Fri, May 20, 2011 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



Obama birth mug on sale

President Barack Obama has seen off the “birther” conspiracists who hyped rumors he was not American — now he is trying to rake in campaign cash from the row with a “Made in the USA” campaign mug. The white mug comes with a picture of the beaming president on the front and a reduced rendition of his birth certificate, released by the White House in a successful attempt to quell the controversy, on the back. “Last year, the President said, ‘I can’t spend all of my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead,’” Obama’s campaign manager Julianna Smoot told supporters in an e-mail. “This is about as close as we can get.” The limited edition mug to help supporters “stay caffeinated for campaign events (and everything else)” is available on Obama’s 2012 campaign Web site, for a US$15 donation.


Chatty woman kicked out

A young woman who insisted on noisily chatting on her cellphone throughout a marathon 15-hour train ride was forcibly removed by police following numerous passenger complaints. The woman was traveling on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight, which runs between Los Angeles and Seattle, Washington, and was speaking loudly enough to annoy surrounding passengers, Amtrak spokesman Vernay Graham said. “I guess she got into some sort of confrontation with others passengers that were sitting around her,” said Graham, adding that the train had almost reached its destination when the conductor decided to call local police after the train pulled into the station at Salem, Oregon. “We consider them unruly passengers when we’ve asked them to stop doing some kind of behavior and they continue on,” Graham said.


Local hero to the rescue

“I revile injustice,” said Menganno (SuperSomebody), a local superhero who dons a blue mask, pads and shield in the hope people can change — for the better. Menganno really is a hero to the people he helps; he patrols the streets of Lanus, a town on the southern fringe of metro Buenos Aires, on a motorbike offering help to anyone in need. “I am a real superhero: flesh and bones. My goal is for all of us to be better people and to care more about each other. That is what I am fighting for,” he said in an interview. He does not seek glory, which is why he chose the name Menganno — the Spanish-language equivalent of “Tom, Dick and Harry.” He admits his wife and two sons know about his unusual pastime, and apparently are helping him keep his identity under wraps. On a typical day, he tools around on his bike assisting locals, delivers shoes to the needy and chatting with adoring kids.


Valentim is world’s oldest

Maria Gomes Valentim, a great-great grandmother, is the world’s oldest living person at the age of 114 and 313 days, Guinness World Records said on Wednesday. Valentim is the first Brazilian to hold the title after her claim was authenticated by the world records authority. Previous titleholder, Besse Cooper from Monroe, Georgia, is 48 days younger and is now the “Oldest Living North American.” Valentim was born in 1896, when Queen Victoria was still on the throne of England, in the town of Carangola, where she still lives. She was widowed in 1946 after a 33-year marriage and has five great-great grandchildren. According to the Guinness World Records Web site, she attributes her longevity to a healthy diet that includes a roll of bread every morning with coffee and fruit — and the occasional glass of wine.

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