No naked Harry: Christie
When Prince Harry visits the country in May he will have to keep his clothes on — at least while he is in New Jersey, the state’s governor said. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a blunt-talking, heavy-girthed Republican, said he would make sure the party-loving British royal does not repeat the naked Las Vegas antics that got him into hot water during his last trip. “I am going to spend the entire day with Prince Harry. Believe me, no one is going to be getting naked,” Christie told New Jersey 101.5 radio late on Monday. Prince Harry found himself at the center of a tabloid frenzy when nude photographs of him with an unidentified woman were published, in what resembled a game of strip billiards. His upcoming US tour is heavily focused on charity and wounded veterans. In New Jersey, he is planning to see areas hit by Hurricane Sandy.
Shatner lambasts IRS spoof
Star Trek actor William Shatner has accused tax authorities of wasting tens of thousands of dollars on a spoof video based on the cult television space show. Shatner — who played the Starship Enterprise’s commander Captain James T. Kirk in the series — took to Twitter to lambast the video, which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has now apologized for. “So I watched that IRS video. I am appalled at the utter waste of US tax dollars,” Shatner wrote to his 1.4 million followers. In the six-minute video, actors playing the key characters from Star Trek, including Captain Kirk and Spock, exchange tax-based jokes. The IRS said the video was made in 2010, along with another one based on sitcom Gilligan’s Island, at a combined cost of US$60,000, to be used at an IRS training and leadership conference. The IRS apologized for the video.
Disney compensates man
An attorney says a disabled man was awarded US$8,000 by Disneyland after the “It’s A Small World” ride broke down, stranding him for half an hour while the theme song played continuously. Lawyer David Geffen says Jose Martinez did not medically stabilize for three hours after the ride broke down in 2009. Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown said the Anaheim theme park believes it provided appropriate assistance during the incident, and is disappointed that the court did not fully agree. Geffen says Martinez uses a wheelchair, and suffers from panic attacks and high blood pressure, which was aggravated by a need to urinate. Geffen says half the award ordered on Friday is for pain and suffering, and the rest is for a violation of disability law. Brown says the violations have been addressed.
SARS-like virus kills man
A 73-year old Saudi man has died in Munich from a lethal new SARS-like virus, the WHO said on Tuesday, making him the 11th victim of the illness since its detection last year. The patient had been traveling in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia before falling ill, and was transferred to Munich from Abu Dhabi on March 19, the WHO said. Known as novel coronavirus or hCoV-EMC, the virus was first detected in the middle of last year and is a cousin of SARS, which killed more than 800 people when it swept out of China in 2003. The new virus is different from SARS, especially in that it causes rapid kidney failure. However the new strain is shrouded in mystery, and the WHO does not yet know how it is transmitted or how widespread it is. To date, 17 people have been infected and 11 have died in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Germany and Britain.