Name too long for license
A woman’s last name is so long that she cannot get a driver’s license with her correct name. Janice “Lokelani” Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele is fighting to make it happen. The documents have room for only 35 characters, so Hawaii County instead issued her driver’s license and her state ID with the last letter of her name chopped off, and it omitted her first name. The 54-year-old wrote her mayor and city councilwoman for help, but the county said the state of Hawaii computer system they used would not allow names longer than 35 characters. Her name has 35 letters plus a mark used in the Hawaiian alphabet, called an okina. Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele got the name when she married her Hawaiian husband in 1992. He used only the one name, which his grandfather gave him. The name came to his grandfather in a dream that also told him he would have a grandson. Her husband died in 2008, but he had similar problems when he was alive, she said.
‘Mom’ loses Ikea monkey
A judge has ruled that a pet monkey found wandering outside an Ikea store in Toronto should not be returned to the woman who calls herself his mom. The monkey, named Darwin, became famous last year when he was spotted walking around the parking lot wearing a tiny shearling coat. The monkey’s owner, Yasmin Nakhuda, had asked a court to get Darwin back, but Ontario Superior Court Judge Mary Vallee ruled Friday that while the monkey may have worn clothing and slept in his former owner’s bed, he is still a wild animal and therefore should not be returned to her. Nakhuda’s lawyer’s office said she would not be commenting on the decision. After she lost previous interim bids to get Darwin back, Nakhuda left court distraught.
Foreigners arrested for drugs
A spokesman for the national police department says that eight foreigners have been arrested on drug trafficking charges. National Police spokesman Gary Desrosiers on Friday said that the police force’s anti-drug unit jailed two Colombians, two Cubans, three Jamaicans and a Venezuelan woman last week on the southwestern island of Ile-a-Vache. They are suspected of trafficking marijuana. Local station Radio Kiskeya is reporting that a Haitian hotel owner named Evinx Daniel was arrested in a separate case on drug trafficking charges, also in the south.
Volcano sparks emergency
The country declared a state of emergency on Thursday in nine districts threatened by the Ubinas volcano, which has erupted seven times since Sept. 1, spewing harmful gas and ash. Authorities are distributing masks and have given themselves a 60-day period to relocate villagers from areas where ash is damaging crops and polluting water sources. The explosions have sent a plume of smoke rising to 2,500m above the crater, vulcanologists at the Geophysical Institute of Peru said. The first explosion on the night of Sept. 1 was strong and followed by a series of lesser blasts, seismologist Victor Aguilar of the Geophysical Institute of the University of San Agustin de Arequipa said. The volcano, in the Moquegua department 1,250km south of Lima, is the most active in the country. Peru’s Geological, Mining and Metallurgical Institute said the eruption could have been caused by snow accumulating in the crater and preventing normal emissions. Since 1550, 25 eruptions have been recorded at Ubinas.
Husband forgives hit attempt
A woman has been spared jail for hiring hitmen to kill her husband after the couple promised a judge that they had patched up their differences, reports said on Friday. Businesswoman Faith Wairimu Maina walked to freedom after her husband, John Muthee, said he had forgiven her for trying to have him shot in the head and dumped in a ditch. “I want to forgive her for the sake of our children and family,” the Daily Nation newspaper quoted Muthee as telling a Nairobi magistrate. “She is my wife and the mother of my children,” he told the court. The woman was arrested when she handed 40,000 shillings (US$450) to undercover policemen as a down payment on the job. Citizen News TV said the woman wanted him shot in the head three times, and had promised to pay a further 160,000 shillings upon the recovery of her husband’s bloodstained clothes and his bank card pin numbers. Detectives said it was at least her second and possibly third attempt at having her allegedly unfaithful husband eliminated, and that an earlier contract flopped when the would-be assassins got cold feet and ran off with the deposit.
Gang abandons drugs stash
Police are looking for a drug-smuggling gang that abandoned an 830kg stash of marijuana on a southern beach. A police statement says the drugs were found early on Thursday near the port town of Kyllini, in the Peloponnese region, about 250km southwest of Athens. The marijuana was packaged in 56 bundles. Police are investigating whether a vehicle found nearby had been used by the unknown smugglers. Police said the drugs did not appear to have been washed ashore, but it was unclear whether they had been brought in by sea or were supposed to have been picked up by boat and shipped elsewhere. The packages were found following a tip-off. Police did not give an estimate for the stash’s street value
Flight 666 to HEL booked
Would you board flight 666 to HEL on Friday the 13th? For superstitious travelers, that might be tempting fate. However, Finnair passengers on AY666 to Helsinki — which has the 3 letter designation HEL — did not seem too bothered. Friday’s flight was almost full. “It has been quite a joke among the pilots” said veteran Finnair pilot Juha-Pekka Keidasto, who was to fly the Airbus A320 from Copenhagen to Helsinki. “I’m not a superstitious man. It’s only a coincidence for me.” The daily flight AY666 from Copenhagen to Helsinki falls on Friday the 13th twice this year. Friday the 13th is considered bad luck in many countries and the number 666 also has strong negative biblical associations.
First gay man runs for office
A 43-year-old man is to become the first openly gay candidate to stand for office in the nation, local media said yesterday. Can Cavusoglu announced he would run for mayor as an independent candidate in Bulancak, a town of 60,000 people on the Black Sea, the Hurriyet Daily News reported. The US-educated activist and Istanbul native wants to become the first gay mayor in majority-Muslim nation, where homosexuality is not illegal, but remains frowned upon outside urban centers.
Cavusoglu describes himself as a gay activist who also campaigns for women’s rights, and “a thinker, painter, writer” who hopes to attract American investment to the town if elected.