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Annual price inflation of vegetables in India hits 26 percent

Rising for the fourth consecutive month, retail inflation remained in double digits at 10.79 per cent in January, driven by higher prices of vegetables, edible oil, cereals and protein-based items.

The country's retail inflation is the highest among the BRICS group of emerging economies - Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa.

Analysts do not see prices of food items coming down anytime soon and have blamed supply side constraints for a consistently high number. Nitesh Ranjan, Economist, Union Bank of India expressed disappointment at the high CPI number.

"We have seen that food inflation has remained high even in the WPI. I do not expect pressures from the food side to ease anytime soon, so expect the CPI to remain high for some more time," Ranjan said.

Red Flag

French driver trapped for an hour in speeding 125mph car with no brakes

© James Hardy/PhotoAlto
Frank Lecerf managed to call emergency services while uncontrollably speeding through the fast lane on the motorway.
Frank Lecerf finally came to a stop in a ditch in Belgium when his Renault Laguna ran out of petrol after 200km trip

When Frank Lecerf drove off to do his weekly supermarket shop in northern France, he was not expecting to embark on a high-speed car chase that would force him over the Belgian border and on to the national news bulletins.

Lecerf has filed a legal complaint after his Renault Laguna, which is adapted for disabled drivers, jammed at 125mph (200km/h) and the brakes failed, forcing him to continue careering along a vast stretch of French motorway and into Belgium. Police gave chase until he ran out of petrol and crashed into a ditch.

The 36-year-old was on a dual carriageway on his way to a hypermarket when the car's speed dial first jammed at 60mph. Each time he tried to brake, the car accelerated, eventually reaching 125mph and sticking there. While uncontrollably speeding through the fast lane as other cars swerved out of his way, he managed to call emergency services who immediately dispatched a platoon of police cars. Realising Lecerf had no choice but to keep racing along until his petrol ran out, they escorted him at high speed across almost 125mph of French motorway, past Calais and Dunkirk, and over the Belgian border.


73-year-old bank robber 'wanted to return to jail'

© Vincent O'Byrne/Alamy
Walter Unbehaun told investigators after his arrest he had spent most of his adult life behind bars and 'felt more comfortable in prison'.
Walter Unbehaun wanted to spend his final years in prison so robbed bank in Chicago and waited to be caught, court told

After spending most of his adult life behind bars, 73-year-old Walter Unbehaun decided to rob another bank in the hope of getting caught. He felt more comfortable in prison, court documents allege, and wanted to spend his final years there.

So the balding, grey-haired man leaned on a cane as he walked into a bank in Chicago over the weekend and used a novel stickup line: he had just six months to live, so he had nothing left to lose, according to a federal complaint citing his post-arrest interrogation.

Unbehaun also allegedly lifted his coat to show a teller a silver revolver shoved into his waistband.

Investigators say Unbehaun, of Rock Hill, South Carolina, walked out of the Harris Bank in Niles on Saturday with $4,178 (£2,668) in his pockets. He wore no disguises, so law enforcement quickly tracked him down using surveillance-camera photos of him holding up the bank, the complaint said.


Heart Attack Grill mascot dies of heart attack

© Heart Attack Grill
Heart Attack Grill restaurant in Las Vegas.
John Alleman, 52, collapsed at bus stop outside restaurant that sells burgers, fries and drinks with huge calorie counts

The mascot for the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas has died of a heart attack. He was the second unpaid mascot to die in the past two years.

John Alleman, 52, collapsed while waiting at a bus stop in front of the diner last week. He was taken off life support on Monday, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

The diner is famous for its huge hamburgers, extra-fat milkshakes and fries cooked in lard. It uses the tagline: "Taste worth dying for."

Its owner, Jon Basso, told the Sun that Alleman came to the restaurant daily and encouraged passing tourists to try its calorie-laden offerings.

Stock Down

French Peugeot Citroen car manufacturer unveils 5 billion euro loss for 2012


PSA workers protesting against planned factory closure in north of Paris. (file photo)
The French auto giant PSA Peugeot Citroen has announced a net loss of five billion euros (USD 6.7 billion) in 2012, making it the worst result in its history.

The carmaker released on Wednesday the historic loss, blaming 4.74 billion euro in asset write-downs and a collapse in European sales for the results.

The automaker is reportedly losing seven million euros every day. This is while the company has reported a 588 million-euro profit in 2011.

In an attempt to recover, the PSA previously announced that the company plans to eliminate 11,200 jobs and close its Aulnay plant in north of Paris. This has sparked several demonstrations by the workers.


Russian cop faces 5 years in jail after leaving disabled man to die on street in -40C

© RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov
After losing his fingers as a result of twelve hours spent in subzero temperatures, a disabled man has died from a blood clot in a Russian hospital. A policeman who refused to fulfill his duty by helping the man is now facing five years behind bars.

The incident happened late last year when 28-year-old speech impaired Vitaliy Seduhinsky was boarding a bus with his mother when the doors shut before she could get on.

Unable to communicate, Seduhinsky spent some time circling the bus route before being let off at a suburban stop in the city of Barnaul.

Lost and confused, he was spotted by a woman who called the police to help the stranded individual. The officer who responded to the call failed to carry out his duty, simply decideding not to investigate the report any further.


Lean Cuisine recall: Glass found in mushroom ravioli

© Photo: Nestle USA/PR NEWSWIRE
Nestle is voluntarily recalling Lean Cuisine Culinary Collection Mushroom Mezzaluna Ravioli with production codes 2311587812 and 2312587812; best before date is DEC 2013.
Lean Cuisine lovers, check your freezers: Nestle is voluntarily recalling more than 500,000 dishes of frozen Lean Cuisine mushroom ravioli because three customers reported finding glass fragments in the entrees, the company says. No injuries have been reported, according to a company press release.

The recall covers packages of Culinary Collection Mushroom Mezzaluna Ravioli produced in early November and distributed nationwide. The suspect packages are marked with:
The UPC number 13800-58358
Production codes of 2311587812 and 2312587812
"Best before date" of DEC 2013

Black Cat

Elder-care facility operator facing manslaughter and abuse charges in death of resident

The operator of a Sacramento elder-care facility is facing felony charges, including manslaughter, in the gruesome death last year of an 88-year-old resident.

Silvia Cata, 52, owner of Super Home Care on Bowman Avenue, was arrested Monday evening at her home near Northgate Boulevard and West El Camino Avenue, according to the state attorney general's office.

She faces felony charges of elder abuse and involuntary manslaughter in what is believed to be the first-of-its-kind criminal prosecution in California involving an elder-care provider.

Deputy Attorney General Steve Muni, a veteran prosecutor with the AG's Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse, said he believes this is the first time the Department of Justice has pursued a manslaughter case against a caregiver in connection with an elderly resident's death.

Georgia Holzmeister, 88, who suffered from dementia and lived at Super Home Care since 2007, died last June after suffering massive, foul-smelling bedsores at the home. The sores on her buttocks resulted in sepsis, a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body develops a severe, toxic response to bacteria or other germs.

Bizarro Earth

Evicted retired couple commits suicide as Spain debates reform

© AFP/Luis Gene
A retired couple in Spain killed themselves Tuesday because they faced eviction, police said, as lawmakers considered legislation to save ruined homeowners from being thrown into the street.

In the latest in a series of suicides reportedly linked to evictions, the couple, aged 68 and 69, killed themselves in their home in Calvia on the island of Mallorca, a police spokesman who asked not to be named told AFP.

Hours later in Madrid, members of parliament agreed to debate a citizens' motion to protect poor homeowners from eviction - a fate faced by hundreds of thousands in Spain.

The lower house of parliament agreed to debate the bill after lawmakers of the ruling conservative Popular Party threw their weight behind it despite earlier resistance, the party's parliamentary spokesman Alfonso Alonso said.

In response to popular protests and reported suicides, Spain's government in November passed a two-year moratorium on evictions - but campaigners insist that it go further.


Four killed in Brazil Carnival float fire

Four people died early Tuesday when a float at the end of a Carnival parade ran into a power line and caught fire in the southeastern city of Santos, officials said.

Three of the victims were pushing the vehicle under the float and the fourth was an onlooker, the office of the mayor of Santos told AFP. Four other people were injured.

The float belonged to the fan club of FC Santos, one of Brazil's top football teams, and paid homage to football great Pele, a former Santos player.

A group of children and a former football player jumped off the float just ahead of the accident, officials said.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento - best known as Pele - offered his condolences to the families of the victims.