World News Quick Take

Agencies

Fri, Aug 17, 2012 - Page 7

GERMANY

Peaches calls for lynching

Canadian electro-punk performance artist Peaches posted a protest video for Russian feminist band Pussy Riot online on Wednesday in which she calls for Russian President Vladimir Putin to be lynched. The video for the song Free Pussy Riot, which appeared on YouTube and Facebook, is aimed at supporting three band members who face three years behind bars in a verdict to be handed down today. In the song, Peaches blames Putin for the prosecution of the trio on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for their “punk prayer” against his re-election in a Moscow church in February. “Here’s the pitch, here’s the switch, put Putin on a stick and play burn the witch,” runs the rap in the video. The song plays against the backdrop of a protest in a Berlin park last week organized by the 45-year-old singer, who lives in the German capital and has a major cult following for her provocative, sexually frank performances.

SOUTH KOREA

Moon in critical condition

The founder of the controversial Unification Church is in hospital in critical condition due to complications from pneumonia, his spokesman said yesterday. Sun Myung Moon, 92, was admitted to Seoul’s St Mary’s Hospital on Tuesday and has been unconscious since then, Ahn Ho-yeol said, describing his condition as very critical. “He is on life support and cannot communicate ... doctors say the next three days will be the critical period,” Ahn said. The Unification Church — founded in Seoul in 1954 and officially called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification — is one of the world’s most controversial religious organizations. Its devotees are often dubbed “Moonies” after the founder and it is widely known for conducting mass weddings among followers involving thousands of couples.

NEW ZEALAND

Man survives harrowing fall

A skydiver has survived a harrowing plunge to the ground after his main parachute failed and a reserve chute only partially worked. Police said the 35-year-old man suffered serious injuries after he hit the ground at high speed and with enough force to make him bounce. According to a police statement, the man was parachuting yesterday afternoon at Motueka airport on South Island when his main chute failed and he was unable to open his reserve chute. Police said the reserve chute eventually deployed automatically when the man was about 230m from the ground, but did not function properly, although it did help slow his fall. Nelson Hospital said that the skydiver remains there in a stable condition.

BOLIVIA

Mob burns Brazilians alive

A mob of angry villagers burned two suspected Brazilian drug traffickers alive on Tuesday in revenge for the alleged murder of three Bolivians the previous night, police told local media. About 300 locals stormed a police station in San Matias, a small town near the border with Brazil, seized Rafael Max Dias and Jefferson Castro Lima, doused them in petrol and set them alight, according to television station Uno. “It was impossible to control the crowd. There were only seven of us,” police officer Grover Ramos told local newspaper El Deber de Santa Cruz. The Brazilians were arrested on Tuesday after the murders of 33-year-old Paulino Paraba Ramos, 27-year-old Banderley Costas Paraba and 26-year-old Edgar Suarez Rojas, in a shooting thought to be related to drug trafficking.

UNITED STATES

Teenagers prefer oral sex

Two-thirds of teenagers and young adults aged 15 to 24 have had oral sex, according to researchers who say people in this group may mistakenly feel it is less risky than vaginal intercourse. This is the first time researchers asked young people about the timing of oral sex relative to vaginal intercourse, according to findings by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study, based on 6,346 interviews that followed behavior from 2007 through 2010, determined that 66 percent of females and 65 percent of males had experienced oral sex. About 25 percent of both genders had oral sex at least once before they had vaginal intercourse for the first time, the survey found. “However, young people, particularly those who have oral sex before their first vaginal intercourse, may still be placing themselves at risk of STIs or HIV before they are ever at risk of pregnancy,” wrote the authors, led by Casey Copen in the division of vital statistics for the Atlanta-based CDC.

UNITED STATES

Hank the cat runs for Senate

Hank, a cat running for the US Senate, bared his claws on Wednesday with a radical proposal for improving the US’ unpopular Congress: get rid of the humans. “It’s OK to make a change. It’s OK to vote the humans out,” a campaign video released by the feline politico says. Most media coverage of the Senate race in Virginia focuses on Republican former governor George Allen and Democratic nominee Tim Kaine, another former governor and ally of US President Barack Obama. However, Hank is not one to whinge about media bias. He writes on www.hankforsenate.com that his traditional American self-reliance is the way forward. Born to a single mother and forced to live on the street, Hank says he “earned his success and his name through hard work.” Although there is little polling data on Hank’s bid to become the first cat in the Senate, a vote based on popularity of his Facebook page would have him breathing down the Democrat’s neck. At last count, Kaine’s site scored 24,271 “likes” to Hank’s 23,664.

UNITED STATES

Chimp cheats birth control

A 42-year-old chimpanzee whose unexpected pregnancy was discovered in February has given birth to a healthy girl. Ginger gave birth on Monday at the Chimp Haven sanctuary for retired research chimpanzees. Ginger’s pregnancy was a surprise, because every male must get a vasectomy before coming to the sanctuary in northwest Louisiana. Since February, every male in a group with a female and still interested in breeding has been given a newer type of vasectomy, while every female is on birth control. The baby has not yet been named. Sanctuary officials say a donor who pays US$13,000 a year to support the chimp can name the baby. If that does not happen, the sanctuary will take suggestions from the public.

UNITED STATES

‘Hero’ on sex assault charge

An Iraqi man hailed as a hero for helping US soldiers in his homeland is one of five Iraqis accused after a woman suffered serious injuries during a sex assault in Colorado. Jasim Mohammed Hassin Ramadon, 22, was charged with sexual assault and being an accessory after he was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the July 22 attack. Soldiers said they met Ramadon in 2003, when he pleaded with them to arrest him in exchange for key information about local insurgents. Ramadon was featured in A Soldier’s Promise, a combat memoir by Army First Sergeant Daniel Hendrex.