World News Quick Take


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 - Page 7


2Day FM making donation

The radio station behind a prank call to a British hospital will donate its advertising revenue until the end of the year to a fund for the family of the nurse who apparently took her own life after the stunt. Southern Cross Austereo, parent company of Sydney radio station 2Day FM, yesterday said it would donate all advertising revenue, with a minimum contribution of A$500,000 (US$525,000), to a memorial fund for Jacintha Saldanha, who answered the telephone at the hospital treating Prince William’s pregnant wife, Catherine. The company suspended advertising on the station in the wake of Saldanha’s death. Southern Cross said it would resume advertising on its station starting tomorrow.


Airline faces strike threat

Cathay Pacific flight crews may stop serving alcohol and smiling at passengers after voting in favor of industrial action during the Christmas holidays over a salary dispute. The Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union, which is demanding a 5 percent salary increase, said the “work-to-rule” measures could also throw flight schedules into chaos. “We will be selective in providing our services,” union general secretary Tsang Kwok-fung said. “This could include not smiling at passengers, not providing certain types of beverages — such as alcohol — or stop serving meals … In a nutshell it means passengers will still be able to reach their destinations except they are paying a five-star price to get a three-star service.”


Escapee recaptured

Police say they have captured a convicted terrorist who escaped detention last month by disguising himself in a burqa. Roki Aprisdianto was sentenced to six years behind bars last year for masterminding a series of bombings. He escaped from the Jakarta Police detention center after a group of burqa-clad women came to visit their husbands. He is thought to have put on one of the burqas. A police spokesman said Aprisdianto was arrested him near a bus station in East Java.


Solar clothes a possibility

Clothes that could literally light up your life were unveiled yesterday by researchers who said their solar-cell fabric would eventually let wearers harvest energy on the go. The new fabric is made of wafer-thin solar cells woven together that could see people powering up their mobile phones and other electronics with their sweater or trousers. However, its creators conceded there was work to do before taking the fabric to market, such as coating for the conductive wires and improving the fabric’s durability. The fabric was developed at the Industrial Technology Center in Fukui Prefecture in cooperation with a Kyoto-based solar cell maker and other private firms.


Reactor at risk from fault

A team of geologists says a seismic fault running underneath the Tsuruga plant is likely to be active, which could force the scrapping of one of its two reactors. The five-member panel commissioned by the Nuclear Regulation Authority announced on Monday that the structure underneath the plant showed signs of seismic movement about 100,000 years ago, recent enough to still be active. Government guidelines prohibit nuclear facilities above active faults. Tsuruga’s No. 2 reactor sits directly above the fault and would have to be scrapped if the panel’s conclusion is officially accepted.


IKEA monkey finds fame

A stylishly attired monkey became an instant Internet celebrity, and triggered an animal welfare investigation, when it was found wandering in a furniture store car park. The months-old rhesus macaque, named Darwin, spent the night at an animal shelter in Toronto after he was found wandering around an IKEA lot wearing a sheepskin coat on Sunday afternoon. Darwin apparently opened his crate and the door of his owner’s vehicle and went for a stroll. However, his adventure did not stop there. Snap-happy observers took photographs of the cute critter and posted them online and Darwin immediately became a viral sensation on social media. His image was pasted into mockups of the IKEA catalogue, atop Toronto’s CN Tower, in parliament seated next to the prime minister and elsewhere.


Clinton cancels trip

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has canceled her trip to Morocco this week for a meeting on the future of Syria’s opposition because of a stomach virus, the State Department said on Monday. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns will travel to the meeting in her place. “Since she’s still under the weather, we’ll be staying put this week instead of heading to North Africa and the Middle East as originally planned,” State Department spokesman Philippe Reines said in a statement.


Rioters battle police

Rioters in Belfast pelted police with gasoline bombs on Monday in the latest violence to flare up over a decision by the city’s council not to fly the British flag all year round. Officers were targeted on the Upper Newtownards Road near the offices of the east Belfast Member of Parliament Naomi Long, a member of the non-sectarian Alliance Party, who has been warned her life is under threat. Police said they were treating the attack as attempted murder.


Putin wants Heroes of Labor

President Vladimir Putin on Monday suggested the country should revive the Hero of Labor title, a highly coveted Soviet-era award established in the early years of the USSR to mobilize workers and increase output. “Of course, I think that it would be good for us to revive the Hero of Labor title, only we need to think, we cannot completely copy the Soviet times,” Putin said at a meeting with his election campaign activists from this year’s presidential election. “We need to turn our attention to the man of labor wherever he works, who does his bit by using both his head and hands,” the 60-year-old president said. “There should be criteria, clear and understandable criteria, not simply for the number of years of work, but for the result, the contribution to the country’s development.” Thousands of Soviet workers earned the coveted title of Hero of Labor under the USSR, enjoying special privileges in society and special status. However the title was discontinued after the fall of the USSR.