Taiwanese plunges off pier
A Taiwanese tourist had to be rescued by police after plunging off a pier while browsing Facebook on her smartphone, officials said yesterday. The woman was walking along a bay in Melbourne on Monday night when she became distracted by her Facebook feed and plummeted off the pier into the chilly water, Victoria State police said. A witness called for help and police rushed to the woman’s aid. They found her flailing around in the water, about 20m from the pier. “She was still out in the water lying on her back in a floating position because she told us later that she couldn’t swim,” Senior Constable Dean Kelly told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “She still had her mobile phone in her hand, and initially she apologized and said sorry.” The woman was taken to hospital for treatment. “With Facebook, or social media in general as far as we’re concerned, if you’re anywhere near the water just pay attention,” Kelly said. “Especially if you can’t swim.”
Ronnie Biggs dies aged 84
Ronnie Biggs, one of the UK’s most notorious criminals, known for his role in the Great Train Robbery of 1963, died yesterday at the age of 84, his spokeswoman said. Biggs gained notoriety 50 years ago as one of an 11-member gang that tampered with railway signals and stopped a Royal Mail train, making off with ￡2.6 million (US$4.2 million). Biggs was caught and received a 30-year jail sentence, but escaped and spent 36 years on the run. He surrendered to police in 2001, but was freed in 2009 on health grounds.
Airline competition a hit
Forty-two people legally changed their names to Klaus-Heidi to participate in a Lufthansa competition offering a flight to Berlin and a free apartment rental for one year, the German airline said on Tuesday. “This was on one condition: you had to change your name to Klaus-Heidi,” Lufthansa marketing specialist Magnus Engvall said. The response to the initiative, which was intended to promote the German airline’s Stockholm-Berlin route, exceeded all expectations the company had at the outset. “We had a scenario of zero people when we first started with the idea,” Engvall said. The airline said on its competition Web site it chose the name Klaus-Heidi simply because it was “a fusion between two very German names.” In addition to official proof of their new identity, participants had to send a motivation letter explaining why they wanted to move to Berlin. The winner of the competition, 24-year-old Michael Klaus-Heidi Andersson, will also get free German lessons and a bike.
Drug smuggling vet captured
Police said on Tuesday they had captured a Colombian vet who tried to smuggle liquid heroin by surgically implanting plastic bags of the drug into live Rottweiler and Labrador puppies. The fugitive vet, identified only as Andres L.E., was tracked down in the northwestern Spanish city of Lugo after more than eight years on the run. He is accused of operating on the dogs at his farm in the Colombian city of Medellin. Colombian police raided his farm in January 2005. “They seized 3kg of liquid heroin inside six puppies. The drug was extracted from the dogs, which had been destined for the United States,” Spanish police said in a statement. The puppies each had one or two plastic bags of about 400g of liquid heroin in their abdomens, Medellin police chief Ruben Carillo said at the time. “We have never had a similar case for hiding drugs,” Carillo said.