More than 30 rhinos have been killed over the past two weeks, taking to 488 the toll of the animals slaughtered this year to satisfy a booming Asian demand for their horns, the government said on Tuesday. The 33 rhinos “were killed over the past two weeks,” environmental affairs spokesman Albi Modise told reporters. The animals’ distinctive horns are hacked off to be smuggled to the Asian black market, where the fingernail-like substance is falsely believed to have powerful healing properties. Authorities have so far arrested 214 suspects in connection with the killings.
Ferguson wins Giller Prize
Will Ferguson has won one of the nation’s most prestigious literary awards for a novel about a Canadian family’s entanglement in a Nigerian e-mail scam. Ferguson won the Scotiabank Giller Prize for his book 419 on Tuesday. A kilt-wearing Ferguson pulled out a flask during his acceptance speech and raised a toast to the written word. The US$50,000 Giller prize honors Canadian fiction. Past winners have included Margaret Atwood, Mordecai Richler and Alice Munro. The prize was created in 1994 by businessman Jack Rabinovitch in memory of his late wife.
Free yoga for voters
A yoga studio in Washington said on Tuesday it would give free classes to anyone who casts their ballot in next week’s elections. Flow Yoga Center said it was throwing open the doors to its Astanga Mysore, Pilates, Prana Flow and Vinyasa Flow classes on Tuesday “to help our United States re-unite again.” “You just need to vote first, and then bring along your ‘I Voted!’ sticker or equivalent to get a free class,” the studio in the trendy Logan Circle neighborhood said in an e-mail flyer. Election time is rife with marketing gimmicks. They include free pizza for life from Pizza Hut and free flights out of the country on JetBlue for voters whose presidential favorite loses.
Coffin stowaways arrested
Border officials have detained three people who tried to enter the country illegally by hiding in a truck full of coffins. The Border Force said a sniffer dog found the three Eritrean nationals among dozens of boxed coffins in the vehicle, which was from Bulgaria. The would-be migrants were not inside the coffins. Officials said the three were found on Monday at the port of Dunkerque in northern France, where the truck was waiting to board a ferry to Britain. They have been handed over to French border police. Border officials said yesterday the discovery was unusual, but added that in the past, the force had found people hiding in strange places, such as in shipments of dog biscuits and bathtubs.
Scotland Yard no more?
It’s not in Scotland, and it is missing a front yard. However, anyone who has read a Sherlock Holmes novel can tell you that Scotland Yard equals the London police. Perhaps no longer. London’s police force may move from its headquarters, known as New Scotland Yard, as it faces making budget cuts of more than ￡500 million (US$805 million). Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey told the mayor’s office on Tuesday that it plans to save ￡6.5 million per year by moving to a smaller building. Though London’s mayor has the final decision, agreement on the issue between the city’s policing board and the Metropolitan Police makes the move highly likely.