owed to the UK and the Netherlands that was lost in failed savings banks, President Olafur Grimsson told British television. The parliament had approved a deeply unpopular bill to cover compensation already paid out by the British and Dutch governments to holders of “Icesave” accounts after banks that collapsed in 2008. Grimsson stunned international financial markets and the government on Tuesday by refusing to sign it and forcing a referendum on the issue.

■CUBA

Contractor was spy: Havana

A US contractor detained last month in Cuba for distributing satellite communications equipment worked for US “secret services” and is being investigated, a top Cuban official said on Wednesday. Cuban Parliament President Ricardo Alarcon shed no light on what the government plans to do with the prisoner, who President Raul Castro has cited as evidence that the US continues its five-decade long campaign to subvert the island’s communist system. The man, arrested early last month, has never been publicly identified. US diplomats were permitted to visit him on Dec. 28, but they have provided little information. He worked for a Maryland-based company called Development Alternatives Inc that said he was involved in a US government program to strengthen civil society and promote democracy in Cuba. “This is a man hired by a company that contracts for the American secret services and that is the object of investigation,” Alarcon told reporters. He said the contractor was part of a trend toward “privatization of war” by the US, which hires people to be “agents, torturers, spies.” Asked if the prisoner was in good condition, Alarcon said: “I can assure you that he is much better — much, much better — than the victims of those contractors all over the world.”

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