World News Quick Take

Agencies

Sun, Jun 23, 2013 - Page 7

CHINA

Men catch falling toddler

CCTV has shown security camera footage of a group men catching a two-and-a-half-year-old girl who apparently fell from a fifth-story window on Thursday in Ninghai, Zhejiang Province. The girl escaped with small scrapes on her face. The footage showed the men standing in an alley pointing and looking up the side of a building. They dash into a huddle just as the youngster falls into their arms. CCTV said workers at a delivery company nearby heard the girl crying as her legs dangled out the window. The report quoted her parents as saying they left her home alone while she was sleeping, but she climbed onto the windowsill after she woke up.

ALGERIA

Miss Algeria contest revived

After an absence of 10 years, the Miss Algeria beauty contest was held on Friday in Oran, with 19-year-old science student Rym Amari taking the pageant honors. The competition was suspended in 2003 after the death of Cheradi Hamdad, who launched the beauty contest in 1996 during the country’s civil war and whose son, Faycal Hamdad, has now taken up the mantle. “I have picked up the torch for this year only, because my father died last year of lung cancer,” said the new pageant director, a rights activist and a performer in his own right. The revamped beauty show demonstrates that “the Algerian woman has evolved, Algeria has evolved,” Hamdad said. Amari came out on top from the 20 contestants, aged between 18 and 26, who were carefully selected from the main cities to compete in front of 2,000 spectators in an Oran hotel. While there was a minimum height requirement, there was no posing in swimsuits, with the Miss Algeria hopefuls parading in traditional outfits, sportswear and evening dresses.

AUSTRALIA

Drunk lets child drive him

Police on Friday charged a drunk man after pulling over a car on the Gold Coast to allegedly find a seven-year-old boy driving him home at 3am. A patrol car stopped the vehicle after it went by without its headlights to find the boy at the wheel and the man in the passenger seat. The 41-year-old was charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and being an adult in charge under the influence of alcohol. The boy is now in the care of relatives. Queensland State Minister of Transport Scott Emerson saying he was stunned by the incident. “I shake my head and am shocked by the madness of this,” Emerson told ABC radio.

GUAm

Man held for choking death

A man is being held on US$1 million bail after being charged with murder in the choking death of his girlfriend’s ex-husband. Carl Gargarita appeared in Superior Court this week after allegedly getting involved in a fight outside a Tumon club yesterday morning, the Pacific Daily News reported. Court documents say Gargarita put Anthony Giralao into a chokehold and choked him until he blacked out. An officer at the scene was unable to detect a pulse or breathing from Giralao. Gargarita was initially charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault. The charges were changed after Giralao died. That evening, Gargarita and Giralao’s ex-wife, Irene Giralao, were drinking in a club, according to the documents. Gargarita allegedly told Irene to call her ex-husband and tell him where she was, court documents and police say. Giralao arrived 30 minutes later and the two men started punching each other before Gargarita put Giralao in a chokehold, the complaint said.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Prostitution warning urged

The country’s top prosecutor is urging the tourism ministry to advise foreign travelers not to hire prostitutes because they could face punishment. A statement on Thursday from Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito says tourists should refrain from any behavior that supports places where prostitutes work. The move is part of a broader campaign by the attorney general to combat human trafficking and sex crimes in the nation. The UN Population Fund ranks the Caribbean country fourth worldwide in the number of women who are trafficked to other nations. Prostitution itself is not illegal in the Dominican Republic. However, it is illegal to make money off the sexual services of another person or to force someone to work as a prostitute.

UNITED STATES

Walle voted ugliest mutt

A huge-headed, duck-footed mix of beagle, boxer and basset hound was the upset winner on Friday at the 25th annual World’s Ugliest Dog Contest. Walle (WAHL-ee), a four-year-old mutt from Chico, California, who was entered at the last minute, was judged the most unsightly of 30 dogs at the competition in Petaluma, California. “This dog looked like he’s been photoshopped with pieces from various dogs and maybe a few other animals,” judge Brian Sobel said. Walle overcame the dominance in recent years by nearly hairless Chihuahuas, Chinese cresteds, or combinations of the two. Owner Tammie Barbee got the dog when he was three months old. “People come up to me and say that dog is not right,” Barbee said, “but I love him.” Judges said they were especially impressed by Walle’s bizarre waddle of a walk.

UNITED STATES

Yoga students pack square

Thousands of New Yorkers took some time off on Friday to celebrate the first day of summer by taking part in mass outdoor yoga classes in Times Square, the Big Apple’s busiest crossroads. The summer solstice yoga festival — for everyone from beginners to the most experienced practitioners — started early in the morning and was expected to continue until sundown. Free mats were handed out to the first 1,200 at each class, and pedestrian zones in Times Square were entirely covered with the colorful rectangles and the yoga enthusiasts, most of them women in exercise attire. Participants carefully went through a series of yoga poses, following instructions from teachers, broadcast via loudspeakers. The spectacle, which delighted tourists and photographers alike, takes place each year to mark the summer solstice.

VENEZUELA

Five charged over abduction

Prosecutors have charged a woman and four men in connection with the kidnapping of a Portuguese man who was held captive in an underground bunker for nearly a year before being rescued this week. Kidnapping and armed robberies are common in the country, and President Nicolas Maduro is under pressure to reduce crime. Authorities said the kidnappers demanded a US$6.5 million ransom after they grabbed the 45-year-old victim on July 16 last year in the central state of Aragua and bundled him into a car. Local media named the victim as Joao Dos Santos Correia and published photographs of state security agents leading him to safety. “Thank God I have returned to life,” Correia told reporters. So-called “express kidnappings,” in which victims are taken to cash machines, or held for a few hours until a ransom is paid, happen often, but months-long abductions are much rarer.