‘Walkie Talkie’ melts car
A cluster of new skyscrapers transforming the London skyline are often blamed for spoiling the view. Now one has been accused of “melting” a car. Motorist Martin Lindsay told the BBC that intense sunlight reflected from the “Walkie Talkie” — one of several flashy towers under construction in the City, London’s historic financial district — warped the wing mirror, panels and badge of his Jaguar, which he had parked across the road. The developers of the 37-floor skyscraper said they were seeking to rectify the problem.
Menem faces more charges
Another trial began on Monday for former president and convicted arms trafficker Carlos Menem. This time he is charged with falsifying his official declaration of wealth in 2000. Menem allegedly failed to mention four bank accounts, two properties, two ultra-light airplanes, stock in telecom companies and two vehicles. One of the bank accounts was opened in Liechtenstein with US$6 million while he was president in the 1990s. The 83-year-old senator faces a six-year sentence if convicted, but his defense argues that too much time has passed to try him now. For now, Menem remains free despite the seven-year sentence he received in June after being convicted of smuggling weapons while he was president to Croatia and Ecuador when those countries were subject to international embargos.
Cabinet reshuffle approved
Parliament approved late on Monday a reshuffled Cabinet of Prime Minister Ivica Dacic, tasked with reviving the country’s ailing economy and leading it closer to EU membership. After a three-day debate, the 250-seat parliament approved the government reshuffle including 11 new ministers. The reshuffle comes 13 months after Dacic’s government, praised for reaching a historic EU-mediated accord with breakaway Kosovo in April, took over.
Frogs hear with mouths
Some of the tiniest frogs on Earth have no middle ears or eardrums, but can hear by using their mouths, scientists said on Monday. Researchers thought that Gardiner’s frogs, which are about 1cm long and live in the rainforests of the Seychelles, might be deaf. However, advanced X-ray images showed that unlike other frogs, neither the lungs or the muscles of the Gardiner frogs help transmit sound to their inner ears. Instead, scientists realized that the frog’s mouth acts as an amplifier for the frequencies the frog emits. “The combination of a mouth cavity and bone conduction allows Gardiner’s frogs to perceive sound effectively without use of a tympanic middle ear,” Renaud Boistel of the University of Poitiers said.