Escaped cobra captured
A deadly cobra that escaped last week was captured on Friday after five days on the loose. The monocled cobra was sighted at the entrance to a basement, and a snake expert trapped the animal, a local official said. The more than 1m-long serpent had escaped on Sunday last week, sparking panic among nearby residents in the western town of Herne. Four houses were temporarily evacuated and their inhabitants told to keep windows closed and avoid long grass and dense vegetation. Emergency services had tried to track the cobra by spreading flour in the buildings under surveillance in the hope it would leave a trail.
Bolsonaro shuns Bic pens
President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday said he would stop using disposable pens made by France’s Bic to sign official documents as a diplomatic spat continues over fires in the Amazon basin. “A pen [of the Brazilian brand] Compactor and no more Bic, will work,” Bolsonaro said, confirming remarks he made during a live broadcast on Facebook a day earlier. Bolsonaro on Thursday said he would stop using Bic “because it is French.” The presidential office declined to comment when asked by reporters if Bolsonaro was serious or joking.
Kennedy assassin stabbed
Sirhan Sirhan, imprisoned for more than 50 years for the 1968 assassination of senator Robert F. Kennedy, was hospitalized on Friday after being stabbed by a fellow inmate at a San Diego prison. A statement from the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said the stabbing occurred in the afternoon at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility. “Officers responded quickly, and found an inmate with stab wound injuries, it said. He was transported to an outside hospital for medical care and is currently in stable condition,” the statement said.
Listeria claims third victim
A man died after eating tainted meat, the third fatality in a listeria outbreak that has also seen five pregnant women lose their babies due to the food-borne bacteria, health authorities said on Friday. More than 200 people have been infected with the common bacteria, which pose a serious threat to elderly people, pregnant women or those with serious health conditions. The source of the outbreak, which was declared on Aug. 15, came from of pork product stuffed with garlic and other condiments sold under the commercial name “la Mecha.” The delicacy is made by the company Magrudis, based in Seville. Its factory has since been closed and its products recalled from shops.
Sea lions could be culled
More than 1,100 sea lions could be killed annually along a stretch of the Columbia River to boost faltering populations of salmon and steelhead. Billions of dollars have been spent in Idaho, Oregon and Washington to save 13 species of Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead protected under the Endangered Species Act. The National Marine Fisheries Service on Friday said it is taking public comments on the plan requested by the states and Native American tribes. About 900 California sea lions and 250 Steller sea lions could be killed each year under the plan along a nearly 480km stretch of the river. Experts have said sea lions there are exclusively preying on salmon and steelhead.
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
CHANGING PERCEPTIONS: In its tender, the Hong Kong administration said that it had failed to ‘mobilise the community to support law enforcement actions’ The Hong Kong government has agreed to pay millions of pounds to a discreet London-based PR firm to counter coverage of the territory in the international media. Consulum, which has also represented Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was on Monday awarded the ￡5 million (US$6.2 million) one-year contract to improve Hong Kong’s reputation — the same day that China passed national security legislation targeting the territory. The Mayfair-based PR business was founded by Tim Ryan and Matthew Gunther Bushell, two former employees of Bell Pottinger, an agency that has been criticized for representing some governments and leaders that other businesses