The Australian activist who halted the university Boat Race by jumping into the River Thames and swimming between the boats was jailed for six months on Friday. Trenton Oldfield, 36, was given a prison sentence at Isleworth Crown Court in west London after being convicted of causing a public nuisance. He claimed it was a protest against elitism. It was the first time in the 158-year history of the race between England’s elite Oxford and Cambridge universities that it was interrupted by a swimmer.
Museum has to cover nudity
A prestigious museum in Vienna has been forced to cover up a graphic poster advertising a new show devoted to male nudity, after protests that it is offensive. The Leopold Museum’s show — Nude Men from 1800 to Today — opened its doors on Friday looking at how artists have dealt with the theme of male nudity over the centuries. About 300 artworks are on display — including the controversial photograph that is raising the ire of Viennese. Vive La France shows three young and athletic men of different races wearing nothing but blue, white and red socks and soccer boots. Swathes of red tape are being used to cover the sensitive parts of the three on posters splashed across the city.
Scrap dealer steals bridge
A scrap metal dealer raised his sights from stealing and illegally selling metal drain covers and made off with an entire iron bridge, local police said on Friday. “A few hours after we were informed about this most unusual crime we detained a suspect, a man of 29, at his home,” Mile Jurosevic of the police in Brcko said. “We also found in the courtyard in front of his house the metal structure of the bridge, cut in two to make it easier to transport.” He said that the bridge, which is 12m long and weighs several tonnes, was stolen on Wednesday night at Dizdarusa, a suburb of Brcko. “The metal structure was unscrewed from its base and dragged several meters to the nearest road” before being loaded on to a truck, he said. The bridge was in a farming area through which a small river runs and was regularly used by several families to reach their fields, Zejneba Pasalic, a local woman, told the press. The bridge was built in the 1980s by local people using scrap railway tracks, she said. Bosnia is one of Europe’s poorest countries with an unemployment rate of 40 percent. Hundreds of people, including entire families, collect scrap metal which can be sold locally for 0.20 euro (US$0.26) a kilogram.
Palestinians go to polls
Palestinians have begun voting for new mayors and local councils, in the first election in six years. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement hope yesterday’s vote in 93 communities will revive flagging popular support. About 515,000 registered voters are eligible and results are expected today. However, there is widespread voter apathy. That is in part because Fatah’s main rival, the Islamic militant Hamas, is boycotting the election and has banned voting in Gaza, the territory it seized from Abbas in 2007. Hamas says the political camps must reconcile ahead of any elections. Even with Hamas out of the picture, Fatah could still lose. In several towns, Fatah renegades are competing against the official Fatah slates. A low turnout would also boost Hamas.