International News Briefs

Monastery offers weekend positions

VIENNA, Austria: A monastery in the small town of Maria Enzersdorf is giving men the opportunity to become monks for a weekend. The order of Franciscan monks has existed since the 15th century and is facing a decline in numbers. As a means of recruiting new members, they are opening their doors. The monks hope to give men a realistic impression of daily life in a monastery. BBC News reports the monastery has been operating their trial weekend since October and three men are now considering the brotherhood. An order of Franciscan nuns has also adopted the recruitment opportunity, giving women the chance to try a nunnery.

Women-only bathrooms offered on airline

TOKYO, Japan: All Nippon Airlines will soon implement a women-only toilet on certain international flights. The change comes after an online survey determined 90 per cent of the women respondents said they would prefer separate female facilities. Reuters reported an official from the airline said the idea was especially appealing for long flights. In general, women do not like using sharing toilets with men since they often leave the seat up. Next month the change will be implemented. Men will be allowed to use the lavatory in emergency cases or when there are minimal women on the plane.

Two Sikhs beheaded in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Two Sikh men were abducted from Pakistan’s northwest region and beheaded last week and two other men still in the kidnappers’ custody. According to CNN, Sikhs have lived in the region, Khyber Agency, for centuries working in agriculture or running small businesses. With the growth of the Taliban, the pressure on the Sikhs has increased. The Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility for the abduction and murder. When two of the men’s families could not pay the ransom of 20 million rupees, the men were beheaded.

French paying to be kidnapped

PARIS, France: Extreme sports enthusiasts looking for the latest rush have a new option available to them. Ultime Realité (Ultimate Reality) is offering designer abductions to achieve that adrenaline. The company based in eastern France will arrange to have the client kidnapped for the nominal fee of 900€ ($1,250). Clients have the choice to be bound, gagged and incarcerated for different lengths of time. Ultime Realité is also offering more elaborate packages where the victim can purchase escape options or a high-speed helicopter chase. According to Reuters, the firm is averaging two kidnap requests per day with the majority of clients being high-level executives. The company is looking to expand its package selection into phobia-related adventures.

Desert aquarium revealing cracks

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: The aquarium located at the base of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, was evacuated when a small crack was noticed in the tank housing 33,000 underwater creatures, including sharks. The aquarium began leaking at one of the panel joints of the tank holding 10 million litres of water. BBC News reported engineers were sent in immediately to fix the leak. A spokesman commented the crack did not affect the aquarium environment and none of the creatures were harmed.

Published in Volume 64, Number 21 of The Uniter (March 4, 2010)

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