Wed, Aug 19, 2015 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

FRANCE

Reunion search called off

The nation on Monday said it was calling off the hunt for wreckage from missing flight MH370 after 10 days of air and sea searches off its Indian Ocean territory of Reunion yielded no results. A wing part washed up on the island on July 29 and was confirmed by the Malaysian prime minister to be part of the Boeing 777 that went missing on March 8 last year with 239 people onboard. The find raised hopes of finally solving the mystery of what happened to the plane, prompting investigators to search a maritime surface of 10,000km2 and scour the island’s eastern coastline.

CANADA

‘Space elevator’ patented

A company wants to build a tower that would allow astronauts to take an elevator partway into orbit. The tower would be 20 times taller than Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building at 830m. The Pembroke, Ontario-based firm envisions building a 20km-high tower with a platform at the top “for launching payloads, tourism, observation, scientific research and communications.” The tower would be constructed of pressurized, stacked cells, the patent said.

SPAIN

Fossil flower discovered

An aquatic plant is believed by scientists to be the oldest flowering plant on Earth. New analysis of the fossilized remains from the Pyrenees indicate that the plant is about 130 million years old. The plant, Montsechia vidalii, is like the coontail — which is commonly used to populate aquariums — and is thought to have grown underwater in shallow lakes. The plant snatches the title of world’s oldest flower from the hands of Archaefructus sinensis, said to be 125 million years old, found in fossils in Liaoning Province, China.

UNITED STATES

Actor jailed for assault

Hollywood star Emile Hirsch was sentenced to two weeks in jail after pleading guilty to assaulting a Paramount movie executive at the Sundance Film Festival, US media reported on Monday. At a hearing in Park City, which hosts the famous festival, the Into the Wild star was also fined US$4,750 and sentenced to 50 hours of community service for attacking executive Daniele Bernfeld at a disco in the city in January.

SOUTH AFRICA

Mandela grandson in court

Former president Nelson Mandela’s 24-year-old grandson appeared in court on Monday on charges of raping a 15-year-old, police said, in a new scandal to tarnish the family of the anti-apartheid icon. Mbuso Mandela remained in police custody and is to return to the Johannesburg magistrate court on Friday for a bail hearing, police spokeswoman Mashadi Selepe told reporters. He is alleged to have raped the girl at a Johannesburg restaurant more than a week ago.

SPAIN

DNA to help fight dog poop

The northeastern city of Tarragona plans to use DNA analysis of dog droppings to track down errant owners who fail to clear up their pet’s mess, officials said on Monday. The coastal Mediterranean city is to work with a local university to create a DNA database of registered dogs that could be used to identify owners, Tarragona City Councilor for public spaces Ivana Martinez told news radio Cadena Ser. Droppings found on the street or in parks can then be matched through the DNA database to a registered pet and its owner issued with a fine, she said.

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