International News Briefs

Lebanese clerics scuttle samba show

TIRE, Lebanon: A Brazilian samba show was canceled after local Muslim clerics denounced the performance as obscene. The troupe had been touring the country, performing at open-air venues. The clerics released a statement saying they support tourism but viewed the dancing and costumes as offensive. The predominantly Shiite city council decided to cancel the show after they consulted with politicians and security, reported Reuters. The Brazilian troupe performed in Beirut the week before without interference.

Ig Nobel Prizes for Irish police, Zimbabwe banker, Icelandic executives

CAMBRIDGE, Great Britain: The Ig Nobel prizes were awarded, and winners included the governor of Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank (mathematics) and Mexican scientists (chemistry), who created diamonds from tequila, the BBC reported. The awards recognize achievements that make people laugh and make them think. The humorous accomplishments are presented by former Nobel laureates.

This year’s winners included the executives of the Icelandic banks for their successes in economics. The physics award went to researchers at the University of Cincinnati for calculating why pregnant women do not topple over. Literature was awarded to the Irish police for writing over 50 traffic tickets to the most prolific driving delinquent Prawo Jazdy, which in Polish means “Driving Licence.” Gideon Gono from the national bank in Zimbabwe won for mathematics by providing citizens with a wide range of numbers in the form of currency.

Army commander caught drinking with the enemy

KINSHASA, DRC: An army officer was suspended after it was discovered he had been drinking with the enemy that led a rebel attack against his men, Reuters reported. According to the United Nations peace keeping forces, Maj. Leon, the head of operations in North Kivu province, was accused of drinking with Mai Mai rebels before they led an attack that killed six people. Government forces have been battling Rwandan Hutu rebels in northern and southern Congo. Recently, 20 rebel factions halted their participation in peace settlements, accusing the Congolese government of failing to respect arrangements granting them command positions in the army. The Democratic Republic of Congo has been in a civil war since the early 1990s.

“Hitler” skull fragment belonged to woman

STORRS, Connecticut: Researchers have determined the skull fragment found in Hitler’s bunker, believed to be the Nazi leader’s cranium, belonged to a woman. The Associated Press reported DNA tests showed the piece of skull, found with a bullet hole and kept in Russian archives since 1945, was that of a woman in her 20s to 40s. Scientists at the University of Connecticut conducted the tests on the skull but could not ascertain whether it belonged to Eva Braun, Hitler’s female companion who was found with him, dead from suicide.

The cranium is part of a collection of Hitler artifacts housed in Moscow by the Russian State Archive. When the Soviets came upon the bunker in April 1945, Braun and Hitler’s bodies were removed from a shell crater. An autopsy, conducted shortly thereafter, allegedly recorded Hitler’s head was missing part of his skull. Officials supposedly went back in 1946 and found the examined piece of skull.

Published in Volume 64, Number 6 of The Uniter (October 8, 2009)

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