World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

Fri, Jul 10, 2009 - Page 7

■CAMBODIA

Police dogs sold for meat

Police killed and sold three German shepherd guard dogs for meat after they fatally attacked a 22-year-old man as he walked home from work, national media reported yesterday. Police in the coastal province of Preah Sihanouk captured and drowned the dogs on Wednesday before selling their bodies to a meat vendor for US$30 each at a local market, the Cambodia Daily reported.

■MALAYSIA

Oldest lady’s beau arrested

A 37-year-old man who made headlines three years ago when he married a 106-year-old woman has been arrested on drugs charges, state media said on Wednesday. Police in northern Terengganu state said that Che Mat Nor Musa, the husband of Wook Kundor who is believed to be the oldest woman in the state, was arrested at their home on Tuesday on suspicion of taking heroin. Wook said she was aware that her young husband had undergone treatment for drug addiction in the past, but said their married life had been happy. “I will allow him to receive treatment again so that he can be cured of his drug addiction and return here after that,” she told Bernama news agency.

■UNITED KINGDOM

Witch wanted

Fancy £50,000 (US$80,500) a year on a stress-free job with flexible working hours and no need to wear a suit? Somerset tourist attraction Wookey Hole caves is advertising for a “witch” and has already received 100 applicants. Legend has it that the caves, near Wells, were home to the Wookey Witch who was turned to stone by the medieval Abbott of Glastonbury to rid villagers of her curse. The vacancy has arisen because the previous incumbent has retired. The successful candidate, who will be living in a “spacious” cave, has to cackle, not be allergic to cats and will be asked to perform “a range of tasks” including magic at an open audition on July 28.

■SPAIN

Brit gives away cash

Police briefly detained a drunk British man on Wednesday who was handing out money to strangers at the airport at Palma de Mallorca after arriving on a flight from Manchester, police said. The man, identified only as 59-year-old James B.N., laughed constantly as he distributed the bills and did not seem aware of what he was doing, police said. He had an unkempt appearance and his pants were soiled by urine. The Briton was carrying 50,000 euros (US$70,000) in travelers’ checks and another 2,000 euros in cash that he acquired from an inheritance. Police put him on a return flight to Britain.

■UNITED KINGDOM

BNP leader calls for sinking

The leader of the far-right British National Party (BNP), recently elected to the European Parliament, said on Wednesday that the EU should sink boats carrying African immigrants trying to reach the continent. Nick Griffin, one of two BNP members elected to the Brussels parliament in May, told the BBC that those on board would be thrown a life raft, but insisted only drastic action could stop Europe being “swamped by the Third World.” “The only measure, sooner or later, which is going to stop immigration and stop large numbers of sub-Saharan Africans dying on the way to get over here is to get very tough with those coming over,” he told the British broadcaster. “Frankly, they need to sink several of those boats.” More than 67,000 people crossed the Mediterranean Sea to seek asylum in Europe last year, UN figures showed.

■GERMANY

Police badger drunk badger

Police called to clear a road of a dead badger found the animal in question had in fact gorged itself on over-ripe, fermented cherries and, blind drunk, staggered out into the middle of the road. “The animal’s stomach had turned the fruit to alcohol and the badger was, to put it crudely, drunk as a skunk,” a police statement on Wednesday said. “In addition, the badger was suffering from diarrhea studded with cherry stones.” Prodding the reluctant beast with a stick, officers managed to persuade it to leave the road near the town of Goslar and to sleep off his night of excess in a nearby meadow.

■LATVIA

Credit firm asks for souls

A credit company asking borrowers for their immortal souls as loan collateral has outraged churches in the recession-hit Baltic nation, sparking demands for a formal investigation. “We are treating the case very seriously,” Roman Catholic Cardinal Janis Pujats said on Wednesday. Pujats said he and the heads of the country’s Russian Orthodox and Lutheran churches had asked the interior ministry formally to investigate the case, fearing “Satanists, not just cynical money lenders” could be behind it. Kontora, the Riga-based company in question, offers loans ranging from 50 to 500 lats (US$100 to US$1,000) to anyone, no matter their age, credit history or whether they have material collateral. The loans are issued for 90 days at an annual interest rate of 365 percent. “There is just one condition, a borrower should pledge their soul,” says the company Web site. If a borrower fails to return the money, their soul belongs to the company. “It’s just a business. We lend real money and if a person believes that a soul is important to them, we will definitely get back our money. All is fair,” an unnamed company representative reportedly told Latvia’s Vesti Segodna newspaper.

■UNITED STATES

Man dies in vat of chocolate

Authorities say a man has died after falling into a vat of melted chocolate in a New Jersey processing plant. The Camden County prosecutor’s office identified the victim as 29-year-old Vincent Smith. He was a temporary worker at the Cocoa Services Inc plant. The accident happened on Wednesday morning as Smith was loading chocolate into a vat where it’s melted and mixed before being shipped elsewhere to be made into candy.

■UNITED STATES

Turtles invade JFK runway

A runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport was shut down briefly on Wednesday morning after at least 78 turtles emerged from a nearby bay and crawled onto the tarmac. Ground crews eventually rounded up the wayward reptiles and deposited them back in the brackish water farther from airport property, but not before the incident disrupted JFK’s flight schedule and contributed to delays that reached nearly one-and-a-half hours. The invasion began unfolding, slowly, at around 8:30am, when an American Eagle flight crew reported seeing three turtles while taxiing out for departure.

■UNITED STATES

Butter statue churns debate

When officials announced that a butter sculpture of Michael Jackson would feature at next month’s Iowa state fair, they churned up such a fierce debate that they’re now trying to moonwalk their way out of it. The reaction was immediate, and people were obviously whipped up, the fair’s general manager Gary Slater said.