Officer hangs on, saves life
A police officer has been praised for grabbing hold of a van as it dangled on an icy bridge over a highway with the driver trapped inside. The West Yorkshire Police force said Constable Martin Willis on Friday arrived at the scene of an accident that had left the large van teetering on the edge of the bridge. He grabbed the rear axle and held it until a fire department crew arrived. Willis on Saturday said he told the driver not to panic and “whatever you do, don’t move.” The fire service says the driver is recovering in a hospital.
Ex-senator eyes presidency
Former senator and environmental minister Marina Silva on Saturday said that she would seek her party’s nomination to run for president next year. Silva announced her plans at a meeting of her Sustainability Network Party (REDE), which would officially nominate her at its national convention in April. The 59-year-old environmentalist has run in the previous two presidential elections, but never made it to a second-round vote.
‘Advances made’ in talks
The government and opposition made “significant advances” in the latest talks aimed at resolving the nation’s crushing economic and political crisis, they said on Saturday after two days of meetings in the Dominican Republic. However, there was no agreement and negotiations will continue in Santo Domingo on Dec. 15, the two sides said in a statement read by Dominican President Danilo Medina, who hosted the talks with former Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. The main demand of the opposition coalition, Democratic Union Roundtable, is the opening of a “humanitarian corridor” to allow the import of desperately needed food and medicines — along with a guarantee of free and fair presidential elections next year.
No return yet for Puigdemont
Deposed Catalonian president Carles Puigdemont is to remain in Belgium until after the Dec. 21 elections in his province, as he is fighting extradition to Spain, his lawyer said on Saturday. Madrid sacked Puigdemont for holding a banned independence referendum and declaring on Oct. 27 that Catalans want to become an independent state. It has charged him with rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds. Puigdemont is running for re-election at the head of the Junts per Catalunya (“All for Catalonia” in Catalan) grouping.
Monty Python out, Hitler in
The Color Purple, Freakonomics, a collection of Shakespeare’s sonnets and Monty Python’s Big Red Book are among the titles banned in Texas state prisons, but Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and two books by former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke are not. The Dallas Morning News reported the choices made by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice on behalf of thousands of inmates. Also among the forbidden are Where’s Waldo? Santa Spectacular and Homer Simpson’s Little Book of Laziness. Satan’s Sorcery Volume I and 100 Great Poems of Love and Lust are allowed, as is James Battersby’s The Holy Book of Adolf Hitler. What is or is not permissible is largely decided by mailroom staff, the newspaper found. Many books are banned because their bindings or covers could be used to smuggle contraband. “Mein Kampf is on the approved list because it does not violate our rules,” department deputy chief of staff Jason Clark said.
Boat crash kills 13
Thirteen people were killed and two were missing after a fishing boat collided with a tanker off the west coast and capsized early yesterday, the coast guard said. The Seonchang-1 fishing boat was carrying 20 passengers on a fishing tour, as well as two sailors, when it crashed with the 336-tonne fuel tanker at about 6am at sea near Incheon. Thirteen people were found dead or died after being sent to hospitals. Seven others were being treated at hospitals while two remained missing, the coast guard said.
Coalition jets bomb Sana’a
Aircraft from the Saudi-led coalition yesterday bombed Houthi positions in Sana’a, residents and local media said, aiming to shore up supporters of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh as they battle the Iran-aligned Houthi group. Saleh on Saturday announced he was ready to turn a “new page” in ties with the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen if it stopped attacks on Yemeni citizens, in a move that could pave the way to end nearly three years of war. The apparent shift in position came as Saleh’s supporters battled Houthi fighters in Hadda, a district in southern Sana’a where members of Saleh’s family, including his nephew Tareq, live.
Vaccine causes alarm
The nation is prepared for a “worst-case scenario” following warnings that an anti-dengue vaccine administered to thousands of children might worsen the disease in some cases, a health official said on Saturday. Department of Health spokesman Eric Tayag said the country had already taken precautions against potential mishaps when it became the first country to use the landmark vaccine last year. French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, which developed the vaccine, earlier this week revealed that it could trigger more severe symptoms in people who had not been previously infected with dengue.
Stinky socks cause ruckus
Police arrested a man whose stinky socks caused a showdown on a bus as his fellow passengers protested the pungent odor, an officer said on Saturday. The man removed his shoes and socks on a bus going from the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh to New Delhi and put them near the aisle, police said. Other passengers protested and asked the man to put away the offending socks or throw them out. The man refused, sparking a heated confrontation that forced the bus driver to stop at a police station in Una District of Himachal Pradesh.
‘SUICIDE’: Media reports said Park Won-soon went missing on Thursday after a staff member filed a sexual harassment claim against him this week Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, viewed as a potential candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was found dead of an apparent suicide hours after he was reported missing, police said, adding that he was the subject of an undisclosed investigation. In a note he is thought to have left behind on his desk, Park offered his apologies. “I thank everyone who was with me in my life. I apologize to my family for only making them suffer from pain,” according to the note that was released by his office yesterday. Park, in his letter, asked to be cremated and have his remains spread
RISKY BUSINESS: The Chinese firm has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of 5G equipment not covered by US sanctions, but fears a wider ban could be announced in the UK Huawei Technologies Co believes it can supply 5G hardware unaffected by US sanctions to the UK for the next five years, sidestepping the expected conclusion of British emergency review on Tuesday. The company has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of kit, but fears a wider ban on its equipment is to be unveiled to placate rebel British Conservative Party lawmakers, who say that the Chinese supplier represents a national security risk. The British government on Friday said that it was “very likely” that British Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden would make a statement to parliament on Tuesday
Scientists in Singapore are hoping to perfect a new method of power generation driven largely by shadows, with the hope that it could one day help highly urbanized cities power themselves. The shadow-effect energy generator (SEG) being developed by the National University of Singapore has the potential to harness power like solar cells, but without needing open spaces with uninterrupted light. To work effectively, the SEG requires both light and dark and, like solar panels, relies on light to shine on silicon to energize electrons. However, using panels that feature a thin layer of either gold, silver, platinum or tungsten, the difference in
ALLEGED CONFLICT INTEREST: Two family members of the Canadian PM have received money from an organization that was later granted a larg e federal project For the third time in as many years, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday found himself at the center of a political firestorm — this time over the awarding of a lucrative government contract to a charity that also paid hefty sums to members of his family. Canada’s Conservative opposition has demanded a police investigation to uncover whether fraud was committed in the granting of the C$900 million (US$662.064 million) contract to WE Charity in June. The organization has admitted paying nearly C$300,000 to Trudeau’s mother, brother and wife for speaking engagements. Trudeau said he had part in negotiations with the charity