Baby turtles rescued
Officials said yesterday (Friday) they have rescued more than 8,000 baby pig-nosed turtles hidden in suitcases and thought to be destined for China and Singapore. A total of 2,968 were discovered in four suitcases at the airport serving the capital, Jakarta, after arriving from the remote eastern Papua region, quarantine official Zaenal Abidi said. “The suitcases were full of plastic boxes holding 15 to 20 turtles each. Sadly, 14 of them were dead on arrival,” he said. All the turtles would be returned to their natural habitat in Papua, Abidi said. He added that police knew who had checked in the luggage, but their whereabouts were now unknown.
Cockroach dies in man’s ear
A man endured a painful hospital visit after a large cockroach burrowed into his ear and his efforts to suck it out with a vacuum cleaner failed. Darwin-based Hendrik Helmer’s ordeal began in the early hours of Wednesday morning when he was woken by a sharp pain in his right ear, the Australian Broadcasting Corp said. “I was hoping it was not a poisonous spider... I was hoping it didn’t bite me,” he said, adding that as the pain got worse he tried to suck the insect out with a vacuum cleaner before squirting water in his ear. “Whatever was in my ear didn’t like it at all,” he told the broadcaster yesterday. With the pain becoming excruciating, his housemate rushed him to hospital where a doctor put oil down the ear canal. This only forced the 2cm cockroach to crawl in deeper, before it eventually began to die. “Near the 10 minute mark ... somewhere about there, he started to stop burrowing, but he was still in the throes of death-twitching,” Helmer said. At that point the doctor put forceps into his ear and pulled out the cockroach. “They said they had never pulled an insect this large out of someone’s ear,” Helmer said. Helmer told ABC he would not be taking any added precautions when sleeping, although friends of his said they were so perturbed by his experience that they had begun going to bed with headphones on.
Cinnamon rolls under fire
Easy on the cinnamon! That advice from the food authority has rankled pastry chefs whose cinnamon rolls were found to violate the EU’s spice rules. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration recently discovered that cinnamon rolls and twists contained more coumarin — a chemical compound in the most common variety of cinnamon — than EU rules allow. Excessive intake of coumarin can cause liver damage. The agency asked bakers to reduce the amount of cinnamon they sprinkle in the dough for their sweet treats. Bakers protested, saying the EU limit is too strict. They said bakers in Sweden got around the EU rules by labeling their cinnamon rolls as “traditional and seasonal bakery.” Officials will meet next month with the bakers’ association to discuss potential solutions.
Legalize marijuana: mayor
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is challenging the federal government to decriminalize marijuana. The mayor was asked about the issue on Thursday on the Washington-based radio show The Sports Junkies before making football predictions. Ford, who previously has said he has smoked “a lot” of marijuana, says decriminalization likely will not happen in Canada as long as the conservatives are in power. He questioned that policy, saying, “Why wouldn’t they at least decriminalize it and try to get revenue from it?” Ford was arrested in Florida in 1999 for marijuana possession and driving under the influence of alcohol. He pleaded no contest to the drink driving charge, and the marijuana charge was dropped. Ford has rebuffed intense pressure to resign over his admitted crack use and other erratic behavior.