Lennon suit up for grabs
The white, two-piece suit John Lennon wore on the cover of the Beatles’ Abbey Road album will be among items auctioned less than a month after the 30th anniversary of the singer-songwriter’s death. The suit and the blazer Lennon wore in the Imagine music video are among the memorabilia being auctioned by Braswell Galleries in Connecticut on New Year’s Day. Auction house co-owner Gary Braswell told the Hour newspaper that the suit’s current owner decided to sell after experiencing some economic hardship.
Students autopsy teacher
It was their first ever autopsy, but students at one of the country’s top medical schools were faced with a familiar sight in the classroom: The body on the table belonged to their late teacher. “The first autopsy is really, really emotional, and we autopsied someone we knew!” one of the students told news agency on TT Friday. According to a student, the class did not find out who they were going to autopsy until they saw their teacher’s name on the body’s toe tag.
Captain Beefheart dies
Don Van Vliet, better known as pioneering blues and rock musician Captain Beefheart, has died in California from complications of multiple sclerosis at age 69, a representative for the artist said on Friday. The Michael Werner Gallery in New York, which handles Vliet’s paintings, made the announcement. Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band rose to prominence during the 1960s with an experimental brand of rock music that was inspired by the blues. While band members would change over the years, the group continued to crank out music up to 1982 when Vliet retired from music and turned to painting.
Bones may be Earhart’s
Tiny bones along with artifacts from the 1930s found on a remote Pacific island may reveal the fate of pioneering aviator Amelia Earhart. In one of aviation’s most enduring mysteries, Earhart took off from Lae, in what is now Papua New Guinea, while attempting to circumnavigate the globe in 1937 and was never seen again. A massive search at the time failed to find the flyer and her navigator Fred Noonan, who were assumed to have died after ditching their aircraft in the ocean. Now aviation enthusiasts from US-based group The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) say they have evidence suggesting the pair made it safely to Nikumaroro Island in Kiribati and lived as castaways. TIGHAR executive director Rick Gillespie said the group, which has carried out 10 expeditions to Nikumaroro over the past 22 years, found three small bone fragments on the uninhabited island earlier this year. Gillespie said the bones appeared to be part of a human finger, although they could also be from a turtle, and had been sent for DNA analysis. TIGHAR also found artefacts dating from the 1930s, including a woman’s make-up compact, broken mirror and small US-made bottles.
Scientists find oldest raptor
Scientists have discovered the oldest reported raptor-like dinosaur in eastern Utah. The Bureau of Land Management said on Thursday that the Geminiraptor suarezarum is believed to be 125 million years old. Most known raptors discovered in North America date to between 72 and 75 million years ago. The dinosaur was found on land near Green River, an area about 290km southeast of Salt Lake City.
Toilet campaign launched
Squeaky-clean Singapore needs cleaner toilets and public awareness is one way to achieve this, a civic group said at the launch of the latest stage of its LOO campaign — Let’s Observe Ourselves. The city-state has 30,000 public restrooms and is pushing to make 70 percent of them at least “three-star” clean by 2013. However, a survey by the Restroom Association (Singapore) (RAS) found that only some 500 of the island’s public toilets overall were up to its standards of working facilities, lack of litter and odor, and the provision of basic amenities such as hand soap and toilet paper. “For us, toilet etiquette reflects Singaporeans’ culture. It tells people how civilized we are,” RAS president Tan Puay Hoon told reporters on Thursday.
Hitler taken from honor roll
It may have come 65 years too late, but a town in western Germany has finally struck off Adolf Hitler from its roll call of honorary citizens. Dulmen town council, in North Rhine-Westphalia, has removed the title after years of deliberation and two failed attempts to push the motion through. Hitler was awarded honorary status in April 1933, when city officials — led by the local Nazi party leader, Julius Bielefeld — voted unanimously to bestow the title on him. The then Reich chancellor, Franz von Papen, and its president, Paul von Hindenburg, were also awarded the honor. Dulmen is not alone. Historians estimate about 4,000 German towns and cities awarded similar titles to Hitler and other senior Nazis. Archivists began researching the topic in the 1990s when councils debated whether to leave Hitler’s name on their lists for historicity or to remove it out of respect for others who had been given similar recognition. Communities have generally been slow to act.
Illegal organ trade thrives
It is fitting that the man described as the “fixer” in Kosovo’s alleged organ ring was an Israeli of Turkish descent. Moshe Harel, a fugitive wanted by Interpol in connection with the case, is accused of matching potential donors recruited in Turkey with recipients, many if not all of whom had connections with Israel. The Israeli market for donor livers has been well-documented, and most international trafficking rings have involved wealthy Israeli patients on so-called “transplant tours.” Organ donation in Israel is low because of concerns in the Orthodox community about the body after death. Last month the recipients of organs illegally transplanted in a private hospital in South Africa were described as Israelis. The donors — said to have included children — were paid US$6,000 for a kidney. Netcare of South Africa admitted in court to receiving 3.8 million rand (US$554, 382) from an illegal organ trafficking syndicate.
Three sent to space station
The International Space Station got three new tenants on Friday, doubling in crew size with the arrival of a Russian Soyuz capsule. The Soyuz delivered an American, an Italian and a Russian for a five-month stay. They floated into the orbiting lab two days after their launch from Kazakhstan. Officials at Russia’s Mission Control outside Moscow radioed congratulations, as did the families of the new residents. The docking took place 355km above Mali in western Africa, just as NASA was wrapping up a fueling test of space shuttle Discovery on its Florida launch pad. Discovery should have flown to the space station last month, but is grounded until February because of fuel tank cracks.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘SUICIDE’: Media reports said Park Won-soon went missing on Thursday after a staff member filed a sexual harassment claim against him this week Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, viewed as a potential candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was found dead of an apparent suicide hours after he was reported missing, police said, adding that he was the subject of an undisclosed investigation. In a note he is thought to have left behind on his desk, Park offered his apologies. “I thank everyone who was with me in my life. I apologize to my family for only making them suffer from pain,” according to the note that was released by his office yesterday. Park, in his letter, asked to be cremated and have his remains spread
RISKY BUSINESS: The Chinese firm has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of 5G equipment not covered by US sanctions, but fears a wider ban could be announced in the UK Huawei Technologies Co believes it can supply 5G hardware unaffected by US sanctions to the UK for the next five years, sidestepping the expected conclusion of British emergency review on Tuesday. The company has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of kit, but fears a wider ban on its equipment is to be unveiled to placate rebel British Conservative Party lawmakers, who say that the Chinese supplier represents a national security risk. The British government on Friday said that it was “very likely” that British Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden would make a statement to parliament on Tuesday