Don't Panic! Lighten Up!
Ashling O'ConnorThe Times
Mon, 09 Apr 2007 05:27 CDT
In the secret language of corruption in India, an official expecting a bribe will ask for Mahatma Gandhi to "smile" at him. The revered leader of the independence movement is on all denominations of rupee notes.
With rampant dishonesty ingrained in the bureaucratic culture, an anticorruption group has decided to interpret the euphemism literally by issuing a zero-rupee note.
A direct copy of the 50-rupee note, including Gandhi's portrait, it is designed to be handed out to officials who demand backhanders.
In the place of the usual promise of redemption by the central bank governor, the new pledge is: "I promise to neither accept nor give bribe."
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Police said an 18-year-old who worked as the Easter Bunny at a northwest Columbus mall allegedly stole a woman's credit card and used it while on the job.
After 3,272 miles of exhaustion, sunburn, delirium and piranhas, a 52-year-old Slovenian successfully completed a swim down the Amazon river Saturday that could set a new world record for distance - one he's broken three times already.
After nine weeks, Martin Strel arrived near the city of Belem, the capital of the jungle state of Para, ending a swim almost as long as the drive from Miami to Seattle. Strel averaged about 50 miles a day since beginning his odyssey at the source of the world's second-longest river in Peru on Feb. 1.
By Thursday evening, he was struggling with dizziness, vertigo, high blood pressure, diarrhea, nausea and delirium, his Web site said. But despite having difficulty standing and being ordered by the doctor not to swim, Strel was obsessed with finishing the course and insisted on night swimming.
Where, in the opinion of various religious leaders and their followers is Heaven or Paradise situated?
Google has quite brilliantly denied al-Qaeda the possibility of using Google Maps UK to identify the US embassy in London and subsequently launching a devastating kamikaze assault on the building.
Indeed, were Ozzie bin Laden to search for "US embassy London", he'd be directed here
US coastguards had to use a helicopter to rescue a man who climbed a 60ft pine tree to retrieve his pet parrot.
William Hart, 35, from Montgomery County, near Houston, Texas, followed his £1,000 white cockatoo Geronimo after it escaped its cage.
After he got stuck, about 30 Sheriff's deputies and firefighters converged on the tree but the ground was too wet to get a ladder near the tree.
Houston Police Department's water rescue team then tried to reach Mr Hart with a rope, but it was not long enough.
The most infamous feud in American folklore, the long-running battle between the Hatfields and McCoys, may be partly explained by a rare, inherited disease that can lead to hair-trigger rage and violent outbursts.
Thu, 05 Apr 2007 10:05 CDT
Japan expects a significant rise in the number of divorces from April, particularly among older people, because of a change in the pension rules coming into effect.
Hobbies can sometimes be an escape
The new system will for the first time allow women to claim up to half of their husband's pension if they end their marriage.
Experts say the fact that millions of baby boomers are due to give up work this year, forcing husbands and wives to spend a lot more time together than they ever have before, is likely to put extra strain on marriage too.
David Crossland The Times
Thu, 05 Apr 2007 09:15 CDT
The offspring of the 12 giant rabbits were supposed to help to feed starving North Koreans. Now doubts about their fate have brought an abrupt halt to one of the more unlikely hunger-alleviating projects.
Karl Szmolinsky sold the rabbits to Pyongyang so that they could be used to set up a breeding programme to boost meat production in the Hermit Kingdom.
However, amid concerns that they have been eaten by the country's leaders, Mr Szmolinsky will not be sending any more.
Construction workers have been banned from wolf whistling at women at their building sites.
George Wimpey South Wales is sending out instructions to all its building contractors this week, warning workers not to whistle at women.
The company's sales and marketing director Richard Goad, who wrote the memo, said he hoped the move would make women feel more comfortable when looking for a new home.
Mr Goad, based at the company's Cardiff headquarters, said: "There's no doubt that first impressions last. There's little point in having a super show home unless a woman can get out of her car and feel comfortable looking around.