Sun, Jan 20, 2013 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

UNITED STATES

‘Te’oing’ becomes craze

Manti Te’o, the Notre Dame linebacker entangled in a girlfriend hoax that gives a whole new meaning to the term “air kiss,” is inspiring a new fad racing through social media: Te’oing.An avalanche of pictures of people hugging empty chairs or puckering up to an otherwise empty room were posted to Twitter with the hashtag “#Te’oing” days after the college football star’s story about his girlfriend’s cancer death was exposed as a fraud. Not only did she never have leukemia, she never existed. Notre Dame officials said Te’o told them he had been duped into believing he had an online relationship with the fictitious woman.

CANADA

Wrong maple leaf on bills

The maple leaf shown on the nation’s new C$20 bills is from a Norway maple, which is not native to Canada, several botanists cited by media said on Friday. “It’s our national symbol — it’s stunning that we continuously get it wrong,” University of Ottawa professor Julian Starr told broadcaster CTV. The Norway maple leaf, Starr and others said, has five main lobes and the tips are stringy, while Canada’s sugar maple leaf has just three lobes and the tips are not stringy. Norway maple trees were introduced to North America in the 1800s, but are considered invasive, and have been banned in at least two US states. The Bank of Canada dismissed criticisms, saying the leaf is not Norwegian, but rather a “stylized Canadian maple leaf” and does not represent any specific species of tree.

NICARAGUA

Mexican ‘journalists’ jailed

A court sentenced 18 Mexicans to 30 years in prison for drug trafficking on Friday after they tried to enter the country in fake television news vans filled with US$9.2 million in cash. The group was given the maximum jail sentence a month after being found guilty of drug trafficking, money laundering and organized crime. Authorities have hailed the arrest as a major coup against Mexican drug gangs that use Central America as a transit point for narcotics heading to the US. The Mexicans crossed the Honduras-Nicaragua border on August 20 in six vans with the logo of Mexican media giant Televisa. The world’s biggest Spanish-language network denied any links to the group. Authorities say the gang pretended to be Televisa journalists and technicians in order to bring money into the country and return north with drugs.

CANADA

No jail for hitman-hiring wife

The Supreme Court on Friday overturned the acquittal of an abused wife who hired a hitman to kill her husband, rejecting her duress defense, but also refused to send her to jail. Nova Scotia high school teacher Nicole Ryan claimed at trial that she feared her “violent, abusing and controlling husband” would harm or kill her and her daughter. She said that she had no safe avenue of escape other than having him killed after her repeated calls to police for help went unanswered. Ryan was arrested in 2008 after hiring what turned out to be an undercover policeman for the hit, paying him a US$2,000 deposit and giving him a photograph of her estranged husband. She was acquitted at trial, after claiming duress. Supreme Court Justices Louis LeBel and Thomas Cromwell said that it was “disquieting” that police seemed “much quicker to intervene to protect Mr Ryan than they had been to respond to her request for help in dealing with his reign of terror over her.” The high court ruled “it would not be fair” to submit Ryan to another trial.

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