Tsunami victim finds family
A girl who was swept away in the Indian Ocean tsunami seven years ago has been reunited with her parents. Fifteen-year-old Wati showed up at a cafe in Meulaboh, a city in Aceh Province, earlier this week, saying she had been forced to work as a beggar and had finally broken free. She said she was looking for her family. Wati was led to a man named Ibrahim, her grandfather, who summoned her parents, Yusniar and Yusuf. The parents said they lost three daughters when the tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen nations slammed into their tiny village of Ujong Baroh. The mother, Yusniar, said she recognized Wati by the small scar over her eyebrow and a mole on her hip.
Stewardesses dance again
Who says plane travel can’t be fun? Flight attendants for a low-cost airline who gained fame by dancing through safety demonstrations are back swaying through the aisles. They have swapped the Lady Gaga tunes that made them popular last year for Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You. Manila-based Cebu Pacific airline said the choreographed dance helped passengers pay more attention to the safety demonstration. “Now that it’s Christmas, we wanted to bring a little more fun into the flight,” Cebu Pacific spokeswoman Candice Iyog said on Thursday. Iyog said that their response has been good. Video of the routine shows four attendants in orange shirts and khaki shorts dancing away on select flights.
US extradition bid denied
A court has dismissed a US bid for the extradition of a fugitive killer and airplane hijacker arrested after 41 years on the run, Lusa news agency reported on Thursday. The US had filed an appeal last month, days after judges refused an extradition request on the grounds that 68-year-old George Wright had become a Portuguese citizen. Wright, arrested on Sept. 26, had been living in the country for 20 years at Almocageme, a village about 30km from the capital. He had changed his name to Jose Luis Jorge dos Santos and was married with two adult sons. US authorities had been searching for Wright since his escape in 1970 from a New Jersey prison, where was jailed for a 1962 murder. For two years after his escape, Wright disappeared into the Black Liberation Army, a black nationalist-Marxist organization. Then on July 31, 1972, he was among a group of five people who hijacked a Delta flight from Detroit to Miami. They demanded a US$1 million ransom for the passengers. When that was paid, they forced the plane to fly to Boston where it refueled and took another pilot hostage, then crossed the Atlantic to Algeria where they sought asylum.
Pawn shops see gold lining
While much of London’s high street is shrouded in gloom as stores desperately cut prices, business is booming for the country’s largest pawnbroker, Harvey & Thompson. The company has benefited from a 15 percent increase in the price of gold over the past 12 months, which has taken the cost of an ounce to ￡1,031 (US$1,618), a rise of ￡138. Two years ago the company started opening new outlets called Gold Bars where people can take unwanted jewelry and other scrap gold and turn it into cash. It now has 53 outlets. The opening of Gold Bars followed heavy advertising by online scrap gold buyers that had a big impact on the market.