Sun, Jan 09, 2011 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

UNITED KINGDOM

Red Cross emblem dropped

A nurse in a Robin Hood stage show had to change her costume after the Red Cross warned the theater company in Glasgow that the use of its emblem on the dress could violate the Geneva Conventions. Glasgow’s Pavilion Theater had a nurse character in the pantomime show wearing a costume with red crosses on her hat and tunic — but changed the crosses to green after the British Red Cross objected.

NIGER

Gunmen abduct Frenchmen

Heavily armed members of the security forces were combing the center of Niamey yesterday after gunmen abducted two Frenchmen from a restaurant in front of shocked diners and staff. Two armed men burst into the Toulousain restaurant in the city center when it was crowded with diners late on Friday and forced the two men to follow them, staff and diners said. They were taken to a four-by-four vehicle with Benin plates in which other armed men were waiting and then driven off at speed. The incident happened between 10:30pm and 11:30pm. A security source confirmed the abduction, while a police source said that one of the two abducted men had arrived that same day to attend a wedding. Witnesses said both abductors wore turbans and one customer at the restaurant said the two had fair skin and had spoken Arabic.

ISRAEL

Soldier dies in ‘accident’

A soldier died on Friday and four were injured in an accidental explosion during an exchange of gunshots and mortar fire with Palestinians along the Gaza border, an army spokesman said. A unit came across three “terrorists” apparently trying to place explosive devices near the security barrier that separates Gaza from Israel, he said. They opened fire, but for an “unknown reason” a mortar they tried to fire exploded, “accidentally” killing one soldier and injuring four others, including an officer, the spokesman said.

UNITED STATES

Lightning-hit plane lands

A passenger jet with 35 people aboard landed safely at an airport on New York’s Long Island after being struck by lightning. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and an airline spokesman said US Airways Express flight 4507 from Philadelphia to New Haven, Connecticut, was diverted to Long Island MacArthur Airport in the town of Islip on Friday afternoon as a precaution. FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac said the pilot reported electrical problems with the aircraft after the lightning strike. The plane had originally been scheduled to land at 2:30pm. It was unclear when it was diverted.

BRAZIL

Toilet apartheid sparks row

As the country gears up for its annual carnival festivities, a row has broken out over toilets for the exclusive use of gays and transvestites in samba schools readying for the event. Protesters claim the recent designation in the premises of Unidos de Tujuca, one of the top Rio de Janeiro samba schools preparing a parade for the March 4-9 carnival, resembles the forced separation of blacks and whites in the past. “They are carnival apartheid!” Claudio Nascimento, the head of a government anti-homophobia program, raged to reporters. But defenders of the segregated conveniences said they provided a safe area for gays and transvestites. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people merely have the option to use the special bathrooms and can still opt to go to the ordinary ones, they said

UNITED STATES

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