World News Quick Take

Agencies

Sat, Feb 16, 2013 - Page 3

THAILAND

Kissing record broken

A kiss lasting nearly two-and-a-half days propelled one determined couple to a new record for the world’s longest smooch on Valentine’s Day, organizers in Bangkok said yesterday. Hospital security guard Ekkachai Tiranarat, 44, and 33-year-old housewife Laksana locked lips for 58 hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds, smashing last year’s Guinness World Record by more than eight hours. The romance of the clinch may have been marred by competition rules requiring contestants to remain on their feet throughout, slurp food and liquids through a straw and even go to the toilet while continuing to press their lips together. The “kissathon” ended shortly before midnight on Valentine’s Day, with the male couple who won last year unable to maintain their smooch, collapsing just two minutes before Ekkachai and Laksana.

SERBIA

Sabotage plot uncovered

Police said they have uncovered a plot to sabotage a government plane while it carries top officials. The police said in a statement released on Thursday that “certain criminal clans” and individuals with access to the government aircraft planned to sabotage the plane during a foreign trip by President Tomislav Nikolic, Prime Minister Ivica Dacic or his first deputy Aleksandar Vucic. The sabotage “would cause limited damage and after takeoff would bring down the plane,” the police statement said. The three top officials continued with their flights. No other details of the alleged plot were given. Dacic used a French-made Falcon government jet for his visit to Ireland on Thursday.

UNITED STATES

App offends Chubby Checker

Rock ’n’ roll legend Chubby Checker is twisting mad over a software application that allowed women to estimate the size of a man’s penis based on his shoe size. The singer, whose real name is Ernest Evans, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Hewlett-Packard and Palm Inc in federal court in Fort Pierce, Florida, on Tuesday, saying that the app “adversely affects Chubby Checker’s brand and value.” The app, which was called “The Chubby Checker,” was an unauthorized use of Checker’s name and trademark, the lawsuit alleges. “He’s hurt,” Checker’s attorney Willie Gary said. “He worked hard to build his name and reputation over the years.” The app is no longer available. Checker, who is 71 and lives in Pennsylvania, is seeking a half-billion dollars in damages and restitution.

PARAGUAY

Ex-president to do DNA test

Former president Fernando Lugo will have to undergo court-ordered DNA testing, after a judge ruled in favor of a woman who says he fathered her 11-year old son, court officials said on Thursday. Sources said the family court judge in Ciudad del Este has set March 7 as the date for the DNA test. “I am very happy about the decision of the judge, after four years” of wrangling in court, said the child’s mother, Benigna Leguizamon. Lugo, a former Roman Catholic bishop, was ousted from the presidency in June last year. He was impeached by the Senate just months before the end of his four-year term over his handling of a land dispute. Leguizamon claims Lugo fathered the boy during his time as bishop of San Pedro state, where she worked as his house cleaner. Lugo has admitted to fathering two other children from different mothers, and there is at least one more woman in addition to Leguizamon who has claimed that he is the father of her child.

BANGLADESH

Doraemon gets the boot

Japanese manga cartoon Doraemon has been banned from TV screens over fears that youngsters who are hooked on the Hindi-dubbed version are struggling to learn their native Bengali. Bangladeshi Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu told parliament on Thursday that television channels which have been screening Doraemon had been sent official notifications ordering them to take the series off air. “The government doesn’t want children’s educational atmosphere to be hampered by Doraemon,” the minister said. The ban comes after several local dailies called for a ban on the cartoon, worried that Doraemon addicts were speaking Hindi to each other instead of Bengali. Shahriar Alam, a ruling party lawmaker, had last week demanded that television stations should only be allowed to air foreign cartoons if they are dubbed in Bengali.

NICARAGUA

Five hundred say ‘I do’

A public square became an improvised wedding chapel on Thursday for 550 couples who took their marriage vows en masse on Valentine’s Day. Mass weddings have become a tradition in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua since they began a decade ago. Sponsored by the government and a radio station, and broadcast on television, the ceremony in the Plaza Maya featured brides in white dresses and grooms in suits. Bride Lilieth Obando said that the mass ceremony was a big help for couples like her and groom Leoncio Martinez. They had lived together for two years, but did not have the money for a private wedding.

ARGENTINA

Bride marries sister’s killer

A woman tied the knot on Thursday with a man convicted of killing her twin sister. No one from the family of 22-year-old bride Edith Casas attended the civil ceremony in the town of Pico Truncado. Afterward, a group of around 20 people threw rocks and eggs at groom Victor Cingolani, who is serving a 13-year sentence for killing the sister, a fashion model named Johana, in 2010. Cingolani was out on a day pass to get married and escorted by prison guards and riot police. “I want to start a family with Victor because I love him. He is innocent,” the bride said before the ceremony. The wedding had been planned for December, but a judge blocked it, pending a psychiatric evaluation of Edith Casas at the request of her mother. However, Judge Marcelina Orellana ultimately let the nuptials go ahead, ruling there was no evidence that the bride had any psychiatric disorder. The father was disconsolate. “For me, they are both dead. Johana is with God and Edith with the devil,” Valentin Casas said.