World News Quick Take

Agencies

Wed, Jul 04, 2012 - Page 7

FRANCE

Ex-call girl designs lingerie

A one-time call-girl got the Paris fashion pack hot under the collar with a delectably naughty lingerie line unveiled on the sidelines of the haute couture shows. Zahia Dehar made global headlines in 2010 when it emerged the French-Algerian was offered up for sex with the soccer player Franck Ribery and co-players as a birthday “gift,” aged just 16, prompting a vice probe into the French squad. Now aged 20, the young woman has reinvented herself as a lingerie couturiere, winning high-profile support from Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, who shot the official pictures for her first collection unveiled in Paris in January.

HONG KONG

Sharks closes beaches

Authorities yesterday urged the public to remain alert after a shark sighting prompted a one-day closure of popular beaches across the territory. Officials closed 12 beaches on Sunday, during an extended holiday weekend, after a swimmer reported seeing a shark off the south of the territory. Checks by government officials had found “no big fish” inside the shark nets at the beaches and the nets intact. The beaches were reopened on Monday. “We urge the public to remain vigilant, however, and swim in the enclosed zones of the shark prevention nets,” a department spokesman said. Shark sightings are rare in the territory and some experts said the closures may have been an overreaction. Reports suggested the sighting may have been of a whale shark, a species that poses no significant threat to humans. The last fatal shark attack in the territory was in 1995, according to the Shark Attack File Web site, which monitors such incidents worldwide.

SOUTH AFRICA

Majority fear ‘missing out’

Two-thirds of teens and adults in the country suffer from a “fear of missing out” on more interesting activities than what they’re doing, a study by a pharmaceutical firm showed on Monday. More than 62 percent of about 3,000 respondents aged between 15 and 50 years said in a nationwide survey that they live in “constant fear” of missing out on something more exciting that what they are doing. The symptoms of the epidemic include the inability to put away one’s mobile phone, excessive texting even while driving, tweeting on the toilet and showing up at events uninvited. “The survey confirmed that over 62 percent of South Africans admitted that they live in constant fear of missing out [FOMO],” Pharma Dynamics spokeswoman Mariska Fouche said, adding FOMO elevates stress levels. “People who suffer from FOMO constantly push themselves to the limit and even when we are sick, we try not to miss out on social events, we still go to work and we can’t say no and this puts a lot of additional strain on our immune system that in turn heightens our risk of more serious illness,” she said. The firm stumbled on the finding while studying what drove a rising demand for immune-boosting supplements.

CHINA

Bird flu outbreak sparks cull

Authorities in Xinjiang have culled more than 150,000 chickens following an outbreak of bird flu, officials said. The outbreak of the H5N1 strain of avian flu initially killed 1,600 chickens and sickened about 5,500, the agriculture ministry said late on Monday. In an effort to contain the disease, agricultural authorities quarantined the area and culled 156,439 chickens, according to the ministry.

IRAQ

Car bomb kills at least 25

A car bomb in a busy market in the southern city of Diwaniya killed at least 25 people and wounded 50 yesterday, police and a provincial council official said, the latest in a series of sectarian attacks. Earlier in the day, two roadside bombs targeting Shiite pilgrims killed four people and wounded 21 near the central city of Kerbala, hospital and police sources said. In Diwaniya, 150km south of Baghdad, police announced a partial curfew and closed all entrances to the city. The bombing took place near a Shiite mosque, where pilgrims gather on their way to Kerbala to celebrate the birthday of one of the most important imams — al-Mahdi — this week. Attacks have increased in recent weeks, raising fears that the nation may slip back into widespread violence between Sunnis and Shiites. Last month at least 237 people were killed and 603 wounded, mainly in bomb attacks, according to a Reuters tally.

UNITED STATES

Cooper reveals he’s gay

CNN journalist Anderson Cooper, who has been reluctant to talk about his personal life in public, revealed that he is gay in an essay posted online on Monday. Cooper said he had kept his sexual orientation private for personal and professional reasons, but came to think that remaining silent had given some people a mistaken impression that he was ashamed. “The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself and proud,” he wrote in a letter to Andrew Sullivan of the Daily Beast Web site. Cooper, the son of Gloria Vanderbilt, had long been the subject of rumors about his sexual orientation. He said that in a perfect world, it wouldn’t be anyone’s business, but that there is value in “standing up and being counted.”

UNITED STATES

Strauss-Kahn, wife break up

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his wife of 20 years, Anne Sinclair, have been separated for a month to six weeks, a source close to the one-time French presidential hopeful confirmed on Monday. The source said on condition of anonymity that the two are now living at two different residences in Paris, adding that Strauss-Kahn is “well” despite this “difficult” period in his life. After three-and-a-half years at the helm of the IMF, Strauss-Kahn resigned on May 18 last year, four days after a Guinean housekeeper at New York’s Sofitel Hotel, Nafissatou Diallo, accused him of sexual abuse. The criminal case was dropped in August last year, after the prosecutor expressed doubts about Diallo’s credibility, but a civil suit is still pending in New York.

VENEZUELA

Palace employee arrested

An employee at the presidential palace has been arrested and is accused of spreading confidential information, prosecutors said on Monday. Physician Ana Maria Abreu was detained under a court order last week, the public ministry said in a statement. It said the doctor had worked in the palace for 12 years during President Hugo Chavez’s government and had been providing medical care to storm evacuees and other needy people. It was unclear what sort of information the doctor is accused of releasing. The ministry said only that she had been “linked to the dissemination of confidential information between the year 2010 and 2012.” Abreu is a sister-in-law of activist Rocio San Miguel, a government critic who leads an organization that monitors security and defense issues. San Miguel told Globovision TV that the case has a “political tint” and appears to be retaliation against Abreu for being her relative.