Xinhua duped yet again
Official news agency Xinhua has reported as true a satirical story that Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post by accident. The publication on Xinhua’s Web site came days after it posted a gallery of images supposedly showing a woman being executed by lethal injection — which instead appeared to have come from a fetish site. Bezos’ acquisition of the Washington institution for US$250 million was announced earlier this week. The original parody, entitled: “Amazon founder says he clicked on Washington Post by mistake,” was written by comedian Andy Borowitz for his satirical Borowitz Report column, published by the New Yorker magazine on its Web site. It joked that the deal had been a “gigantic mix-up” and supposedly quoted the e-commerce magnate as saying: “No way in hell would I buy the Washington Post ... I don’t even read the Washington Post.” He only became aware of his purchase when he noticed an “unusual charge” for US$250 million on his credit card statement, it claimed.
Dogs yawn with owner: study
Tired dog lovers who think their pet pooch is yawning along with them may just be right, according to a Japanese study. Dubbed “contagious yawning,” the new research says man’s best friend can sense human fatigue and, in a possible show of empathy, will join humans in a big yawn. Canines yawn more often when it is their owner who is involved, added the study conducted by researchers at Tokyo and Kyoto universities, which was published in US science journal PLOS One this week. “Our study suggests that contagious yawning in dogs is emotionally connected in a way similar to humans,” said Teresa Romero, who led the study. The study observed two dozen canines to see how they reacted both to their owners and to unfamiliar humans. The people involved in the experiment also made other facial expressions to see if the dogs sensed the difference. “The occurrence of yawn contagion was significantly higher during the yawning condition than during the control mouth movements,” the study said, adding that “the dogs yawned more frequently when watching the familiar model than the unfamiliar one.”
Corrupt copper cashiered
A police sergeant who was covertly filmed trying to extract a bribe from a motorist in Lagos has been sacked after the video went viral. In the driver’s phone footage, Sergeant Chris Omoleze is seen sitting in the passenger seat of a car demanding a payment of 25,000 naira, well over the minimum monthly wage of 18,000 naira. Following 120,000 views on YouTube, tens of thousands of tweets and airings on every national TV channel, authorities were goaded into taking rare action. “Less than 24 hours after we got wind of that story, the police officer was identified, arrested [and] dismissed from the police force,” police spokesman Frank Mba said.
‘Easy Rider’ actress dies
American actress Karen Black, who shot to fame in the 1969 counter-culture classic Easy Rider, died on Thursday in Los Angeles, her husband said. She was 74. Black, who starred alongside Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in the film, died after battling cancer. “It is with great sadness that I have to report that my wife and best friend, Karen Black has just passed away, only a few minutes ago,” Black’s husband Stephen Eckelberry wrote on his Facebook page. Born in Illinois in 1939, Black went on to star in about 100 movies, including several with some of the biggest names in Hollywood history. As well as Easy Rider, she appeared in 1970’s Five Easy Pieces, earning an Academy Award nomination for her performance as Nicholson’s pregnant girlfriend. She won a Golden Globe for her performance alongside Robert Redford in the 1974 adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Black was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2010. She is survived by her husband and two children.