Snails trail path to beauty
Having live snails crawling on your face sounds like the thing of nightmares, but one company is hoping people will be prepared to pay for it. Starting today, women who want to slough off dead skin, clear their pores or roll back the years can submit themselves to five minutes of molluscs. “Slime from snails helps remove old cells, heal the skin after sun burn and moisturize it,” said Manami Takamura, a spokeswoman for Tokyo-based beauty salon Ci:z.Labo, “In this way, you can have 100 percent pure snail essence directly on the skin.” Snail slime is believed to have an anti-aging effect. As part of the salon’s “Celebrity Escargot Course” customers will get five minutes of snail therapy, along with a massage and other facial treatments. The snails alone cost ￥10,500 (US$106).
Rowling secretly wrote book
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling secretly posed as a retired military policeman to write a crime novel that has been hailed as one of the best debut detective stories in years. Rowling wrote The Cuckoo’s Calling under the name Robert Galbraith and kept up the pretence that it was the work of a married father of two and former undercover investigator. Her cover was blown when the Sunday Times newspaper became suspicious that such an assured piece of writing could have been created by a first-time novelist. “I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience,” the 47-year-old said. The book’s protagonist, Cormoran Strike, is a troubled war veteran with physical and psychological wounds. The plot follows Strike’s investigation into the death of a model in Mayfair, London. The novel had sold about 1,500 copies in hardback. However, in after Rowling was named as its author, it shot up the bestseller charts was the third-biggest seller on Amazon.co.uk yesterday. The Times said Rowling has already written the second Strike novel, due next year.
Asiana to sue for name hoax
Asiana yesterday said it was planning lawsuits against US transport authorities and a TV station for mistakenly confirming and airing false and offensive names for the pilots behind its fatal crash in San Francisco, California, on July 6. Fox network affiliate KTVU news Channel 2 in Oakland, California, identified the pilots of the Asiana Boeing 777 that crashed as “Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Lo,” “Ho Lee Fuk” and “Bang Ding Ow.” KTVU cited the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as its source, but quickly realized the mistake and apologized. The NTSB later apologized for the “inaccurate and offensive names that were mistakenly confirmed” as those of the pilots and blamed the error on an intern. Asiana said the incident had “seriously tarnished the dignity of the four pilots as well as the company.”
First female paratroopers fly
The nation’s first group of female paratroopers completed their training yesterday, the military said, hailing it as a “landmark achievement” for the country. Captain Kiran Ashraf was deemed the best paratrooper of the batch of 24, the military said in a statement, while Captain Sadia, referred to by one name, became the first woman officer to jump from a MI-17 helicopter. After three weeks’ basic airborne training, including exit, flight and landing techniques, the paratroopers made their first jump and were given their “wings” by Special Services Group Commander Major General Abid Rafique, the military said.
Falling cow kills man
Police say a cow fell through the roof of a small house in the southeast of the country killing a man and narrowly missing his wife. A police officer in the town of Caratinga said Joao Maria de Souza and his wife were sleeping when the .90 tonne cow fell through the asbestos roof and on top of the victim. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press. The officer said Souza died of internal bleeding at a nearby hospital. The incident occurred on Wednesday. The cow was apparently grazing on a hill above Souza’s home.
‘Glee’ star found dead
Actor Cory Monteith, heart throb of TV series Glee, was found dead on Saturday at a hotel in Vancouver, police said. There were no signs of foul play, they said, and the cause of death was not immediately apparent. Paramedics responding to an emergency call found Monteith, 31, dead at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in the city center, Vancouver Police Department acting Chief Doug LePard told a news conference. In April, a representative for Monteith said the actor was at a rehabilitation facility for an unspecified substance addiction. Monteith had checked into the hotel on Saturday last week and was due to check out on Saturday, LePard told reporters. An autopsy has been set for today, LePard said.
Quebec mourns train victims
A week after the heart of the Quebec village of Lac-Megantic was devastated in a fireball in one of the worst train accidents in the nation’s history, the St Agnes church bell rang 50 times on Saturday, once for each person believed to have died. Eight seconds intervened between each bell, then a minute of silence, after which 12 white doves were released from the steps of the 92-year-old church in an emotional midday ceremony. Mourners held hands to form a long human chain, couples embraced and many cried quietly, all heads down. The train of 72 cars carrying crude oil started moving toward Lac-Megantic when its brakes failed, building speed and eventually jumping the tracks in the heart of town on Saturday last week. Police said on Saturday that 33 bodies had now been recovered, up from 28 — although they have only been able to identify nine of them so far. They are searching for the bodies of the estimated 17 missing.
Boy pulled alive from dune
A six-year-old boy who spent more than three hours underground after being swallowed by a massive sand dune in Indiana was able to respond to “simple commands” when he arrived at a Chicago hospital, a spokesperson said. The boy remained in critical condition on Saturday at Comer Children’s Hospital and has responded well to being on a ventilator, hospital spokeswoman Lorna Wong said in a statement. Michigan City, Indiana, Fire Chief Ronnie Martin told WSBT-TV on Saturday that an air pocket saved the boy’s life. According to Bruce Rowe, a ranger at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore park along Lake Michigan, the boy’s family said he was playing on the dune on Friday when he dropped partially into it. While they were trying to dig him out, the dune collapsed, burying him under 3.3m of sand, he said. The police and fire dispatcher, and emergency responders were on the scene within 15 minutes and began digging by hand, Rowe said. Martin told the TV station that firefighters located the boy while prodding the dune after they detected the air pocket that enabled him to survive.