Envoy recalled after brawl
Ecuador has recalled its ambassador, Rodrigo Riofrio, after diplomatic relations between the two countries soured over a supermarket brawl in Lima involving the envoy and female shoppers. The decision came shortly after the country announced it would bring home its ambassador to Ecuador. Ecuador earlier said that Riofrio acted in self-defense and rejected the country’s request to recall him. Riofrio allegedly hit two Peruvian women and insulted them with racist terms after an argument in a checkout line on April 21. In the supermarket’s security videotape, shown on TV, he is seen swatting a woman with a magazine after she hit him. Several women are then seen slapping him and pulling his hair.
Met returning sculptures
New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art said on Friday it was returning two 10th century Khmer sculptures to Cambodia that the country said had been looted from a jungle temple. The institution announced that the two Koh Ker stone statues, Kneeling Attendants, would be sent back after 20 years on display in the Met’s Asian Wing. They were donated in the late 1980s and 1990s and were considered legal. However, “the Met recently came into possession of new documentary research that was not available to the Museum when the objects were acquired,” it said in a statement.
Maduro alleges Uribe plot
President Nicolas Maduro on Friday said former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe was plotting to kill him, adding to a deluge of accusations by the former bus driver in recent months. “Uribe is behind a plot to kill me,” Maduro said in a televised speech. He did not provide details. The president, who was elected last month by a narrow margin, earlier this year accused the US of seeking to kill opposition leader Henrique Capriles to stir chaos and spark a coup. He later said he himself was the target of an assassination plot by mercenaries from El Salvador who had entered the country.
Navajo ‘Star Wars’ auditions
Members of the Navajo tribe in the southwest are hoping the force will be with them as they dub Star Wars into their native Dine language. Two days of auditions began on Friday at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Arizona, for Navajo wishing to lend their voices to Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Han Solo, C-3PO, Obi Wan Kenobi and Grand Moff Tarkin. Star Wars has been dubbed into nearly 40 languages, and now stands to become the first major Hollywood movie to be translated into a Native American tongue. Museum director Manuelito Wheeler said the Navajo project is aimed at promoting the use of Dine, which is spoken by only half of the 300,000 Navajo.
TED set for TV
The prestigious TED gathering, known for perspective-shifting presentations by the brilliant and famous, is tailoring “ideas worth spreading” for a TV audience on a show set to air on PBS stations nationally on Tuesday and Thursday. The program is hosted by Grammy-winning musician John Legend and features presentations by Microsoft co-founder turned philanthropist Bill Gates, as well as by social activist Ken Robinson, the most-watched speaker at Ted.com. Online videos of TED conferences passed the 1 billion view milestone late last year.