New York to ban shark fins
New York State is banning trade in shark fins starting on July 1 next year in an effort to protect the marine predators. State Governor Andrew Cuomo, who signed the law on Friday, said an estimated 73 million sharks are killed worldwide to meet the market demand. The fins are used in a soup popular in Chinese cuisine. The so-called “finning” of sharks — catching them, cutting off their fins and returning them to the water to die — is already illegal in the country’s coastal waters. New York also prohibits sport fishing for many shark species. Environmental groups say the absence of sharks causes other fish to overpopulate, which can damage ocean ecosystems.
Man too fat to execute dies
A 220kg convicted murderer who escaped execution after his lawyers argued he was too fat to be put to death, has died in prison, authorities in Ohio confirmed on Friday. Ronald Post, who spent 28 years on death row for the 1983 killing of a hotel worker, had been due to die by lethal injection in January. Yet he won a reprieve in December last year after his lawyers filed a motion arguing that a lethal injection would be “torturous and lingering” due to his enormous size. Post’s lawyers had argued that such an injection could take up to 16 hours to work. Post’s death penalty was commuted to life in prisonment without the possibility of parole after Ohio Governor John Kasich ruled he had not received a good enough defense at his trial, but he did not pardon Post nor call for a retrial.
Bush Sr bald to support kid
Former president George H.W. Bush on Friday said shaving his head in support of a young leukemia patient whose father is in his security detail was “the right thing to do.” The former president was interviewed at the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, by his granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager, a correspondent with NBC’s Today show. “A lot of the agents shaved their heads, and I said why not me?” Bush told his granddaughter. A photo released on Wednesday by Bush’s office showed two-year-old Patrick, who is undergoing leukemia treatment, and the elderly ex-president each sporting bald heads and similar blue polo shirts and khakis. Bush said that he simply wanted to “bring happiness” and “just identify” with Patrick. The former president’s wife, Barbara Bush, said she was “thrilled” by the new do. “I think he looks beautiful. He looks younger,” she said.
Drug company goes bananas
A drug company on Friday said it was considering a banana-flavored version of its pain reliever after the world’s oldest man attributed his longevity to the fruit and the drug, Anacin. Spanish-born Salustiano “Shorty” Sanchez-Blazquez, a 112-year-old former coal miner who lives in upstate New York, was named by Guinness World Records as the oldest certified man on the planet on Thursday. According to Guinness, Sanchez-Blazquez is currently the only male born in 1901 with proof of birth. In a statement, he said he believed he had lived to such an old age thanks to a daily dose of a banana and six tablets of Anacin. That delighted Anacin’s manufacturer, Insight Pharmaceuticals. “Our scientists had never looked into the banana before, but now that the certified oldest man in the world credits bananas and Anacin as his life-extending combo, we’re certainly going to explore whether a new ‘Bananacin’ product makes sensel,” marketing vice-president Jennifer Moyer said.