Jobs to be immortalized
Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple, will be immortalized in Budapest with a statue, Graphisoft, a Hungarian firm Jobs helped to prominence, said on Friday. “Graphisoft ... will erect a statue to commemorate Apple’s legendary founder” on Dec. 21, the company, known globally for its architectural design software ArchiCAD, said in a statement. Steve Jobs, who died on Oct. 5 following a long battle with cancer, “was the creator of technology with a human face,” it said. The statue will be erected in a science park that hosts several IT companies, including Graphisoft. Apple has supported the Hungarian firm since 1984, when Jobs saw it at the annual CEBIT expo in Germany, the company said.
‘Blind’ woman outed
A woman claiming a disability allowance for blindness was remanded in custody on Friday for benefit fraud after police filmed her working as a hairdresser and cycling about town on her bicycle. The 62-year-old woman, who owns a hair salon in the town of Lugo in the north of the country, began claiming the benefit in 1986 because her vision was degenerating. By this year she claimed to be “totally blind,” according to a police statement. By 1997 her doctor said she had to be accompanied when she left the house and by 2008 she could only count the number of fingers held up in front of her if the hand was held a few centimeters away from her face. In double-checking a list of professions of those registered as blind, police stumbled across the salon and filmed the woman cutting clients’ hair, shopping for clothes and food and walking and cycling about the town. Her benefit — 43,000 euros (US$59,000) so far — has been suspended.
Sword-wielding man kills
A man armed with a Japanese samurai sword killed a policewoman and wounded two other people on Friday during an attack on a local government office in the central city of Bourges, police said. The 33-year-old man was shot in the leg and wounded during the attack, which took place at a local prefect’s office. Witnesses said that before the attack the man had been rejected for a gun license at the office. He returned with the 80cm sword and attacked police when they attempted to subdue him. The 30-year-old policewoman was seriously wounded and died shortly after the attack, the interior ministry said. A police officer shot and wounded the attacker, after which he was subdued and taken into custody, witnesses said.
Conman uses homeless
A man has been arrested for arranging sham marriages between homeless men and visa-seeking Vietnamese women, an immigration official said on Friday. The 40-year-old man was held on Wednesday by a special immigration investigation team for arranging the fake marriages, an official at Seoul’s immigration office said. Three other alleged marriage brokers are being investigated by prosecutors. The brokers contacted homeless men at Seoul railway stations and promised them a free trip to Vietnam and up to three million won (US$2,600) if they agreed to the fake marriages, the official said on condition of anonymity. Vietnamese brides, who were seeking the right to live and work in the country, paid between US$18,000 to US$20,000. The homeless men were flown to Vietnam to marry and the supposed couples then returned to South Korea for another wedding ceremony before the brides parted company with their spouses and disappeared.
NASA books Virgin flight
NASA has booked a charter suborbital flight from Virgin Galactic’s spaceport operations in southern New Mexico. Virgin Galactic announced on Thursday that the agreement calls for NASA to charter a full flight from the company, and it includes options for two additional flights. If all options are exercised, the contract is worth US$4.5 million. Virgin Galactic says each mission allows for up to 590kg of scientific experiment equipment. Earlier this week, Virgin Galactic announced it had hired former NASA executive Michael Moses as vice president of operations. Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Aabar Investments. It is on track to be the world’s first commercial spaceline and hopes to launch its first flight within the next year from Spaceport America, about 80km north of Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Pumpkin prices soar
A hurricane that drenched the northeast in August is having a knock-on effect on festivities months later, with pumpkin prices soaring after heavy rains ruined patches, officials said on Friday. The Department of Agriculture warned in a blogpost that in the wake of Hurricane Irene, prices for pumpkins large and small were higher than last year. However, pumpkins are grown “in nearly every state, so the supply is widely disbursed,” the department added, calling on lovers of the famous orange squash to send in photos of their creations. Pumpkins are often traditionally carved for the late October festivities of Halloween into scary, humorous or abstract shapes. A candle is placed inside the hollowed pumpkin left outside homes. The Wall Street Journal reported that prices for smaller pumpkins grown in Maryland and then sold in New York state are 60 times higher than a year ago.
Six killed leaving airport
Police said six men were shot dead on Friday as they left an airport in the northern part of the country, which has one of the world’s highest homicide rates. The incident took place at the exit for the carpark at the airport in San Pedro Sula, 240km north of the capital, Tegucigalpa. On Thursday, the Violence Observatory at the National Autonomous University of Honduras released a study indicating that the small Central American country of 8 million was on course to break world records with its murder rate. Authorities have blamed some of the violence on international drug cartels, which have used Central American countries as transit routes to export cocaine to the US.
Heavy rains threaten region
Central America was on maximum alert on Friday as heavy rains threatened to lash the region over the weekend, while the death toll rose to 37 from a storm system in the past week. The toll in neighboring Mexico rose to eight, with three more reported dead in the wake of Jova, which separately hit the Pacific coast as a hurricane on Tuesday before weakening to a tropical storm. Storm systems in Central America and Mexico triggered heavy flooding, blocked roads and caused electricity outages and mudslides. Many homes were destroyed and more than 70,000 people affected. Torrential rains carried away bridges in Guatemala, where 22 people were confirmed dead, according to local authorities and emergency services. President Alvaro Colom told reporters that two people were still missing, while the US offered four helicopters to help rescue efforts in isolated communities.
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
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
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
LIFELONG LOSS: Jiro Hamasumi, who was not quite born when an atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, lost his father and other relatives, but said he thinks about his father daily As Japan marks 75 years since the devastating attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the last generation of nuclear bomb survivors is working to ensure their message lives on after them. The “hibakusha” — literally “person affected by the bomb” — have for decades been a powerful voice calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. There are an estimated 136,700 left, many of whom were infants or soon to be born at the time of the attacks. The average age of a survivor now is a little over 83, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health, lending an urgency as they share their testimonies