Thu, Feb 10, 2011 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

ROMANIA

Witches face prison time

There’s more bad news in the cards for the country’s beleaguered witches. A month after authorities began taxing them for their trade, soothsayers and fortunetellers are cursing a new bill that threatens fines or even prison if their predictions don’t come true. Witches say they shouldn’t be blamed for the failure of their tools. “They can’t condemn witches, they should condemn the cards,” queen witch Bratara Buzea said. “I will fight until my last breath for this not to be passed.” Sometimes, she said, people don’t provide their real identities, dates of birth or other personal details, which could skew predictions.

FINLAND

Scientists brew old grog

Scientists say they hope to re-brew an old ale after studying ancient beer found in a 19th century shipwreck at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. The VTT Technical Research Center says it hopes to determine the recipe used in the brewing of what is “one of the world’s oldest preserved beers.” Divers Found five bottles of dark, foamy beer in July last year while salvaging champagne from the wreck near the Aland Islands.

UNITED KINGDOM

Grandmother foils robbery

A 71-year-old grandmother who “clobbered” a gang of sledgehammer-wielding thieves with her handbag credited her “mother’s instinct” for spurring her into action, media reported yesterday. Ann Timson was captured on video hitting three of the six helmet-clad robbers, causing one to fall off his moped as he tried to make his escape during the botched raid on a jewelry store in Northampton. “I saw a kid run up to the doorway of the jeweler,” she said. “Three lads followed him and when I saw their arms going, I thought the kid was being beaten up. My mother’s instinct kicked in and I ran across the road shouting at the lads to stop it. As I got closer I saw it was a robbery, and then I was even more angry. One of the gang shot off ... I clobbered him with my shopping. I landed several blows against one lad ... and brought him to the ground. He raised a hammer to me so I kept hitting out. It seemed to be over in seconds.” The would-be robbers dropped their loot. Four suspects have been arrested.

RUSSIA

Elderly woman hires hitman

A 70-year-old woman has been charged with offering to pay 30,000 rubles (US$1,025) for the murder of her former lover, a policeman less than half her age. “The woman plotted the murder of a 32-year-old policeman with whom she had an intimate relationship some time before,” a spokesperson for the regional investigative committee in Murmansk said. Police ensnared the woman after sending an officer posing as a hired killer to meet with her. She was arrested while trying to pay for the crime.

HUNGARY

‘Flying Gizi’ at it again

The country’s notorious octogenarian thief is not ready for retirement. The 84-year-old woman, known as “Flying Gizi,” whose criminal record goes back to the 1950s, is again in custody, police said on Tuesday. Fejer County police spokeswoman Agnes Szabo said the burglar, whose real name is Gizella Bodnar, is suspected of taking about 15,000 forints (US$75) from a home in Bicske. Bodnar, who has been convicted of more than 20 crimes and has spent nearly 18 years in prison, got her nickname because she enjoyed taking flights after successful break-ins. She eluded capture for years, as police never imagined that the cat burglar would travel so far to commit her crimes.

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