Donkey found in burgers
Worried about horsemeat in your beef? Try water buffalo, donkey and goat. Food scientists said they have found all three in mislabeled foods in South Africa, including beef burgers, ground beef and sausages. A study published by three professors at Stellenbosch University found that 68 percent of 139 samples contained species not declared in the product label, with the highest incidence in sausages, burger patties and deli meats. The study found soya and gluten were not labeled in 28 percent of products tested, it found undeclared pork in 37 percent and chicken in 23 percent. “This study confirms that the mislabeling of processed meats is commonplace in South Africa and not only violates food labeling regulations, but also poses economic, religious, ethical and health impacts,” co-author professor Louwrens Hoffman said on Tuesday. He said tests the past two weeks on hundreds of samples of imported meat have found no horsemeat. “It’s all about people having the right to know” what they are eating, he said. “There’s nothing wrong with eating donkey if you like donkey, but if you don’t, you have the right to know” it is in your burger or sausage, he said.
Students probed over video
Authorities have ordered a probe into the staging of a “Harlem Shake” show in a Tunis suburb by students who danced wildly and imitated sexual acts, after a video recording went viral on the Internet. “The ministry of education has demanded an investigation and the department will take appropriate measures,” Education Minister Abdellatif Abid said on Radio Mosaique. He said there could be possible “expulsions” of students or “sacking” of educational staff who were behind the staging of the dance. The video footage, which shows participants smoking, dancing wildly in an uncoordinated manner and simulating sexual acts, has spread on the Internet, with dozens of different versions attracting millions of hits.
Intelligence agency panned
The domestic intelligence agency has come under fire for paying almost a quarter of a million US dollars to a neo-Nazi informer linked to a far-right terror group. Opposition lawmakers and anti-Nazi campaigners criticized the payments made over 18 years after they were first reported on Sunday by conservative weekly Bild am Sonntag. Officials at the intelligence agency declined to comment on the report, but the head of a parliamentary committee tasked with investigating a string of murders allegedly carried out by the group says the information appeared accurate. Lawmaker Sebastian Edathy said that the newspaper’s report matched information submitted to his committee. Edathy said the payments totaling 180,000 euros (US$240,000) to a man identified by the newspaper as Thomas R were “off the scale” for an informant.
Sleepy criminal traced
Dozing off behind the wheel can be deadly, but for one teenager it will likely result in a charge of attempted car theft. State broadcaster ORF cited police as saying they have identified a 17-year-old male as the likely suspect after a woman found her vehicle partially hot-wired, a door forced open, and a youth apparently drunk and fast asleep inside. ORF said on Tuesday the unnamed culprit rewired the vehicle to its normal state and walked off after being discovered on Sunday. He was traced after the owner reported the incident to police. A police officer in Salzburg confirmed the incident by telephone.
Cops find marijuana cannon
Police in the border city of Mexicali say they have recovered a powerful improvised cannon used to hurl packets of marijuana across a border fence into California. Police told the Televisa network that the device was made up of a plastic pipe and a crude metal tank that used compressed air from the engine of an old car. The apparatus fired cylinders packed with drugs that weighed as much as 13.5kg, police said. It was confiscated last week after US officers told Mexican police that they had been confiscating a large number of drug packages that appeared to have been fired over the border.
Homeless man strikes it rich
A homeless man will soon have well over US$100,000 after returning an engagement ring to a woman who accidentally dropped it in his cup earlier this month. Sarah Darling’s fiance set up a Web site seeking donations for Billy Ray Harris, who frequently panhandles on Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza. By Monday, more than 6,000 people had donated more than US$145,000 to the fund. Harris discovered the ring about an hour after Darling dumped spare change from her coin purse into his cup. She had taken off her ring earlier that day and put it with the coins. “The ring was so big that I knew if it was real, it was expensive,” Harris told KCTV. Darling was horrorstruck when she realized the next day what she had done. She went back to Harris and told him that she might have given him something valuable. “‘Was it a ring?”’ he recalled asking her. “And she says, ‘Yeah.’ And I said ‘Well, I have it.’” Darling gave Harris all the cash she had in her wallet at the time. “It seemed like a miracle,” Darling said. “I thought for sure there was no way I would get it back.” In explaining why he did not keep the ring, Harris said he had a religious upbringing.
Body found in pieces
A man walking his dog discovered a woman’s body chopped up and placed in several bags in New York on Tuesday, police said. They were walking in the Bronx neighborhood when they came across “several body parts — torso, head, legs, hands, feet,” a police spokesman said. “The dog was attracted to the bag and he went to the bag,” the officer said. “The man picked up the bag, looked inside, and discovered some body parts,” and several other bags were recovered from the area. A “person of interest” was being questioned, but the victim had not yet been fully identified. A report in the New York Post said the woman was 45 and that her 22-year-old son was being questioned.
Batman to lose Robin
Batman may be able to save the world, but he lost his sidekick Robin — who in his current incarnation is his son — in the upcoming Batman Incorporated comic book series. DC Comics said the caped crusader’s young assistant, Batman alter ego Bruce Wayne’s son Damian, would die in yesterday’s issue No. 8. “This master theme of damaged and ruined families was nowhere more in evidence than in the creation of Damian, the first ‘Son of Batman’ to be acknowledged in the canon,” series writer Grant Morrison said in a statement. “In many ways this has been Damian’s story as much as it has been the story of Bruce Wayne and it’s a story that had its end planned a long time ago — for what son could ever hope to replace a father like Batman, who never dies?” The good news for those who might miss Robin is that in the comics universe characters who are killed can return.