‘Chopper’ Read has cancer
Infamous crime figure Mark “Chopper” Read has revealed he has terminal cancer and could have only weeks to live. Read, who shot to worldwide fame after the 2000 film Chopper about his violent life, starring Eric Bana, took to Twitter on Thursday to break the news about his failing health. “Looks like the big C has finally bitten. Let’s see how we go,” tweeted Read, who in the past has claimed to have been involved in the killing of 19 people. Read, who is in his late 50s, told News Limited newspapers he has four tumors on his liver and could have just six weeks to live. “I’ve got liver cancer. They say there’s no way out of it,” he said. “As long as the bleeding stops, I don’t give a bugger.” Read, who has spent a total of 23 years in jail, is a national celebrity after retiring from a life of crime to write novels, including How to Shoot Friends and Influence People in 1993.
KFC told to pay A$8 million
Fast food giant Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) was yesterday ordered to pay A$8 million (US$8.3 million) to a girl who suffered severe brain damage and was paralyzed after eating a Twister wrap. Monika Samaan was seven when she suffered salmonella encephalopathy — a brain injury linked to food poisoning that also left her with a blood infection and septic shock — in October 2005. Several other family members also fell ill and they claimed Samaan’s injuries were caused by a chicken Twister wrap from a Sydney KFC outlet. The New South Wales Supreme Court ruled in the family’s favor a week ago and yesterday ordered KFC to pay the girl A$8 million in damages plus legal costs. In a statement, the family’s lawyer George Vlahakis said they were relieved the battle was over. Last week KFC indicated it would appeal the decision, but has yet to do so. During the trial, Justice Stephen Rothman said the chicken became contaminated “because of the failure of one or more employees of KFC” to follow proper preparation rules, which he described as “negligent.”
Paracels tourism approved
Beijing has approved a development project that would support tourism and fishing around South China Sea islands, a move likely to inflame territorial disputes. Hainan Province wants to build a supply dock over more than 823 acres of water off Jinqing Island (晉卿島), part of the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島). Taiwan and Vietnam also claim the Paracels as their territory, and Vietnam has protested China’s tourism plans. The State Oceanic Administration said on Thursday it agreed “in principle” to Hainan’s proposal. It was also considering a proposal for another supply dock in the South China Sea, the statement said without elaborating. Hainan Province Vice Governor Tan Li (譚力) has said he is determined to start tourism development in the Paracel Islands this year. Also on Thursday, the Philippines said Beijing violated a 2002 pact when Chinese government ships prevented Filipino authorities from arresting Chinese fishermen at a disputed shoal this month. Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said in Manila that Beijing’s aggressive actions at the Scarborough Shoal, known as Huangyan Island (黃岩島) in Taiwan, violated an accord between Beijing and ASEAN that discourages aggressive acts in the South China Sea. Del Rosario said Manila would consider any ASEAN offer to intercede to end the shoal dispute, which began on April 10.