Generals probed for golfing
The government is probing reports that top military officials played golf last weekend instead of tending to surging tensions with North Korea, a presidential spokesman said yesterday. Various newspapers reported that a military golf course in Seoul was crowded with senior army officers, including ranking generals, on Saturday and Sunday. The nation is currently bracing for a possible military provocation from North Korea, which has announced it is scrapping the armistice that ended the 1950-1953 Korean War, as well as peace pacts signed with Seoul. “The office of the senior civil affairs secretary has immediately launched an inquiry to determine what has exactly happened regarding the reports about military golf,” presidential spokesman Yoon Chang-jung told reporters. The Ministry of Defense said some generals had played golf, but stressed they did not include anyone in sensitive positions.
Rolex fails to pay church bill
A top cleric on Sunday failed to sell his gold Rolex watch to pay the electricity bill of his cash-strapped church as there were no takers for the watch in the EU’s poorest country. Metropolitan Nikolay of the southern city of Plovdiv decided to sell the watch last month to pay the almost 3,000 leva (US$2,000) power bill of the Saint Marina Church. “I’d rather go to heaven without a watch than to hell with one,” the BTA news agency quoted him as then saying. However, a public tender for the Rolex failed to attract any bidders on Sunday due to its high asking price of 11,600 leva. The nation’s Orthodox Church is the largest property owner in the country after the state, but is short of funds to cover utility bills and its clergy receive a pittance in salary.
Obama’s brother loses poll
His half-brother may be the most powerful man in the world, but that stardust did not seem to rub off on Malik Obama as he failed miserably to win a Siaya County gubernatorial seat in recently concluded polls. Obama, 54, who shares a father with US President Barack Obama, won just 2,792 votes — about 140,000 behind the final winner — in his bid to claim the seat for his home area. Standing well above 1.8m, Malik Obama, who describes himself as an economist and financial analyst, told reporters on the campaign trail that he would use his contacts with Washington to bring development to the rural backwater he hoped to govern. “Why would my people settle for a local connection when they have a direct line to the White House?” he asked. Campaigning under the slogan “Obama here, Obama there,” he said he dreamed of bringing chains like McDonald’s to the area and launching a bid for the presidency.
Tube reunites widow, spouse
A widow’s wish to hear her late husband’s voice again has prompted the London Underground to restore a 40-year-old recording of the subway’s famous “mind the gap” announcement. The subway system said it tracked down the voice recording by Oswald Lawrence after his widow, Margaret McCollum, wrote to ask for a copy of it when she noticed it was not broadcast in the system anymore. McCollum said she used to frequently visit Embankment Station to hear her husband’s voice, but was disappointed when it was not there last year. London Underground director Nigel Holness said staff were so moved by McCollum’s story that they dug up the recording and gave the widow a copy of it on a CD. Staff are also working on restoring the announcement, he added.