International News Briefs

Women boycott lingerie boutiques

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia: A group of Saudi women told the country’s lingerie boutiques they will get no business until the stores start employing female salespeople.

Saudi Arabia has virtually no female sales clerks due to the country’s strict segregation of the sexes. Only men are employed as sales staff so women do not have to work directly with men or handle male customers.

According to the Associated Press, the women are pressing for a law stating only female staff can be employed in female clothing shops.

Under the kingdom’s strict interpretation of Islamic law, religious police are continually at mixed shopping locations like malls to keep men and women from interacting beyond necessity.

Pilot’s prayer lands him in jail

PALERMO, Italy: A pilot who panicked instead of trying to save his plane from crashing was sentenced to 10 years in jail by an Italian court.

The Tunisian pilot crashed the plane at sea off the coast of Sicily in 2005. Instead of taking the proper emergency measures during the plane’s distress, the pilot stopped to pray; the plane crashed and passengers were left swimming, using the fuselage to stay afloat.

Sixteen passengers died in the tragedy.

The court did conclude a fuel-gauge malfunction was a contributing factor to the crash, but blamed the pilot’s panic for the disaster.

Reuters reported five other Tuninter employees were found guilty, including the co-pilot. Their sentences ranged between eight to 10 years in jail.

Thai Spider-Man rescues boy from ledge

BANGKOK, Thailand: Firefighter Somchai Yoosabai donned a Spider-Man costume to coax a young boy with autism from a third-story window ledge.

According to BBC News, it was the boy’s first day at a special needs school and in his distress he began crying and climbed out the classroom window.

After the teachers’ attempts to persuade the boy back inside failed, the fire department was called. The firefighter used a comment made by the boy’s mother about his love of comic book characters to help bring the boy back inside.

Yoosabai rushed back to the station for his Spider-Man costume and returned as the cartoon crime-fighter, rescuing the boy who threw himself into the arms of the comic book hero.

Yoosabai keeps the costume in his locker for fire drill instruction at schools.

Chimps have a toolkit for getting honey

GOUALOUGO TRIANGLE, Democratic Republic of Congo: Scientists have filmed chimpanzees using large wood clubs to pound beehives for honey in the Congo Basin.

The video captured chimps going to great lengths and spending whole days beating beehives to access the honey inside.

The study showed the chimps of central Africa have more sophisticated methods than the apes in eastern and western Africa.

BBC News reported the chimps will search out a suitable club, stripe the branch of foliage and set it aside for later use. When a club would not work, the chimpanzees dipped small sticks into the holes of beehives to get to the honey.

Published in Volume 63, Number 26 of The Uniter (April 2, 2009)

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