Missing Brit’s body found
A body found in a hospital stairwell was identified on Wednesday as that of a British woman who went missing from the medical center more than two weeks ago. Fifty-seven year old Lynne Spalding was last seen on Sep. 21 at the San Francisco General Hospital, where she had been admitted for a minor infection. Hundreds of flyers were distributed in nearby neighborhoods in a search for the mother of two, who was born in England, but lived in San Francisco. Her body was found on Tuesday in an external stairwell, which serves as a fire escape, during a regular inspection, officials said. “We have no idea how this happened,” Chief Medical Examiner Todd May said.
Weighty roles out for Hanks
Tom Hanks admitted his days of dramatically gaining and losing weight for movie parts were well behind him, as he spoke on Wednesday of his diagnosis for type 2 diabetes. Hanks was speaking before the European premiere of his new film Captain Phillips — based on the hijacking by Somali pirates of a Maersk cargo ship in 2009 — which opened the BFI London film festival. The film is being tipped for Oscar success, with Hanks’ commanding performance attracting much praise. The actor —who lost 13kg for Philadelphia and 25kg for Castaway, and gained 13kg for A League of Their Own — said that “may have had something to do” with his having type 2 diabetes, “because you eat so much bad food and you don’t get any exercise when you’re heavy.” However, Hanks said he had had the symptoms for 20 years. “I think I was genetically inclined to get it and I think it goes back to a lifestyle I’ve been leading since I was probably seven, as opposed to 36.” The losing and gaining of weight for an actor was a young man’s game, he said. “I’ve talked to a number of actors who have gained weight for roles, and just the sheer physical toll it puts on one’s knees and shoulders — no one wants to do it again.”
Looted icons recovered
Police have seized more than 1,000 religious and secular pieces of art dating from the 15th to the mid-20th century that were stolen from churches and cultural centers across the nation and from neighboring Macedonia. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama inspected the works and praised police for recovering them. The thefts involved 1,077 icons, frescoes and other pieces, and two men suspected of planning to sell them abroad were arrested, a police statement said on Wednesday. After a four-month investigation, the works were found in two houses in the capital, Tirana, where the arrests took place late on Tuesday.
Clucking causes outrage
The government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem complained on Wednesday of lawmakers partaking in too many “boozy dinners” after a right-wing MP mocked a female member of parliament with chicken noises. Green Party MP Veronique Massonneau was interrupted in the National Assembly on Tuesday night by a lawmaker with the right-wing UMP party who made clucking noises while she presented an amendment. The incident was widely denounced as sexist in a country where the word chicken is often used as a derogatory term for women. It follows several other recent cases of female politicians being mocked. “It is regrettable that some people have difficulty maintaining an attitude that is consistent with their functions after obviously boozy dinners,” Vallaud-Belkacem said after a Cabinet session.