Wed, Dec 03, 2014 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

AUSTRIA

Grenade explodes in stove

Police investigating a grenade blast were less puzzled by the explosion and more by where it took place — inside a wood stove that appeared to contain nothing but firewood. The woman who owned the wood burner also had no clue at first. After all, she only put firewood inside. Or so she thought. Police spokeswoman Petra Datscher on Monday said a World War II grenade apparently landed in a tree during fighting. It was then enveloped by wood growing around it to the point that it was invisible when the tree was chopped down for firewood and sold to the supermarket where the unidentified 22-year-old woman bought it. The blast on Sunday in the lakeside town of Gmunden shattered the stove’s glass panel, but the sturdy wrought-iron stove prevented injuries.

UNITED STATES

Bomb scare a ‘joke’

A Venezuelan doctor thought it might be funny to crack a joke about a bomb in his luggage. Instead, he partly forced the evacuation of Miami International airport, and earned a fine of almost US$90,000. Manuel Alvarado, 60, will pay US$89,172 for his “momentary lapse of reason in making these statements,” which prompted costly evacuations and delays for airlines, and brought out a police bomb squad, his lawyer Brian Bieber said. Just before boarding an Avianca flight to Bogota on Oct. 22, a security officer asked Alvarado routine questions; the doctor joked that he was carrying C-4 explosives.

GERMANY

Sugar sparks bioterror scare

Vanilla sugar for Christmas cookies trickling from an envelope sparked a bioterrorism scare at a mail distribution center on Monday, police said. Police, paramedics and a fire brigade team in full protective suits swarmed the facility after staff spotted the white powder and an employee complained of itching, apparently fearing it was a dangerous chemical or biological agent. Testing quickly determined that the material was not dangerous, police said after the incident in Pinneberg. It was found to be home-made vanilla sugar.

VENEZUELA

Prisoners poisoned: group

A rights group says at least 41 inmates died in suspicious conditions last week, more than three times the official death toll authorities have blamed on overdoses. The government said last week 13 inmates died after breaking into the infirmary ward of the David Viloria penitentiary center in Lara State and gorging on medical products, including alcohol and antibiotics. However, the Venezuelan Observatory of Prisons questions that official version. A handful of relatives claim the prisoners, who had reportedly launched a hunger strike to protest their living conditions, were poisoned, according to preliminary testimonies the group collected. “The [inmates] were sent bottles of water and food... They haven’t said who sent it, but it was let into the prison and that’s what family members say caused [the intoxications],” said the group’s Humberto Prado, who called for independent toxicological exams. At least 200 inmates were intoxicated at the prison, Prado said.

IRELAND

Mass theft of whiskey, gin

Police are hunting a criminal gang that escaped with more than 15,000 bottles of whiskey and gin in an audacious daylight heist last month. Armed with iron bars, the gang loaded the alcohol into 12m trucks after tying up the employees at a warehouse on the outskirts of Dublin, police said on Monday. A total of 15,480 bottles of Jameson Whiskey were taken on the afternoon of Nov. 14.

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