Soldiers to be tried for theft
Four soldiers accused of stealing bank cards from the site of a 2010 plane crash in the Smolensk region that killed then-Polish president Lech Kaczynski and other senior officials are going to stand trial, the Investigative Committee said in a statement on its Web site yesterday. The soldiers were able to withdraw 59,000 rubles (US$1,942) from the cards, which had the equivalent of 379,000 rubles available, before limits on them were reached, according to the statement. No date for the trial was given.
Mandela ‘not dying’: family
Former South African president Nelson Mandela is “doing great” and is enjoying time at home with his family after being discharged from hospital, his daughter Zenani Mandela-Dlamini said on Friday. Mandela left hospital on Wednesday, after nearly three weeks of in-patient treatment for a recurrent lung infection and surgery to have gallstones removed. The 94-year-old is now convalescing at his Johannesburg home, where he received visits from friends, family and a handful of well-wishers delivering flowers and other gifts. Family members have asked for their privacy to be respected. They called for an end to speculation that he has been sent home to die. “That is absolutely not true. My grandfather is well,” Mandela’s granddaughter Zaziwe Manaway said on Friday. “It can be very, very hurtful for us to hear these messages out there in the social media that our grandfather is going to go home to die. It is insensitive.”
Mrs Berlusconi gets millions
A court has ordered former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to pay his second wife 3 million euros (US$3.96 million) a month alimony as part of a legal separation settlement opening the way for their divorce, media reports said on Friday. Veronica Lario filed for divorce in 2009 after revelations that Berlusconi, notorious for his dalliances with other women, had attended the 18th birthday party of an aspiring blonde model who called him “Daddy.” She described Berlusconi as “a dragon to whom young virgins offer themselves,” accused him of being “unwell” and said she could not stay with a man “who frequents minors.” While the former actress — who first met Berlusconi in a theater dressing room in 1980 — is to net 100,000 euros a day in alimony, the court ruled that the estate should go to the media magnate.
Madonna builds schools
Former Material Girl Madonna has built 10 primary schools this year, her charity announced on Friday. Two years after abandoning a US$15 million girls’ academy, the pop diva said projects this year would educate 4,871 children in the tiny southern African country. The projects were carried out by her charity Raising Malawi and the global non-profit organization buildOn. “I am overjoyed that my commitment along with buildOn’s to help educate the children of Malawi has come to fruition,” Madonna said in a statement. The schools, which had been scheduled to be built over 18 months, were completed six months ahead of schedule. The charity said six of the schools are already in use and all 10 would be up and running next month for the first day of school in the new year. Madonna is no stranger to Malawi. In 2006 she adopted toddler David Banda under controversial circumstances and two years later adopted another child, Mercy James.