Soccer referee loses head
One man has been arrested in northern Brazil after a referee who fatally stabbed an amateur player over his refusal to leave the field was decapitated by a mob, police said on Saturday. Referee Octavio da Silva, 20, stabbed player Josenir dos Santos, 30, on June 30 after dos Santos refused to heed his order to leave, police spokesman Kena Souza said. A mob then turned on da Silva, stoned him to death and quartered his body. The Public Safety Department of the state of Maranhao said in a statement that it all started when referee da Silva sent off Dos Santos. The two got into a fist fight, then Da Silva took out a knife and stabbed Dos Santos, who died on his way to the hospital. The statement said Dos Santos’ friends and relatives immediately “rushed onto the field, stoned the referee to death and quartered his body.’’ Local news media say they also decapitated Da Silva and stuck his head on a stake in the middle of the field.
Pope touts ‘humble’ cars
Pope Francis said on Saturday it pained him to see priests driving flashy cars, and told them to pick something more “humble.” As part of his drive to make the Catholic Church more austere and focus on the poor, Francis told young and trainee priests and nuns from around the world that having the latest smartphone or fashion accessory was not the route to happiness. “It hurts me when I see a priest or a nun with the latest model car, you can’t do this,” he said. “A car is necessary to do a lot of work, but please, choose a more humble one. If you like the fancy one, just think about how many children are dying of hunger in the world,” he said. The ANSA news agency said the pope’s car of choice for moving around the walled Vatican City was a compact Ford Focus.
Whale knocks out surfer
A Sydney surfer had a lucky escape yesterday when he was hit by a whale frolicking off Bondi Beach and knocked unconscious. Bishan Rajapakse, a 38-year-old doctor, said the last thing he remembers before waking up on the beach was saying “Hey, how’s it going?” to the whale, believed to be a southern white, as it swam near him and other surfers, the Sydney Morning Herald said. “When I got to him I saw there was this dark, black shadow and it was just massive,” he told the paper. “The whale was moving in like slow motion. It was beautiful and it breached and we could see the barnacles and it was slowly going up and down and turning and it actually made a noise. It was amazing.” New South Wales Ambulance said several whales were close to the iconic beach yesterday morning. Paramedics were called in to help when one of the large animals hit, or flicked with its tail, the male surfer, knocking him out. “He was knocked unconscious very briefly,” a spokesman said, adding that the man was rescued by fellow surfers and was not seriously injured. “He is lucky people were there [to help him], but we were also lucky that he’s the only one [needing help],” the spokesman said. One witness told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the whale was “the size of a bus” and had been frolicking with the group of surfers. “I mean, it was 40 feet long [12.2m] — it was huge,” Lachlan Harris told the broadcaster. “They were playing and the whale was frolicking with them and having a lot of fun and sort of popping its head out. It just flicked its tail and some surfers were in the wrong [place] and the next thing, you know, a surfboard is flying in the air... It was unbelievable.”