International News Briefs

Frozen Britons cozy up to the computer

LONDON, Great Britain: Temperatures are plunging and more and more Britons are turning to online dating this winter. Unable to leave their houses even for work due to snow and ice, millions are occupying their indoor time with dating websites. Two of the UK’s main dating sites are reporting record numbers this winter. January is typically a busy month for dating websites since many people make it a new year’s resolution to meet someone in the upcoming year. According to BBC News UK sites and are experiencing 27 to 55 per cent more hits this month and during the week than previous years.

Police close down Mr. Gay China pageant

BEIJING, China: A Mr. Gay China pageant was abruptly cancelled an hour before the event was to be held. Police forced organizer Ben Zhang to pull the plug on China’s first gay pageant, saying Zhang did not follow procedures when applying for the event. The pageant had eight confirmed contestants and would feature a fashion show. The contestants were vying for a place to represent China in the Worldwide Mr. Gay pageant hosted in Oslo this February.

Male Y chromosome under constant evolution

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts: New research indicates the Y chromosome is the fastest-changing part of the human genome, evolving quicker than scientists presumed. Scientists compared human and chimpanzee Y chromosomes and discovered it evolved more quickly than other parts of the genome over the last several million years. Six million years ago, chimpanzees and humans broke from a common ancestor. CBC News reported Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT conducted the study, sequencing both species chromosomes. They expected the Y chromosome to be a very stagnant part of the genome, evolving very slowly. On the contrary, they discovered the Y chromosome is constantly changing. The fastest evolving region is the segment that affects sperm production. During their research they found the chimp Y chromosome has lost up to half of the human Y chromosome genes.

Athlete fined for a hug and beers

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: A national field hockey player and two coaching staff were fined 200,000 rupees collectively for un-Islamic behaviour while away on games. Photographs of the three were presented to Parliament showing player Rehan Butt, coach Ali Khan and manager Asif Bajwa drinking beers and hugging a woman while in Argentina. Hugging women in public is taboo in Pakistan and Muslims are forbidden from drinking alcohol. According to Reuters, the pictures were shown on Pakistani television and posted on the Internet. The photographs were taken in Argentina after a tournament where Pakistan lost to New Zealand.

Montenegro’s only hippo runs away

PODGORICA, Montenegro: The country’s sole hippopotamus escaped from the national zoo after flooding in the region compromised the zoo’s facilities. The female hippo broke out of her cage and swam away with the frigid waters encircling the zoo.  Authorities are still looking for the runaway. Nikica did find some dry land a mile from the zoo, reported Reuters. Guards are hoping to lure her back with food once she is located. Hippopotamuses are considered very aggressive and dangerous to humans, however, the zoo owner said Nikica is used to people because they bring her hay at the zoo.

Published in Volume 64, Number 16 of The Uniter (January 21, 2010)

Related Reads