Protester death to be probed
The government has ordered an investigation into the death of a teenage boy who opposition groups claim was killed by police gunfire during an anti-government protest. Seventeen-year-old Ahmed Jaber died late on Thursday during a rally in the Gulf kingdom. Opposition groups say he was shot by police birdshot — used for crowd control — when a pellet entered his heart or lungs. The police say they used only tear gas and concussion grenades to respond to a violent protest in the Abu Saiba area of the country. A government statement yesterday said the cause of death was listed as cardiac arrest and promised a full probe.
Song riff found to be copied
Men at Work yesterday lost their final court bid to prove they did not steal the distinctive flute riff of their 1980s hit Down Under from a children’s campfire song. The High Court denied the band’s bid to appeal a federal court judge’s earlier ruling that the group had copied the signature flute melody of Down Under from the song Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree, a song written more than 70 years ago by Marion Sinclair for a Girl Guides competition. Sinclair died in 1988, but publishing company Larrikin Music — which now holds the copyright for Kookaburra — filed a copyright lawsuit in 2009. Larrikin wasn’t able to seek royalties earned before 2002 because of a statute of limitations. Lawyers for Men at Work’s recording company maintained the band had not copied anything, and vowed to fight the ruling, but yesterday’s decision from the High Court ends the band’s chance to appeal.
Diane Cilento dies at 78
Oscar-nominated actress Diane Cilento has died at the age of 78. Queensland State Premier Anna Bligh said Cilento died on Thursday night. No cause of death was given. Bligh said yesterday that the actress would be sorely missed by many in the entertainment industry. Cilento was once married to James Bond actor Sean Connery. The two eventually divorced and Cilento went on to wed playwright Anthony Shaffer. Cilento appeared in dozens of films, television shows and stage productions. She received an Academy Award nomination in 1963 for best supporting actress for her work in the movie Tom Jones and was nominated for a Tony Award in 1956. She settled in Queensland in the 1980s and built a popular outdoor theater in the rain forest.
Fresh water lift goes ahead
Wellington and Australia were scheduled to start an airlift yesterday to help supply fresh water to the tiny drought-stricken Pacific nation of Tuvalu, which is under a state of emergency as a result of the crisis. Foreign Minister Murray McCully said a series of flights by military transport planes would deliver a large army desalination unit to the main island of Funafuti. It follows the deployment of smaller desalination units there this week. “At present the two operating desalination plants at Funafuti are producing a combined volume of 43,000 liters a day. The minimum requirement for the 5,300 residents is 79,500 liters a day,” McCully said. Tuvalu is reliant on rainwater collection for drinking water and has been severely affected by a weather pattern across the Pacific known as La Nina. The neighboring Wellington-administered territory of Tokelau also declared a state of emergency after the drought left its 1,400 people with less than a week’s supply of water.
Perez’s funeral held
Former president Carlos Perez was buried on Thursday in Caracas after a protracted legal battle that saw his body finally return from the US. Hundreds of supporters and opposition members accompanied the funeral march from the headquarters of Perez’s Democracy Action party, where he celebrated electoral victories in 1974 and 1989, to La Chiquinquira church. “We will return! We will return!” the crowd chanted as it accompanied the body of the late leader who died of a heart attack in Miami on Dec. 25 last year at the age of 88. His death set off a prolonged legal battle between his widow, Blanca Rodriguez, who lives in Venezuela, and his longtime companion and former secretary Cecilia Matos, who lives in Florida. Rodriguez wanted the body returned to Caracas for burial, but Matos said Perez did not want to return to Venezuela as long as current leftist President Hugo Chavez remained in power.
Caffeine limits announced
The government will restrict the amount of caffeine allowed in energy drinks such as Red Bull and Monster Energy, but has pulled back from classifying them as stimulative drug products that can only be sold in pharmacies. Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced on Thursday the limits on the amount of caffeine allowed in the drinks and said the government would require labels stating the caffeine levels. An expert panel appointed by Health Canada, the government’s health department, had recommended that energy drinks be labeled as “stimulant-drug containing drinks” that should be listed on a schedule of drugs that can only be sold in pharmacies. Energy drinks had been classified as “natural health products,” but the government has now reclassified them as foods, with full labeling requirements. Caffeine will be limited to 180mg in a single serving, a level that Health Canada said is comparable with the amount in a medium cup of coffee.
Refinery blast injures 10
An explosion and fire at a crude oil refinery in the central province of Saskatchewan has injured 10 people. Gilbert Ledressay, the safety manager of the Consumers’ Co-operative Refinery plant in Regina, said on Thursday eight people were taken to hospital with burns and two were treated on site. He says there is no word on how seriously the people have been burned. He says the explosion seems to have been caused by a release of diesel and hydrogen gas. The Co-op refiner is taking steps to account for employees and contractors on the site. A cloud of black smoke billowed from the refinery.
O’Neal pleads not guilty
Griffin O’Neal, son of actor Ryan O’Neal, has pleaded not guilty to drug and firearm possession and driving under the influence stemming from a head-on traffic collision that injured a motorist two months ago. The San Diego Union--Tribune says O’Neal faces six felony and misdemeanor charges related to the Aug. 2 accident. Deputy District Attorney Vanessa DuVall said on Thursday that the 46-year-old O’Neal veered into oncoming traffic and hit a car, causing head and back injuries to its driver. DuVall says blood tests showed O’Neal had ingested amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana and Xanax. Crack cocaine and loaded firearms were found in his car. Defense attorney Heather Boxeth said O’Neal had been trying to help his half-brother Redmond O’Neal, who had been arrested on suspicion of heroin possession the same day.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete