Doctors exploit poor women
Doctors in Chhattisgarh State performed hysterectomies on poor village women without a valid medical reason in order to claim money from a national insurance scheme, the state’s health minister said on Wednesday. Under the program launched in 2008, doctors can claim up to 30,000 rupees (US$540) to treat poor families, providing a safety net to help pay for expensive hospital surgeries, but critics say the program was exploited by unscrupulous doctors. “The women were deliberately ill-advised by doctors, who removed their uterus to get money,” Chhattisgarh Health Minister Amar Agrawal said. “As per my information, the doctors have so far managed to make roughly 2 crore [10 million] rupees in recent months by removing uteruses without any valid medical reasons.” The state government examined 1,800 hysterectomies performed in the impoverished state as part of an investigation into the alleged scam.
Poaching suspect arrested
Police said they have arrested a man suspected of being part of a ring that poaches and trades in endangered animals. National police spokesman Colonel Boy Rafli Amar said yesterday that the man identified only as Feri was arrested on Tuesday at his house in Jakarta’s Depok suburb. Police believe he is a taxidermist. They seized at least 25 stuffed animals, including 14 Sumatran tigers, a lion, three leopards, three bears and a tapir from his house. They also found two sacks full of tiger pelts, the heads of a tiger and three deer. The suspect faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to almost US$11,000.
Sleepy hamlet owed trillions
The sleepy hamlet of Mittenwalde could become one of the richest towns in the world if Berlin were to repay it an outstanding debt that dates back to 1562. A certificate of debt, found in a regional archive, attests that Mittenwalde lent Berlin 400 guilders on May 28, 1562, to be repaid with 6 percent interest per year. According to Radio Berlin Brandenburg, the debt would amount to 11,200 guilders today, which is roughly equivalent to 112 million euros (US$137 million). Adjusting for compound interest and inflation, the debt now lies in the trillions. Historian Vera Schmidt found the debt slip in the archive, where it had been filed in 1963. Though the seal is missing from the document, Schmidt said that she is certain the slip is still valid. “In 1893 there was a debate in which the document was examined and the writing was determined to be authentic,” Schmidt said. Schmidt and Mittenwalde Mayor Uwe Pfeiffer have tried to ask Berlin for their money back, but to no avail.
Olympic con man jailed
A man who deceived 75 children in Britain by promising them the opportunity to take part in the closing ceremony of the Olympics has been jailed for two years, police said. “Children as young as nine were left devastated by the actions of this man, whose fraudulent plan could never succeed,” police said in a statement. Stephen Moonesamy, 35, was arrested after approaching three dance schools and recruiting children between the ages of nine and 18 to perform at the closing ceremony. Prosecutors said he charged each child for taking part and built up an elaborate operation by training the dancers, securing equipment and gaining sponsorship. “His project was pure fantasy — based on a lie that grew larger and larger over time,” the Crown Prosecution Service said.