Young Japanese suicidal
More than a quarter of Japanese in their 20s have thought about taking their own life, according to a survey released yesterday, in a nation with one of the world’s highest suicide rates. The survey found that 28.4 percent of respondents in their twenties had contemplated suicide, the highest of any age group, according to the report. “The data show that the younger people hesitate to talk to others, or cannot find anyone to talk to when they have a problem because of shallow relationships with others,” the survey conducted by Japan’s Cabinet Office said. “They tend to suffer alone,” it added.
Drunks fined over penguin
Two drunken Welshmen on Wednesday escaped with a fine after being convicted of stealing a penguin called Dirk from an Australian theme park after consuming large amounts of vodka. Former Royal Marine Rhys Owen Jones, 21, and his bricklayer friend Keri Mules, 20, broke into Sea World on Queensland’s Gold Coast last month and swam with the dolphins and let off a fire extinguisher in a shark enclosure. The pair, in Australia on a working holiday, then stole Dirk, Southport Magistrates Court heard. Their lawyer Bill Potts, who Australian Associated Press reported was wearing a penguin tie in court, said his clients meant no harm. He said after they awoke the next day with hangovers and found the bird in their room they tried to care for it by feeding it bread and putting it in the shower.
Arm nearly lost to chainsaw
A man was in hospital yesterday after his arm was nearly severed by a chainsaw in a horrific neighborhood dispute that saw the alleged offender’s finger hacked off with a machete. Police said they were called out to Minto in Sydney’s southwest on Tuesday evening and were confronted by the grisly scene. “Upon arrival, they located a 30-year-old man with his right arm partially severed,” a police statement said. “It’s believed he had been attacked with a chainsaw during a violent altercation with a neighbor.”
New toilet speed record set
Stuntwoman Jolene Van Vugt was flushed with pride yesterday after setting a new land speed record for the fastest motorized toilet. Van Vugt, a former Canadian motocross champion, steered the contraption through some early wobbles to 75kph in Sydney, 7kph more than the previous Guinness world record. Police were on hand to record the feat. “I flew into Australia yesterday and came out here to jump straight on the toilet,” the 31-year-old said. “That was so fun and I’m stoked to get the record.” Van Vugt, who is in Australia to perform at the Nitro Circus stunt show based on the hit MTV series, holds a host of world records, including being the first woman to backflip a dirt bike.
Two-year-old dies of bird flu
A two-year-old boy has died of bird flu, the health ministry said, bringing the country’s death toll from the virulent disease this year to seven. The toddler, from the city of Pekanbaru on Sumatra island, developed fever on April 17 and was hospitalized three days later, according to a health ministry statement released late on Tuesday. “His condition worsened and he died on April 27,” it said. It added that it was suspected that he contracted the virus through contact with poultry products as his parents sold quails’ eggs for a living.