UUP rejects proposals
Northern Ireland unionists on Monday rejected proposals drawn up by former US diplomat Richard Haass to resolve volatile issues that threaten the peace process, calling them “not viable or acceptable.” Mike Nesbitt, leader of the pro-British Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), on Monday said he had dismissed Haass’ plans after a meeting of the party’s 100-strong ruling executive. Nesbitt called on Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and his deputy Martin McGuinness — the unionist and republican at the head of the province’s power-sharing government — to “clear up the obvious mess created by this process.” He said the proposals were “not viable and not acceptable,” but that “neither was the ‘status quo.’”
Money for rapist’s namesake
A Guinea-born man who was wrongly jailed for five months because he had the same name as a convicted child rapist was awarded 45,000 euros (US$61,000) in damages by a court on Monday, his lawyer said. Mohammed Camara not only bore the same name and surname as the rapist, but was born in the same city as him — Guinea’s capital, Conakry — and in the same year, his lawyer Frederic Berna said. Camara was arrested in July 2001 in Brussels following an international arrest warrant for a convicted child rapist who had been sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison. He spent three months behind bars in Brussels and two more months in France after being extradited. He was released on Dec. 31, 2001, after the victims and the convicted rapist’s family said they did not recognize him.
Racist toddler-slapper jailed
A man who pleaded guilty to slapping a crying toddler on a flight has been sentenced to eight months in federal prison. Joe Rickey Hundley was sentenced on Monday. He pleaded guilty in October last year after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors. Prosecutors say Hundley used a racial slur to refer to the 19-month-old boy, who is black, and hit him under the eye as the flight descended to the Atlanta airport in February last year. Prosecutors had recommended six months in prison. The judge said he imposed a higher sentence in part because of Hundley’s criminal history, which includes a prior assault.
Early humans had bad teeth
Eating nuts and acorns may have helped hunter-gatherers survive 15,000 years ago in northern Africa, but the practice wreaked havoc on their teeth, researchers said on Monday. Fermented carbohydrates in the nuts caused cavities, tooth decay and bad breath, said the study led by British scientists in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings are based on dozens of hole-riddled dental remains of 52 adults found in Morocco’s Taforalt Cave in the 1950s and in more recent excavations that began in 2003.
Cocaine cake ‘joke’ backfires
Carrefour Argentina scrambled to reassure customers on Monday after a delicacy from a cake supplier listed “12 grams of cocaine” as an ingredient. The French supermarket chain, which has more than 500 stores across Argentina, said it regretted what it called a “joke in bad taste,” apparently made by a worker at the supplier. Many people joked online that after neighboring Uruguay legalized marijuana, “for Carrefour, cocaine is legal,” as social media user Lilia tweeted.