UN relief food under probe
The government is investigating a supply of food from the World Food Programme after three people died and more than 150 others became sick in recent days, police said late on Monday. The food was part of a community feeding program in northeast Karamoja region, a semi-arid area where the UN agency has long provided food aid for people facing poor harvests. People had diarrhea, nose bleeds and other health problems after eating the food, police said in a statement. Police are “actively investigating the death of three people ... from eating adulterated or poisonous food supplied by the World Food Programme,” it said. Samples of the food and patients’ urine and blood had been sent to a government laboratory for analysis.
Parliament ousts PM
Prime Minister Henry Ceant was thrown out of office by a no-confidence vote on Monday, prompted by government dysfunction and inability to quash inflation, blackouts and frequent opposition protests that have paralyzed the nation. The Chamber of Deputies voted 93-6, with three abstaining, to replace Ceant as soon as President Jovenel Moise and the heads of parliament’s two houses agree on a replacement. Until then, Ceant and his Cabinet are to remain in place with limited powers, raising the prospect of even rockier government performance.
Tabloid paid for Bezos texts
The National Enquirer’s publisher paid US$200,000 to obtain intimate texts between Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his mistress Lauren Sanchez, the Wall Street Journal reported. American Media, the supermarket tabloid’s publisher, reportedly paid that sum to Laurent’s brother, Michael. The Journal’s finding, attributed to people familiar with the matter, parallels the conclusion reached by private investigators working for Bezos as of early last month. Those investigators reportedly found that Michael Sanchez had leaked the texts to the Enquirer, although they did not appear to conclude who might have paid for them.
Tycoon guilty of poaching
A billionaire construction tycoon was yesterday convicted on charges related to a high-profile poaching case last year, but was found not guilty of possessing the carcass of an endangered black panther seen in photographs that had sparked the public outcry. The Thong Pha Phum Provincial Court sentenced Premchai Karnasuta to 16 months in prison for possessing the carcass of an endangered Kajij pheasant and possessing firearms in public areas. He has been released on bail. Premchai was arrested in February last year after park rangers found that he and three of his employees had set up camp at the Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary, where they were found with guns and animals carcasses.
Warner CEO stepping down
Warner Bros chief executive Kevin Tsujihara is leaving the AT&T-owned studio following allegations that he had a sexual relationship with an actress he helped promote. “It is in the best interest of WarnerMedia, Warner Bros, our employees and our partners for Kevin to step down as Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros.,” WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey said in a statement. The 54-year-old executive had an affair with actress Charlotte Kirk and helped her get roles in movies, according to a report in the Hollywood Reporter.
LIFE GOES ON: After a strict lockdown that left millions on the brink of starvation, Indians embrace work to avoid starvation and get ready for several major festivals India is on course to top the world in COVID-19 cases, but from Maharashtra’s whirring factories to Kolkata’s thronging markets, people are back at work — and eager to forget the pandemic for festival season. After a strict lockdown in March that left millions on the brink of starvation, the government and people of the world’s second-most populous country decided life must go on. Sonali Dange, for instance, has two young daughters and an elderly mother-in-law to look after. She was hospitalized this year in excruciating pain after catching the novel coronavirus. However, after the lockdown exhausted the family’s savings, the 29-year-old had
A COVID-19 outbreak among hundreds of Russian and Ukrainian fishers flown to New Zealand to bolster its struggling deep-sea fishing industry has prompted that country’s largest daily increase in infections in months, authorities said yesterday. More than 230 fishers were flown in from Moscow last week, with 18 of the crew members then testing positive for COVID-19 while in quarantine, New Zealand Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said. The Pacific nation has almost eliminated local transmission of the virus, but regularly records small numbers of new cases in returned travelers. The fishing cluster pushed the daily tally of new infections to 25,
From monitoring vital signs to filtering filthy air and even translating speech into other languages, the COVID-19-fueled boom in mask-wearing has spawned an unusual range of high-tech face coverings. As masks become the norm worldwide, tech companies and researchers are rolling out weird and wonderful models to guard against infection and cash in on a growing trend. One of the wackiest comes from Japan, where start-up Donut Robotics has created a face covering that helps users adhere to social distancing and also acts as a translator. The “C-Face” mask works by transmitting a wearer’s speech to a smartphone via an app, and allows
JAPAN Deer-edible bags invented The deer that roam Nara no longer face discomfort — or far worse — after local firms developed a safe alternative to the plastic packaging discarded by tourists that often ended up in the animals’ stomachs. Last year, several of the 1,300 deer that wander around the ancient capital’s central park were found dead after swallowing plastic bags and food wrappers. Firms collaborated to develop bags that pass safely through the animals’ complex digestive system. The bags are made with recycled pulp from milk cartons and rice bran, one of the main ingredients of the shika senbei savory