Pussy Riot member unwell
One of the jailed members of punk protest collective Pussy Riot has been moved to a prison with a hospital after suffering headaches and fatigue, a bandmate said in remarks broadcast on Thursday. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23, is one of three women sentenced to two years in prison for a “punk prayer” in the country’s main cathedral in February last year in which they called on the Virgin Mary to rid the country of President Vladimir Putin. Tolokonnikova was sent to Corrective Colony No. 14 after losing her appeal in October last year. Her bandmate Yekaterina Samutsevich said Tolokonnikova had suffered headaches for months and was exhausted from labour at the prison. Samutsevich said she believed Tolokonnikova was being monitored, but not actively treated.
Firm appeals to cookie thief
One of the country’s most famous biscuit-makers has appealed to an extortionist dressed as “Cookie Monster” to return its golden biscuit emblem. The Bahlsen biscuit company’s emblem has hung above its headquarters in Hanover since 1913 and was first reported stolen a week ago. Days after it went missing, a ransom note arrived at a newspaper which included a photo of the thief dressed as Cookie Monster from children’s television series Sesame Street, pretending to take a bite from the golden biscuit. In a message posted on Facebook on Thursday and addressed to the monster, Bahlsen promised to donate 52,000 packets of biscuits to charities if the 20kg golden biscuit was returned. The ransom note demanded that Bahlsen give biscuits to children in hospitals across Hanover and donate a 1,000 euro (US$1,400) reward for the emblem’s return to an animal home.
Diapers lure foreign buyers
The south of the country is experiencing a diaper shortage after a supermarket price war lured enterprising bulk shoppers from eastern Europe who have cleaned out the shelves, customs officials and retailers said. Supermarkets trying to lure local customers by undercutting rivals on the price of diapers inadvertently made it profitable enough for residents of nearby countries to start trading in them. Customers come into the country from Sweden, drive along the coast to fill their cars, then take a ferry back to the continent, said Helge Breilid, the chief of customs in Kristiansand on the southern coast. Some have been stopped with diapers worth up to 50,000 crowns (US$9,100), about 80,000 diapers, a legal shipment even though Norway is not part of the EU.