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SWEDEN A convicted felon sentenced to psychiatric care swindled old people from the ward. The 40-year-old woman used her mobile phone to contact elderly people and con them into handing over their credit card details. She then used the information to order goods, such as expensive underwear and perfume, which was delivered to her accomplices outside the psychiatric hospital. The woman defrauded her victims of close to one million Swedish kronor (107,000 Euros/136,000 US Dollars) over a period of several years. A spokesman for the psychiatric hospital said a mobile phone ban had been imposed on some of the patients, adding it was almost impossible to enforce it.
HONG KONG (x2) 1. Toilet trips timed Candidates sitting for public examinations will have the time they spend in the toilet recorded as part of a crackdown on mobile phone cheats. They will also be required to put their phones under their desks where they can be seen by supervisors. The hastily drawn-up measures were announced on Sunday (May 7) in response to claims that some candidates had used mobile phones with Net-surfing capability to cheat during an English language examination on May 4. Rumors of the cheating spread quickly through online chat rooms, prompting an online signature campaign by some candidates, who demanded examination authorities ignore the answers to the part of the paper in question. Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority deputy secretary-general Francis Cheung said the authority appreciated the candidates concerns and closer checks would be in place from now on. He also said supervisors at the examination centre could record the time of candidates trips to the toilet if there were suspicious circumstances.
2. Old church awarded (2 photos) Hong Kong-based Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun held a special Mass on Sunday (May 7) at St Josephs Chapel on the Sai Kung Island of Yim Tin Tsai. The century-old chapel won an “award of merit” in last years Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The project, which involves the restoration of the once-abandoned chapel and the conversion of an affiliated school into a museum, was commended for its contribution to the development of eco-tourism and enhancing the history of the pilgrimage site.
MONTREAL Police favor legalization of drugs While police officers from more than 80 countries are in Montreal for a conference on drug-enforcement policy, a smaller group is touting the legalization of all drugs. One of them, Terry Nelson, a Texas police officer, says he arrested drug dealers along the U.S.-Mexico border. Now, he feels much of that work was for nothing. His conclusion is clear: The war on drugs is not working. The only thing were accomplishing is filling our jails, Nelson said. He thinks the best way to fix the problem is to legalize everything from marijuana to hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Not many police officers share his views, but there is growing support. Hes part of a group of 5,000 current and former officers advocating legalization. Most are in the United States, but a handful of Canadian chapters have opened recently. Many of the members say that drug problems wont be solved until politicians stop talking enforcement and start talking legalization.
ITALY A new president for Italy Senator Giorgio Napolitano was elected president of Italy on May 10, thereby becoming the first former Communist to reach Quirinale Palace. The 80-year-old senator succeeds President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, 85, whose seven-year mandate expires on May 18. Napolitano, former Minister of the Interior and House Speaker, is the second-oldest president to take office after Sandro Pertini, who was 82 when he was elected in 1978. He is Italys 11th postwar head of state.
HUNGARY Botulism has caused serious diseases in recent days in Hungary, which is why Hungarian doctors are advising caution when eating homemade meat. Shops are also being inspected for stale meat. Botulism first appeared after Easter, when more people ate ham, which carries the bacteria. One man who got sick had made himself a pizza with ham on top. The bacteria produce the worlds most poisonous toxin, which can be lethal in even small amounts. The disease has no specific symptoms, but those infected may encounter problems with eyesight and have trouble swallowing. Smaller problems may occur in the nervous system.
CHILE Leslie is pregnant again Leslie Mardones, the 22-year-old, 89 centimeter-tall woman who frightened the whole country in 2004 with her high-risk pregnancy, announced this week that shes pregnant again. Leslie is the only woman suffering from the Morquio syndrome, among the 15 known cases, who has actually survived a pregnancy. She gave birth to her daughter Catalina on July 8, 2005, who weighed a tiny 1.18kg bit showed no signs of the disease. Her doctors remain hopeful in spite of the risks. She did it once, so why shouldnt she do it twice? they said. Her husband, standing at a tall 1.80 m, is also optimistic.
POLAND Tom Cuises driver on Interpol wanted list Polish police is seeking the extradition of Dariusz Chwedczuk, a Polish citizen currently residing in New York, for armed assault on a policeman in 1998. Chwedczuk escaped from Poland and settled in New York. He set up and developed his own business - a luxury limo rental agency. He would have lived his life there annoticed if his company wasnt given a job driving Tom Cruise in a Maybach limo to the Mission Impossible 3 premiere in the Big Apple. Chwedczuk was recognized by Polish police after photos of Cruise with him in the background were published by the media. Polish police has already filed a formal petition for his extradition. Chwedczuk says he started a new life and is a changed man. He pleaded with authorities to let him live in the USA.
FRANCE France remembers slavery For the first time in 158 years, France celebrated the abolition of slavery, which ended on April 27, 1948. For four centuries, France had more than 250,000 slaves on the islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyana and Reunion. Several tributes were held in most major French cities like Bordeaux and Nantes, while many schoolteachers lectured children about the history of slavery. In his speech in Paris, President Jacques Chirac asked the French population to “look at its past straight in the eyes” and “fight against all forms of modern slavery.”
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