It will inevitably result in a book and a film, but the story of Germany's cannibal has already brought a summer chart hit to the country's masters of the macabre: the hard rock band Rammstein. \n"He loves me so much he could eat me. The soft and the hard parts are all on the menu; it's so good with seasoning and flambed," go the not so subtle lyrics of Rammstein's Mein Teil, or My Part. \nArmin Meiwes was jailed in Germany in January for more than eight years for killing and eating a willing victim: both men allegedly tried to eat the man's severed penis before he died. \nThe story of the "cannibal of Rotenburg" was manna from hell for singer, Till Lindemann: "It's so sick that it becomes fascinating and there just has to be a song about it," he said. \nMein Teil took second place in its first week in the charts in Germany after its release in early August, slipping down to sixth place by mid-month. \nThe video clip, which shows the musicians held on a leash by a transvestite and rolling around in mud, has sparked heated debate and is only being aired by music television channel MTV after 11pm. A few other stations have been giving daytime airings. \nBut controversy is not new to Rammstein, which adapted its name from the site of a 1988 air crash in which 70 people died. \nThe six-piece group from Hamburg was formed in 1993, and their fusion of industrial, progressive rock and heavy metal has made them globally popular. \nRammstein's first success came in 1995, with Herzeleid or Heartbreak, but the group's second album Sehnsucht (Nostalgia) two years later made them famous. The disc went platinum in Germany and the US. \nStage shows including firebreathers, explosions and flame throwers have contributed to their notoriety. They have also been known to walk on stage through a giant fake uterus in their underwear. \nIt's a repertoire that has won them fans as far away as Japan and Australia, not to mention their following in Europe. \nBut it has won them few fans among police in the US. Lindemann's musings in his deep, guttural howl and grinding against the group's keyboard player during the song Bueck Dich (Bend Over) earned the two a few hours in custody after a show in Massachusetts. \nThe teenage gunmen in the 1999 Columbine high school massacre that killed 12 people declared that Rammstein was their favorite group. \nThat same year, though, the band won the Echo award in Germany for "best artist abroad" and received a US Grammy nomination. \nFilmmaker David Lynch also included two of their songs on the soundtrack to his Lost Highway. Even Kurt Cobain, the late frontman for the grunge group Nirvana, had described them as a dream band.
UNCERTAINTY: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken did not specify measures NATO might take, but many believe that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project could be canceled The US has said it has evidence that Russia has made plans for a “large scale” attack on Ukraine and said NATO allies are “prepared to impose severe costs” on Moscow if it attempts an invasion. Speaking at a NATO ministers meeting in Latvia, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that it was unclear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin had made a decision to invade, but added: “He’s putting in place the capacity to do so in short order, should he so decide.” “So despite uncertainty about intention and timing, we must prepare for all contingencies while working to see to
‘TRAVEL APARTHEID’: Biden’s top medical adviser said the US was considering lifting restrictions on travel from African nations imposed after the variant was discovered The Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 is rapidly spreading throughout the US, but early indications suggest it might be less dangerous than the Delta variant, which continues to drive a surge of hospitalizations, US health officials said on Sunday. US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci told CNN’s State of the Union that scientists need more information before drawing conclusions about Omicron’s severity. Reports from South Africa, where it emerged and is becoming the dominant strain, suggest that hospitalization rates have not increased alarmingly. “Thus far, it does not look like there’s a great degree of severity to it,” Fauci
HOPEFUL: ‘We found a really good immune response across the board,’ even higher than with two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the study’s lead author said A major British study on mixing COVID-19 vaccines has found that people had a better immune response when they received a first dose of the AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines followed by the Moderna vaccine nine weeks later, the results showed on Monday. “We found a really good immune response across the board ... in fact, higher than the threshold set by two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine,” said Matthew Snape, the University of Oxford professor behind the trial dubbed Com-COV2. The findings supporting flexible dosing offer some hope to poor and middle-income countries that might need to combine different brands between the
South African hospitals are bracing for a surge in admissions as the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 drives a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections and as more evidence emerges about the severity of the illness caused by the strain. The seven-day moving average of daily new cases in the country rose to 10,055 last week, from fewer than 300 three weeks earlier. Hospitalizations also picked up, but remain relatively low, with admissions standing at 3,268 on Sunday. Whether there would be a deluge of new patients is the biggest question. Severe symptoms in patients who contracted earlier variants typically developed between one and three