Power outage sparks chaos
Power was restored to Darwin yesterday after a 12-hour outage across the city caused chaos, with schools and public-sector offices closed and traffic lights knocked out. A tripped circuit blacked out the city of about 120,000 people and towns up to 320km away, with the government mobilizing emergency management protocols as technicians desperately worked to fix the problem. The Northern Territory Government said all schools were closed for the day and the public bus network suspended. The local hospital and airport operated as usual, although some hotels were evacuated as customers sweltered through the night with air conditioners out of action in the steamy, tropical city. Water and sewage services were supported by generators.
Hangman quits after a week
The prisons department is searching for a new hangman after the latest recruit got upset on seeing the gallows for the first time and quit, officials said on Tuesday. The new hangman was appointed last week, the third most qualified from 176 applicants, months after two hangmen chosen late last year failed to show up for work. “We gave him one week’s training, but he resigned after seeing the gallows, saying that he didn’t want the job,” Commissioner General of Prisons Chandrarathna Pallegama said. “He told me that after seeing the gallows he got upset... Next time, we will show the gallows to the new recruits before giving them basic training.” It is not as if he would have been likely to hang anyone anyway. The job is light administrative work only. The nation has not carried out an execution since 1976, despite the fact that there are at least 405 convicts on death row.
Prostitutes demand to work
A group of prostitutes on Tuesday demanded to be allowed back to work, 18 months after their brothel in the resort town of Sousse was attacked by hardline Salafists and closed down. A delegation handed Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Meherzia Laabidi, a woman, a petition signed by 120 prostitutes calling for their brothel in the popular coastal resort to be allowed to reopen. “We know the state cannot help us financially, because the current economic situation is so bad. That’s why we’re calling for the brothel to be reopened, so we don’t have to ask for charity,” one of the delegation, calling herself Souhir, said by telephone. Souhir said that, in 2012, radical Islamists had attacked the building, “looted everything they found there... and put us out of work.” Prostitution is regulated by the state. “I listened to their demand and I will... write a letter as a lawmaker to the secretary of state for women and to the interior ministry, to see how we can preserve the dignity of these Tunisian citizens” Laabidi said.
Mussolini’s husband probed
The husband of Mussolini’s granddaughter is being investigated as part of a probe into under-age prostitution in the most upmarket district of Rome, judicial sources said on Tuesday. Mauro Floriani, the husband of Alessandra Mussolini, is suspected of being among the well-heeled clients of two minors, who offered their services in a flat in the Parioli neighborhood that is home to some of the Italian capital’s wealthiest residents. Six people, including the mother of one of the two girls, have been formally charged in connection with the investigation. Floriani has been linked to the probe by phone taps, photographs and records of his mobile calls, judicial sources said.