Nine killed in rampage
At least nine people were killed and 27 injured yesterday when a bus driver in the western city of Pune went on a rampage, leaving a trail of smashed cars and crushed pedestrians, police said. The rogue driver hijacked the bus in a depot and then sped down the crowded streets of Pune during morning rush hour as children headed to school and office employees were on the way to work. “He just went berserk. He went on ramming whatever vehicles were plying the road,” Pune’s commissioner of police, Meeran Borwankar, told local television. “Citizens came forward and literally threw children away from the road. He was in such a dangerous mood. Ultimately he was held [by police], but the damage has been tremendous,” she said.
Search on for explorer
The foreign ministry yesterday said it was searching for a Norwegian explorer believed to be planning a second unauthorized trip to Antarctica, less than a year after his first resulted in three deaths. The ministry said it was trying to locate Jarle Andhoy’s yacht Nilaya after the Norwegian government raised concerns that the adventurer planned to travel back to Antarctica. Officials said Andhoy arrived in the country earlier this month. Andhoy led a five-man expedition to Antarctica in February last year, in which he and another member attempted to reach the South Pole on quadbikes as the remaining three waited for them aboard their sailboat Beserk. The vessel sank when a fierce storm battered the Ross Sea and the three on board were never found.
No Valentine’s Day shows
The government is, apparently, unwilling to give love a chance, canceling concerts and other events for Valentine’s Day, Russian news agency RIA-Novosti said, citing local media reports on Tuesday. Instead, residents in the capital, Tashkent, can enjoy readings of poems by Mughal emperor Babur, who died in the 16th century. The unofficial ban on romance-related festivities echoes long-standing antagonism in the country toward the holiday. Last year, the Turkiston newspaper described Valentine’s Day as the work of “forces with evil goals bent on putting an end to national values.”
Gift your love with a roach
Shakespeare asked if he should compare his lover “to a summer’s day.” A New York zoo suggests cockroaches instead. Ahead of Valentine’s Day next month the Bronx Zoo wants New Yorkers to pay US$10 for the right to give their sweetheart’s name — or perhaps that of an ex — to one of its Madagascar hissing cockroaches. For US$25, lovebirds can name a cockroach couple. To sweeten the deal, the zoo is also offering boxes of chocolate replica cockroaches.
Wife fights off moose
An 85-year-old Alaska woman used a grain shovel to fend off an agitated moose that was stomping her husband. George Murphy said his wife saved his life. The Anchorage Daily News said the 82-year-old pilot was hiking with his golden retrievers near the Willow airport on Friday. He saw the moose and dove in the snow, but the moose started stomping him. His wife, Dorothea, 1.52m tall and weighing 44kg, grabbed a big shovel and hit the moose in the body and head. She ran for help, and Murphy was rushed by medical helicopter to an Anchorage hospital, where he was in good condition on Monday with a gash to his head.