Wallabies escape farm
Volunteers are searching for a pair of wallabies. The kangaroo-like marsupials, which are smaller than “roos” and primarily found in Australia, escaped from a farm in the countryside, about 180km northwest of Vienna. Thursday was the third day of the quest to find them. There are actually three wallabies on the loose — owner Gabrielle Schrammel says the female has a joey in her pouch. Austrians often express irritation at being confused for Australians while abroad, and mail meant for Australia occasionally surfaces in this central European country. Those Vienna souvenir shops selling T-shirts with the slogan “No kangaroos in Austria” might have to start a recall campaign.
Acid leaves director blind
The Bolshoi ballet artistic director who suffered eye and skin damage in a horrifying acid attack in January still cannot see with either eye, his lawyer said on Thursday, suggesting that his state of health is worse than predicted by doctors. “As of today, Sergei Filin cannot see either with his left or right eye,” his lawyer Tatyana Stukalova told the Izvestia daily in an interview published on Thursday, adding that she was citing an expert medical assessment submitted to the investigation into the attack. Filin, 42, had sulphuric acid flung in his face outside his Moscow apartment building. A top soloist at the theater, Pavel Dmitrichenko, 29, has been charged with masterminding the attack although the motive remains unclear. He could serve up to 12 years in prison. Stukalova told Izvestia that the “sad diagnosis” came in German medical papers that she had arranged to be translated and submitted to the investigation.
Senator seeks to legalize pot
A former police chief who is now a senator has filed a bill seeking to legalize marijuana possession for personal use. Miguel Pereira says it should be legal for those 21 and older to possess up to 28g of marijuana. Currently, those charged with possession can face up to three years in jail and a US$5,000 fine. Pereira has also served as a federal prosecutor and corrections secretary. He says marijuana possession cases are costing the government money, adding that 80 percent of inmates on the island are serving time for non-violent crimes. Justice Secretary Luis Sanchez Betances did not say whether he favored the measure in an interview with radio station WKAQ, but he said the government should find alternatives to the current law.