Lightning kills tourist
A German tourist who was struck by lightning last week has died from her injuries, officials said yesterday. Stefanie Wiedenroth, 22, died on Monday after her parents had traveled from Germany to be at her side, the Royal Perth Hospital said. Wiedenroth was on a working holiday at a remote sheep station in Western Australia when lightning hit her on Friday morning as she was walking in a paddock. Four other people standing nearby were reportedly thrown to the ground, but not seriously injured. Her employer Darren Major said he was standing about 25m away from Wiedenroth when she was struck. “Right above us it was basically blue skies, but just off to the west of us there were clouds brewing, but nothing to be concerned about — it was basically just a normal day,” he told the West Australian newspaper. “It was just a freak lightning strike, that’s the only way I can describe it,” he added.
Hitler remark causes upset
The head of Vienna’s Jewish community is urging that a far-right politician running for EU parliament withdraw his candidacy over his suggestion that Adolf Hitler’s rule was more liberal than the EU. Oskar Deutsch demanded that Andreas Moelzer drop out for saying that the EU is a dictatorship that makes the Third Reich look “possibly ... liberal.” Moelzer spoke last month, but his comments were reported only recently. Deutsch said on Monday that “such people cannot represent Austria” in the EU parliament. Moelzer said he only meant to point to EU overregulation. Moelzer is on the far-right fringe of his FPO party, which has made huge gains over recent years with a strongly Euroskeptic, anti-corruption and anti-foreigner message. It now regularly polls as the most popular of all Austrian parties.
Bus crash kills at least 30
A double-decker bus carrying municipal workers on a field trip plunged off a steep road and into a ravine, killing at least 30 people and injuring 22, officials said yesterday. The accident on Monday night was the latest fatal crash on a mountain road in Tak Province known for its treacherous dips and turns where 300 accidents occurred last year, provincial governor Suriya Prasatbunditya said. The driver was trying to pass cars on a winding downhill road when it skidded off the edge and flipped several times as it tumbled about 30m into a valley before crashing into a tree, Suriya said.
Minister accused of assault
Energy Minister Silvan Shalom, tipped as a possible presidential candidate, has been accused of sexual assault against a female former employee, media reported on Monday. The alleged victim, who worked for the now 55-year-old member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, has filed a complaint, the reports said. Police said they were “investigating accusations against a minister,” without giving any further details. Speaking anonymously to army radio, the former employee said Shalom had on one occasion in 1999 called her to deliver documents to a Jerusalem hotel room where he was staying, and she found him naked. Shalom, who was serving as science minister at the time, then forced her to perform oral sex on him, she said. Shalom was expected to run in a June 14 presidential election as a possible successor to Shimon Peres, and he was about to announce his candidature, according to local media.