‘Ladyboy’ airline grounded
Months after taking to the skies with Thailand’s first transsexual air crew, PC Air has suspended services over financial troubles that left passengers stranded in South Korea. “The airline informed the Department of Civil Aviation on Friday that they cannot operate their charter flights due to business problems,” Thai Deputy Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt said. The move is expected to last until at least the end of the month. PC Air hit the headlines earlier this year when it hired four transgender cabin attendants. However, last week the carrier’s only aircraft was unable to take off from Seoul’s Incheon Airport because the company could not pay its service and fuel fees.
‘Double agent’ cleared
A court yesterday posthumously acquitted a man executed 50 years ago on spying charges, deeming that he had been wrongfully convicted of acting as a double agent for North Korea. Shim Moon-kyu, a South Korean trained by Seoul as a spy, was secretly sent to the communist North in 1955 where he was captured, retrained as a double-agent and sent back to Seoul two years later. On his return, he immediately turned himself in to the authorities, but was still charged with working as a double agent and eventually executed in 1961. According to the Yonhap news agency, the court found no clear evidence to support the original verdict that Shim had ever actually operated as a double agent after being retrained by Pyongyang. “This court offers a sincere apology for the judiciary failing to faithfully carry out its duty,” Judge Lee Won-bum was quoted as saying.
Morgue may become motel
A businessman is hoping to turn a disused morgue which once served psychiatric patients into a unique motel — offering autopsy slabs for weary heads. The morgue in the state of Tasmania has been idle for more than a decade, after the Willow Court mental hospital was closed down. Owner Hadyn Pearce is now looking to turn it into accommodation. “It’s still got its terrazzo slabs, and it’s still got its pull-out fridge, it’s a beautiful thing,” he said yesterday. A previous owner is believed to have had plans to turn it into an ice-cream parlor and child minding center, but Pearce thinks visitors might be intrigued enough by features such as the stainless steel bathtub for washing cadavers to want to spend the night there. “We’ll be looking at putting a double bed in one of the rooms and then we have three slabs and two pull-out fridges which could be used,” he said.
Bizarre records tumble
Pakistan can now lay claim to world records in chapati-making, plug-wiring and chessboard-arranging. A weekend of bizarre record attempts in the city of Lahore culminated on Sunday as Mohammad Mansha went flat out to set a new record for making chapati breads — mixing, kneading, spinning and cooking three in three minutes and 14 seconds — while 12-year-old Mehek Gul took just 45 seconds to arrange the pieces on a chessboard using only one hand. Neither feat had been attempted before under the watchful eye of a Guinness World Records official. However, Ahmed Amin Bodla broke a more established record when he landed 616 martial arts kicks on a punchbag in just three minutes, beating the previous best of 612. Mohammad Nauman wired a household plug in a dazzling 35 seconds and Saddi Muhammad set a record by using his moustache to pull a 1.7 tonne pickup truck a distance of 60.3m.