Condoms for arthritis?
The elderly are discarding pills for boxes of condoms in the belief that the lubricant oil on the latex helps alleviate arthritis-related pain, a daily reported yesterday. They rub the condoms on the painful joints and claim to feel instant relief, the Sowetan said. “This oil is No. 1,” Elizabeth Moyo told the paper after demonstrating how she uses the condoms. “I am tired of the pills.” Condoms are readily available, often for free, in the nation. Medical experts say there is no scientific evidence that condoms help with pain relief.
Shoe poisoner jailed
A man was sentenced yesterday to seven years in jail for slipping corrosive poison into the shoes of a colleague he was stalking, causing her to have the tips of her toes amputated. Tatsujiro Fukasawa, 41, poured hydrofluoric acid into the woman’s shoes late last year after she turned down his romantic overtures, media reports said. “This was a vicious crime because he used a chemical that can kill people,” Jiji Press quoted Judge Takafumi Miyamoto of the Shizuoka District Court as saying.
Canada ambassador named
President Barack Obama named a Goldman Sachs executive and large campaign contributor as ambassador to Canada on Thursday amid potential rifts between the allies over the Keystone pipeline. Bruce Heyman, managing director for private wealth management at the investment bank, lives in Obama’s base of Chicago and is a so-called “bundler” who raised funds for the president’s campaigns. In a statement announcing Heyman and nominees for unrelated posts, Obama called them “experienced and committed individuals.” Heyman requires confirmation by the Senate.
Suspected gang assets seized
Police and security forces on Thursday seized bank accounts and assets worth millions of dollars belonging to a gang of suspected drug traffickers singled out by the US government, an official said. US ambassador to Honduras Lisa Kubiske said on her Twitter account the seized assets were worth at least US$500 million. They included hotels, luxury houses, gas stations, and the biggest zoo in the Central American country. An official at the attorney general’s office said the assets were worth considerably less than Kubiske’s estimate. The assets belonged to a group known as Los Cachiros, which the US Treasury Department said trafficked narcotics for organizations including the Sinaloa Cartel, one of the most powerful drug-running outfits in Mexico.
Officer held in kidnappings
Mexico City authorities say they have arrested a police officer and another man in the abduction and killing of 12 young people who were taken in May from a bar near the US embassy. Mexico City Attorney General Rodolfo Rios says the two suspects helped kidnap the group, whose decomposing bodies were found last month buried in a ranch near the capital. Rios says the police officer worked in the Zona Rosa, a touristy area of bars and restaurants where the 12 were kidnapped.
Snakes found at man’s home
An animal-control officer had hundreds of snakes, including two 1.8m Burmese pythons, at his home, where he ran an illegal side business selling them, authorities said on Thursday. There were 850 snakes worth half a million US dollars in a detached garage at the Shirley home of Richard Parrinello, including the Burmese pythons, which are illegal in New York state, officials said. “There is a reason why Burmese pythons are illegal,” Suffolk County SPCA Chief Roy Gross said, citing the deaths of two young boys in New Brunswick, Canada, who were killed by an African rock python while they slept last month.