BA misplaces Khan’s sarod
Legendary musician Amjad Ali Khan said on Monday that British Airways (BA) had misplaced his beloved sarod, a stringed instrument he has played for 45 years. The 68-year-old maestro realized the instrument was missing when he flew to New Delhi with the airline on Saturday. “After damaging my Sarod in 1997, British Airways now misplaces my Sarod. 48 hours and I still wait anxiously for some news. Still not traced,” Khan tweeted. The classical musician, who was awarded India’s second-highest civilian honor in 2001, had gone to London with his wife to perform at a function on June 21. Recalling his ordeal, Khan said he waited for nearly five hours at the airport as the airline tried to trace his “priceless” instrument, but in vain. “Being an artist, I communicate through my sarod, which was with me for the last 45 years... How can such a big airline be so irresponsible?” Khan told the Press Trust of India. A BA spokesman blamed “intermittent problems” with the baggage system at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 for the problem.
Aquino defends artist snub
President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday defended a controversial decision he made to withhold a top award from one of the nation’s most accomplished film stars because of a drug conviction. Last month’s snub against award-winning actress Nora Aunor sparked a nationwide furor, with millions of fans insisting no one deserved a “national artist” prize more than the 61-year-old fondly nicknamed the “Superstar.” “Ms Nora Aunor has been convicted for drugs and was punished for it... By making her a national artist are we putting out the right message?” Aquino told a press conference aired on national television. “I respect her and I recognize her body of work, but our message of zero tolerance against drugs takes priority.” The Order of National Artist award, issued by presidential proclamation, recognizes a person’s significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts and letters. Reacting to the snub, Aunor said on Sunday she was hurt by Aquino’s action, but overwhelmed by the support of the public. “The Filipino masses... have conferred the highest honor on me, by declaring me the people’s national artist in their hearts,” she said.
Killer was depressed: mom
The mother of a man accused of killing three people in a busy tourist area says her son descended into depression after his grandfather died and his girlfriend moved off the island. Rae DeSoto testified on Monday that her son, Chad DeSoto, began questioning life and death while mourning his grandfather. She says the death led to irrational fears, loss of appetite and insomnia. Chad DeSoto has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness to killing three Japanese tourists and hurting several others by plowing a car onto a busy sidewalk in a resort area, then stabbing bystanders.
Oceans full of plastic debris
As much as 88 percent of the ocean’s surface contains plastic debris, raising concern about the effect on marine life and the food chain, scientists said on Monday. Mass-produced plastics from toys, bags, food containers and utensils make their way into the oceans through storm water runoff, a problem that is only expected to get worse in the coming decades. The findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences are based on more than 3,000 ocean samples collected around the world by a Spanish science expedition in 2010.
Subway beating arrest made
Police on Monday arrested a teenager suspected of beating up a 25-year-old Mongolian man on a Barcelona metro train in an alleged racist attack after a video of the incident posted online went viral. The 56-second video shows a blonde youth, dressed in a black T-shirt and jeans and whose face is pixelated, repeatedly punching the seated man late on Saturday last week before other passengers intervened. It was reportedly first posted on Sunday to a Twitter account that contained Nazi symbols and the slogan: “Always a patriot, white Europe.” The owner of the account, who appeared in his profile picture with a shaved head and his mouth covered by a bandana, tweeted that he had filmed his friend carrying out the attack. Police said they had detained a young man who is suspected of carrying out the beating and charged two others who acted as accomplices. Police did not give the nationality of the suspect who was arrested, but media reports said that he was Russian.
Toronto’s Ford back at work
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on Monday said that he had been in “complete denial” about his drug and alcohol abuse, but asked voters for another chance as he returned to work following a stint in rehab. Ford, who is seeking re-election in October despite revelations that he smoked crack while in office, said he had begun “taking control” of his life, but added: “This is a long, long road to recovery… I had convinced myself that I did not have a problem, but it soon became obvious that my alcohol and drug use was having a serious, serious impact on my family and on my health and on my job as mayor… After experiencing some of the darkest moments in my life, I decided that enough was enough. I had become my own worst enemy… It was time to get help — professional help.” Ford took a leave of absence in May. Toronto’s city council stripped him of most of his mayoral powers in November last year.
Pub crawl leads to jail
A Virginia man was arraigned on Monday after he stripped naked at a pizza restaurant after a pub crawl and led police on a chase before crashing into parked cars. Charles Mack, 23, was spotted walking down the street naked after stripping at the restaurant in Arlington late on Saturday, police said. When police tried to arrest him, Mack got into his car and drove off. He struck three vehicles before police restrained him with a Taser. Mack had been part of a group called “The All-American Bar Crawl,” which started at 2pm and visited 14 bars. An Arlington County Police Department spokesman said Mack was charged with indecent exposure, driving while intoxicated, disregarding police demands, three counts of hit and run and one count of possession of narcotics. Mack’s birthday was Sunday. He spent the day in jail.
Lawnmower drowns driver
An 80-year-old East Texas man died when he drove his sit-down lawnmower into a pond on his property and was pinned under water by the machine, police said on Monday. Billy Huffines was pronounced dead on Saturday last week in Fannett, about 115km east of Houston, after fire department medics were unable to resuscitate him. “There’s been a lot of rain over here and there’s a possibility that the wheels of a tractor, or a mower like that, dig into the mud and inertia can pull it over if the edge slopes downward like a ditch,” Deputy Rod Carroll of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office said.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong (FCC) yesterday said that reporters in the territory were experiencing “highly unusual” visas problems, and called on the US and China to stop using the media as a political weapon. Journalists have been caught up in US-China tensions, with both sides placing limits or expelling reporters from their territories in the past few months. Now the spat is filtering into Hong Kong, a regional press hub nominally in charge of its own immigration policies. The FCC said in a statement that multiple media firms had reported delays getting visas in recent months. “The delays have affected journalists