Friday, March 31, 2006

Las Vegas ambulances solve a spreading dilemma
By Catherine Elsworth in Los Angeles
(Filed: 31/03/2006)

An ambulance company in Las Vegas has had to acquire larger vehicles to cope with an increase in obese patients.
The new response units are fitted with heavy duty equipment capable of accommodating casualties weighing 35st or more.
In the past six months alone, emergency crews working in southern Nevada have made 75 calls requesting additional manpower to deal with morbidly obese patients.
The largest weighed more than 35st, according to American Medical Response, one of two companies providing medical transportation in Las Vegas.
Daily Telegraph

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Ryanair and There ...

Pilot lands passenger jet at wrong airport
By James Burleigh
(Filed: 30/03/2006)

A pilot who landed his passenger jet at the wrong airport in Northern Ireland was being investigated by aviation authorities last night.
The unnamed pilot touched down his Airbus A320, operated on behalf of Ryanair by Eirjet, at the Ballykelly military airport five miles short of his intended destination at City of Derry Airport.
The pilot is said to have announced: "Ladies and gentlemen, we have landed at the wrong airport.
One passenger said: "As soon as we arrived at the military base... the pilot apologised that we may have arrived at the wrong airport. Everyone started laughing and thought it was a joke."
Daily Telegraph

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Uttering talaq three times in sleep lands couple in soup
Mar. 26, 2006

A Muslim couple in Jalpaiguri district have been ordered by local religious leaders to separate as the husband allegedly uttered ''talaq'' [I divorce you] three times in his sleep.
Aftab Ansari and Sohela have been married for the past 11 years. However, on the night of December 20 last year, Aftab allegedly uttered ''talaq'' three times in his sleep after a tiff with his wife.
The matter came to light when Sohela discussed it with her close friends and soon it reached the ears of the Muslim leaders.
The leaders, quoting the Shariyat, ruled that the talaq has to be implemented and if it is not acceptable, the only alternative was temporary separation for 100 days during which the wife will live at her father's house and spend a night with another man.
India Daily

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bite Me !!

Anger on beaches at Australian plan to import sharks
By Barbie Dutter in Sydney
(Filed: 26/03/2006)
In a scheme that smacks of carrying coal to Newcastle, scientists have proposed importing sharks to Australia's east coast - causing consternation among tourism and beach safety authorities.
Researchers say grey nurse sharks are critically endangered in waters off New South Wales and Queensland and have suggested relocating some specimens from Western Australia, or Africa, to boost the gene pool.
Biologists from Macquarie University in Sydney insist that grey nurse sharks, while terrifyingly toothy in appearance, are mild creatures which will bite humans only if provoked.
However, organisations charged with protecting swimmers and surfers are unenthusiastic about having more predators in the water
Daily Telegraph

Monday, March 27, 2006

No Hand Signals ...

Armless driver was steering with his foot
By Paul Chapman in Wellington
(Filed: 25/03/2006)

Police in New Zealand who stopped a speeding motorist were shocked to discover that he had no arms and was using one foot to steer the car while operating the pedals with the other.
The 32-year-old unemployed man, who told officers that he had been without arms since birth, claimed to have been driving for years without incident.
He had no driving licence or insurance and had never taken a test.
His automatic car was of standard factory construction and had never been adapted for anyone with a disability.
Police said that on Thursday a patrol clocked the vehicle at 75mph, almost 15mph above the speed limit, on a busy road near Tauranga, in the North Island.
Senior Constable Brent Gray said that when he approached the driver's window he saw a foot up on the dashboard and noticed that the seat was reclined.
The police officer said that at first he thought that the driver had an "attitude" then he noticed the man's armless torso.
Sgt Deirdre Lack said yesterday that she had no idea how the man had managed to get away with driving for years without being caught.
Daily Telegraph

Friday, March 24, 2006

Put That Light Out!!

The lights are going out all over Stockport
By Nigel Bunyan
(Filed: 23/03/2006)

Councillors are considering turning off some street lights in Stockport, Greater Manchester, so they can save money.
The idea has been condemned by the local MP, Ann Coffey, who believes it would have a huge impact on safety and crime.
If the council failed to provide such basic services they should "turn the lights out in the town hall and go home," she said.
Sue Derbyshire, Stockport's executive member for transport, said the plan would only go ahead if approved after consultation with residents.
Daily Telegraph

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Fat Man Walking ...

Americans take fat man walking to their hearts
By Harry Mount in New York
(Filed: 23/03/2006)

An obese man who is walking across America to lose weight has become an icon to a country where two thirds of the population are fat.
Steve Vaught, 40, a former marine from Ohio, weighed almost 30st when he set off last April from the coast of southern California.
Now, 2,310 miles into his journey and travelling at a steady three miles per hour, he has reached Columbus, Ohio, and has lost eight stone and suffered stress fractures in both feet along the way.
Mr Vaught has 500 miles and six weeks to go to his destination, the Rockefeller Centre in New York.
But he has rejected a reported £2.5 million to advertise a diet pill and has refused endorsements for shampoo, vitamins and smoking patches.
The aim of his walk was not to make money but dodge an early death after he realised that walking along a supermarket aisle made him out of breath.
In his journal, Mr Vaught has mused on other factors that make Americans so fat. When he left San Diego at the start of his journey, he passed 21 fast food restaurants in four -and-a-half miles.
Fat Man Walking
Daily Telegraph

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Feathers will fly...

The great chicken debate
Posted at: 11:35
A pivotal vote takes place in a California town today that will determine the future of the feral chicken population for which it is famed.
A controversial measure before city councillors in San Juan Bautista would make it illegal to feed the fowl that for generations have crossed its roads and strutted its pavements and parks.
Chickens have long had the run of the mission town 100 miles south of San Francisco with the first birds apparently arriving with the monks in 1797. Now a major symbol of the town, they are fed generously by locals, pose for the cameras of tourists and are showcased on the Chamber of Commerce's website.
But some residents have tired of the free-range poultry's prominence and are backing legislation to outlaw feeding them.
Daily Telegraph

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

It's Just Not Cricket...

South Seas war club cricketers take a beating from football
By Nick Squires in Funafuti
(Filed: 20/03/2006)

The bat is more like a war club, the ball the size of a lemon and the players wear anything but white.
A kilikiti batsman prepares for a delivery
Kilikiti, a form of cricket played on the islands of Polynesia, is one of the strangest sporting legacies of the British Empire. But in Tuvalu, a scattered archipelago which under British rule was half of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, the game is losing out to football.
Kilikiti - the word is a Polynesian corruption of "cricket" - features teams of up to 50, including women. It evolved from the efforts of the London Missionary Society to "civilise" the natives of the South Seas in the 19th century, when missionaries strove to substitute competitive sport for tribal warfare.
Batsmen stand in front of a single stump and wield a fearsome-looking three-sided wooden bat.
The unusual shape of the bat means that the ball is liable to fly off in random directions, scattering pigs, dogs and children and frequently ending up lost in long grass or a grove of coconut palms.
The wooden balls, carved from the wood of the native tiare tree, are so small that they are hard to see at times.
"It is easy to get hit in the face," said Ofulino Ekueta, 25, a nurse at Tuvalu's only hospital. "There can be a lot of injuries."
If the ball lands in the nearby lagoon it counts as a six but the batsmen must retrieve it himself, an unpleasant task when the lagoon is ringed with pig pens and full of effluent.
Polynesian pop music blared from a ramshackle bar at a recent match. While a modest crowd watched two village teams slug it out, nearby games of football attracted many more participants.
"Cricket is boring," said Manoa Lito, 19, a student. "Football is much faster and more interesting."
Daily Telegraph

Monday, March 20, 2006

More Chump Change ...

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The counterfeit money looked good, but there was one flaw. There's no such thing as a one billion dollar bill.

U.S. Customs agents in California said on Tuesday they had found 250 bogus billion dollar bills while investigating a man charged with currency smuggling.
Tekle Zigetta, 45, pleaded guilty to three federal counts of trying to bring cash, phony bills and a fake $100,000 gold certificate into the United States in January.
Further investigation led agents to a West Hollywood apartment where they found the stash of yellowing and wrinkled one billion dollar bills with an issue date of 1934 and bearing a picture of President Grover Cleveland.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Chump Change ??? Or Time to Change a ...

US spends its way to 28 Eiffel towers: made out of pure gold
From Tim Reid in Washington

IF YOU are worried about how much you owe on your credit cards, this might put things in perspective: America’s national debt limit was increased yesterday to $9 trillion. That’s $9,000,000,000,000 — enough to buy Buckingham Palace 9,000 times
The vote to increase the debt limit, requested by the White House, is the fourth since Mr Bush took office. In 2001 the national debt was $5.7 trillion. Today it has ballooned to $8.2 trillion, figures rarely talked about in Washington

Is roughly four times Britain’s GDP
Equates to $1,500 for every man, woman and child in the world
Would buy all the tea in China. In fact it would buy all the tea in the world for the next 2,000 years.
Is enough to solve the Palestinian crisis by rehousing every Israeli and Palestinian family in a £1.5m detached house in Henley-on-Thames
Would build 28 Eiffel Towers — constructed out of gold
Times Online

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Go North, Young Man...

You're better off working up North
By Rosie Murray-West
(Filed: 14/03/2006)

The stereotype of wealthy Southerners and penny-pinching Northerners is no longer accurate, according to figures showing that employees in the North-East are better off than those in the South.
The data, from management consultant Hays Group, takes into account regional pay variations and the local cost of living.
It shows that people living in Scotland and Inner London are the best off, with the cost of living 5.5 per cent below national average levels and salaries four per cent above the national average.
Daily Telegraph

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Hacker Needed Urgently ...

Computer codes row threatens £12bn jet order
By Francis Harris in Washington
(Filed: 15/03/2006)

Britain threatened the United States yesterday that it will cancel its £12 billion order for the new Joint Strike Fighter unless America agrees to give the Armed Forces full access to the warplane's critical computer codes.
Without full access to computer software, the next-generation aircraft would effectively remain under the control of the Americans and could be "switched off" without warning.
Daily Telegraph

Monday, March 13, 2006

Off the Rails...

British Rail's fusion flying saucer that never arrived
By Stephanie Condron
(Filed: 13/03/2006)

British Rail planned to transport passengers across space in a nuclear-powered flying saucer, it emerged yesterday.

The patent describes how the ship would have been fired by a controlled thermonuclear fusion reaction ignited by laser beams, but experts have rubbished the idea, saying that this bizarre fusion process does not exist.

The design was filed with the Patent Office on Dec 11, 1970, and the patent was completed on March 21, 1973.

Daily Telegraph

Friday, March 10, 2006

Rubbish, absolutely...

£50 fine for putting rubbish in litter bin
By Nick Britten
(Filed: 10/03/2006)

A man has been issued with a £50 fine for "misusing" a litter bin - by putting rubbish in it.
Andrew Tierney put two pieces of junk mail in a street bin and was stunned when a letter arrived two weeks later from his local council saying that he had committed an offence by putting "domestic refuse" in a public bin.

Daily Telegraph

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Also in black



Golly! Three in trouble for offence
By Simon de Bruxelles
POLICE released three suspects yesterday after admitting that they had been held in custody for several weeks just because they were black.
This might have been a big story, except that they were golliwoggs.
The dolls were seized from the window of a shop on suspicion of causing “alarm, harassment or distress� under Section 5 of the Public Order Act when West Mercia police received a complaint from a passer-by. They were returned to the custody of shopkeeper Donald Reynolds, owner of Pettifer’s hardware and general store in Bromyard, Herefordshire, after an investigation.