Scot and his dialect die
In a remote fishing town on the tip of Scotland’s Black Isle, the last native speaker of the Cromarty dialect has died, taking with him another little piece of the English linguistic mosaic. Scottish academics said on Wednesday that Bobby Hogg, who passed away last week at age 92, was the last person fluent in the dialect once common in the seaside town of Cromarty, about 280km north of Scottish capital Edinburgh. The Biblically influenced speech — complete with “thee” and “thou” — is one of many fading dialects which have been snuffed out across the British Isles.
Police seize stolen syrup
Police have seized more than 600 barrels of maple syrup in New Brunswick as part of an investigation into the theft of millions worth of syrup in Quebec and are transporting it back to Quebec under police protection, officials said. The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers reported large quantities of syrup missing last month during a routine inventory, finding empty barrels at a site of the province’s global strategic reserve at St-Louis-de-Blandford. Quebec provincial police sergeant Christine Coulombe said on Wednesday police executed a search warrant in Kedjwick, New Brunswick, last week, but could not provide more information as the investigation was ongoing. The shipment of the pancake-topper was making its way back to Quebec in a heavily guarded convoy of 16 trailer-loads on Wednesday. Quebec is a maple syrup superpower, producing 80 percent of the world’s maple syrup and the warehouse involved stocked more than US$30 million worth of the sticky substance.
Iran ordered to pay for 9/11
A judge formally ordered Iran, al-Qaeda and several other defendants on Wednesday to pay US$6 billion compensation to the victims of Sept. 11, 2001, in a largely symbolic ruling. Although Iran denies any connection to 9/11, it was included in the list of alleged culprits by the US District Court in New York, along with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, Afghanistan’s Taliban guerrillas and al-Qaeda, which took credit for the massive terror attack. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is also named. However, the money, awarded for economic, personal and punitive damages for a total of US$6,048,513,805, is unlikely to be recovered. Iran is in a tense standoff with the US over multiple issues, especially its nuclear industry and alleged plan to build an atomic weapon. Iranian-backed Hezbollah has no relations with the US.
President: no bailout
The president says he will no heed calls by the country’s potential creditors to privatize profitable state-owned enterprises that provide a steady source of revenue for the government. President Dimitris Christofias told Greece’s state TV channel NET on Wednesday that he would neither sign a bailout agreement with the so-called troika — the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF — that would altogether scrap end-of-year bonus salaries and inflation-based pay rises because that would “paralyze” the domestic consumer market. Christofias said that his left-wing government has readied counterproposals that will achieve the level of spending cuts that the troika wants to see. The eurozone country sought financial aid in June to prop up its Greece-exposed banks.