UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Cafe serves up camel-ccinos
A Dubai cafe, trying to give a modern twist to an old Bedouin tradition, has started putting camel products on its menu. Cafe2Go, launched in September last year by an entrepreneur as part of a scheme to revive Bedouin traditions, now features camel-lattes, camel-ccinos and camel-meat fajitas. Earlier this month, he launched Camellos — a brand name for his products derived from the Spanish word for camel. “Camel milk has been around for centuries and I wanted our younger generation to start drinking it again,” said Jassim al-Bastaki, the cafe’s owner. “From here came the idea of mixing it with modern drinks.” Camel milk has been a staple for desert Arab nomads for generations. Apart from being a novelty in the glitzy home of the world’s tallest building and the man-made palm islands, Bastaki swears by the health benefits of camel milk. Studies show it is almost as nutritious as human milk and offers 10 times more iron and three times more vitamin C than cow’s milk. The challenge in marketing the product comes from the taste and smell. Unlike common dairy products, camel milk is slightly saltier and has a heavy taste, and from the smell one knows immediately where it comes from. Bastaki said he had spent months testing different concoctions before coming up with the perfect blend. “Camel milk is known for being a healthier choice,” he said. “We just had to find the right coffee bean mix and degree of steaming the milk to make it taste good.”
Wife murdered for working
A man stabbed his wife to death because she worked for a non-governmental organization outside the home, police said on Monday after arresting the suspect in the western province of Herat. “Kulsoom was stabbed eight times by her husband on Friday afternoon because she was working,” provincial police spokesman Noor Khan Nekzad said. “We have arrested the murderer, Abdul Rahim, who killed his wife.” The couple had been married for six years and had two children. The killing occurred nearly a week after a 20-year-old woman, Mah Gul, was beheaded in the same province by her in-laws after she refused to go into prostitution. Abdul Qader Rahimi, the regional director of the government-backed human rights commission in the region, said violence against women had dramatically increased recently. “There is no doubt violence against women has increased. So far this year we have registered 100 cases of violence against women in the western regions,” he said, adding that many cases go unreported. Last year, police rescued a teenage girl who was beaten and locked up in a toilet for five months after she defied her in-laws, who tried to force her into prostitution.
Senators deny police request
The Senate on Monday voted to deny a request by police to question one of its members who shot his ex-wife at the dinner table with an Uzi 9mm pistol. Upper house lawmakers voted 94-2 to uphold Boonsong Kowawisarat’s constitutional right to immunity during a parliamentary session. “After the session ends on Nov. 28, police can take him for questioning,” Senator Somchai Sawaengkarn said. Boonsong has said the death was an accident caused by ill health following a stroke. He said the gun went off while he was trying to remove a jammed bullet, fatally wounding Chanakarn Detkard, 46, who was also his secretary. Police said Boonsong is likely to be charged with causing death by negligence. If convicted, he faces a maximum punishment of 10 years’ imprisonment and a 20,000 baht (US$670) fine.
Hunting deaths spur debate
Hunting enthusiasts have killed 13 people and wounded 33 in shooting accidents since the season opened last month, increasing pressure to reform antiquated hunting laws. The death toll swelled across the country this weekend when a 16-year-old was killed by a friend while hunting, a pensioner was shot and wounded in his garden, and a cyclist was hospitalized after being hit with grapeshot. Hunting groups agree with environmentalists that the law — which allows hunters to roam on private land and discharge firearms within 150m of a house — should be changed. However, the sides have become entrenched in a long-running stalemate over how. Among those calling for an outright ban is Association of Hunting Victims head Daniela Casprini. “The question is no longer about who is for and who is against hunting. This is to stop a true massacre,” Casprini said on Monday.
Artist makes voyeurs happy
An Austrian artist has installed a one-way mirror in a Vienna cafe that allows men to peek from their restroom into the ladies’ room. Alexander Riegler told the daily Heute newspaper on Monday that the mirror is an attempt to “stir people into a discussion of voyeurism and surveillance,” in an era when almost everyone is being watched. Cafe employee Alexander Khael-Khaelsberg says the mirror only shows women at the sink and does not offend anyone’s private sphere. He told the daily Heute newspaper that women will get their turn in January when the mirror is reversed to let them look at men’s faces while they stand at the urinal. The restaurant recently put up a sign advising women that they are part of an “art project” after complaints.
Whale mimics humans
It could be the muffled sound of singing in the shower or that indecipherable voice from the Muppets’ Swedish Chef. Surprisingly, scientists said the audio they captured was a whale imitating people. The whale song sounded so eerily human that divers initially thought it was a human voice. Handlers at the National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego heard mumbling in 1984 coming from a tank containing whales and dolphins that sounded like two people chatting far away. One day, when a diver surfaced from the tank and asked “Who told me to get out?” researchers realized the garble came from a captive male Beluga whale. For several years, they recorded its spontaneous sounds. An acoustic analysis revealed the human-like sounds were several octaves lower than typical whale calls. Scientists think the whale’s close proximity to people allowed it to listen to and mimic human conversation. It did so by changing the pressure in its nasal cavities.
Woman set on fire in park
A 20-year-old black woman told police she was set on fire by three men who wrote the initials KKK and a racial slur on her car in northeastern Louisiana. Louisiana State Police spokeswoman Lieutenant Julie Lewis said Sharmeka Moffitt was found with burns on more than half of her body when police responded to her emergency call on Sunday night. Moffitt was in critical condition on Monday at a hospital. Lewis said the FBI is investigating the attack as a possible hate crime, but that no arrests had been made yet. Moffitt told police the men doused her in a flammable liquid and set her on fire in a town park. Lewis said she extinguished the fire using water from a spigot before a police officer arrived.