Prince Harry home from war
Prince Harry said he killed Taliban fighters during his stint as a helicopter gunner in Afghanistan, in comments that can be reported after he completed his tour of duty on Monday. Harry spent a 20-week posting flying missions over Helmand Province in an Apache attack chopper. The 28-year-old said Islamist insurgents were put “out of the game” and described life in Britain’s sprawling Camp Bastion base, where he slept in a tent and a shipping container. Asked if he had killed from the cockpit, Harry said: “Yeah, so lots of people have. The squadron’s been out here. Everyone’s fired a certain amount ... Take a life to save a life.” He insisted that his life in Camp Bastion was “as normal as it’s going to get,” although he admitted he was frustrated by staring from fellow troops he had not previously met. “I go into the cookhouse and everyone has a good old gawp, and that’s one thing that I dislike about being here,” he said.
Camels go missing
Simbas and Judas disappeared in the middle of the night in the center of the country and are still missing two days later, the director of a Paris circus said on Monday. The two dromedaries — five-year-old, 800kg Simbas and three-year-old, 1 tonne Judas — were part of a caravan of performers and animals that went to the countryside to wait for new gigs after the circus abruptly stopped touring following a road accident last summer. Media reports say the troupe believes animal rights activists may have targeted the camels.
Gas leak spreading
A gas leak at a chemical plant in the city of Rouen yesterday could be smelled as far away as Paris, more than 100km away, but is “not toxic,” officials said. A chemical substance at the Lubrizol company became unstable causing gas odors that are similar to those of town gas, a statement issued by the Seine-Maritime prefecture said. The concentration of the gas was also “very low,” but the prefecture admitted that “a large number of people have been inconvenienced.”
Taylor appeals conviction
Former Liberian president Charles Taylor is appealing against his war crimes conviction and 50-year prison sentence for arming and supporting rebels in Sierra Leone’s civil war. The 64-year-old warlord-turned-president was found guilty in April last year of aiding and abetting Sierra Leone rebels, becoming the first former head of state since World War II to be convicted by an international war crimes court. Taylor’s lawyers have put forward 45 different grounds of appeal against his conviction and sentence, while prosecutors were arguing yesterday that judges should have found him guilty of ordering and instigating crimes and are asking appeals judges at the Special Court for Sierra Leone to raise his sentence to 80 years.
City targets crack addicts
Health officials and law enforcement agents are rounding up crack addicts in the city of Sao Paulo and forcibly putting them in treatment if deemed necessary. The measure comes as many cities in the country face a crack epidemic. Authorities must conduct a simple health examination of addicts and then get a judge’s approval to force somebody into treatment. Similar action has already taken place in Rio de Janeiro.