Fri, Dec 30, 2011 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

UNITED KINGDOM

BBC list causes outrage

The BBC has caused outrage by choosing a panda as one of its 12 women of the year. The selection of Tian Tian (甜甜, “Sweetie”) was made by the BBC magazine for its Faces of the Year published yesterday. Twitter users complained that rather than being selected for their achievements, one in four selected women included those involved in marriages, such as Pippa Middleton, sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, Charlene Wittstock, who married Prince Albert of Monaco, and Spanish billionaire the Duchess of Alba. This month’s choice was Tian Tian, a giant panda at Edinburgh zoo. The animal is on loan from Beijing. Freelance journalist Bob Chaundy, whose name appears at the bottom of the BBC’s Web page, agreed it was an odd choice, but denied he had made the selection. He told the Guardian the selection was put together by BBC editors and that he only wrote up their choices. Responding to the debacle, Chaundy tweeted: “I didn’t choose the BBC women faces of the year subjects, just wrote them. Two black eyes from wife though. Pandamonium!”

UNITED KINGDOM

Better pong than bong

It may not be the most conventional way of tackling crime, but an English city council has claimed success after using pig dung to eject teenagers from a woodland where they used to drink and take drugs. Elderly residents of Middlesbrough had complained that young people were smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol in a woodland area near the Coulby Newham housing estate. In response, officials thinned out the trees so the area was more visible from paths and then spread a thick layer of pig manure on the ground — which has proved highly effective in deterring wayward teens. “Following complaints, an inspection of the area revealed it was being used to drink alcohol and take drugs, as paraphernalia known as bongs [used to smoke cannabis] were found,” a council spokesman said. “Feedback from the residents indicated that, although there was a slight whiff in Willowbank, they would much rather have a pong than a bong.”

GERMANY

Drink driver busted again

A man drove to a police station to ask to get back his license, which he had lost for drink driving, but he was immediately arrested for having a blood-alcohol level far above the legal limit, police said on Wednesday. The 47-year-old rolled up in his car at the police headquarters in the eastern town of Plauen on Tuesday, just after the three-day Christmas holiday. “He asked inside where his driving license was, which he had had confiscated days before due to drink driving,” a statement said. Noticing he was again intoxicated, officers ordered a test which revealed a blood-alcohol level of 296 milliliters, nearly six times the legal limit. “The culprit is now facing charges of drink driving as well as driving without a licence,” police said.

RUSSIA

Court ruling cheers Hindus

A court has decided not to ban a religious text central to the global Hare Krishna movement, rejecting claims that the text is “extremist” and ending a case that has angered Hindus around the world. Prosecutors in Tomsk had argued that the Russian translation of Bhagavad Gita As It Is promotes “social discord” and hatred toward nonbelievers, causing an outcry in India. Prosecutors had asked the court to include the book on the Federal List of Extremist Materials, which bans more than 1,000 texts, including Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

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