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World’s oldest man celebrates 112th birthday

Tokyo: A Japanese man who was certified as the oldest living man by the Guinness World Records in August 2014, turned 112 Thursday. Sakari Momoi, a resident of Saitama city, is still in good health, Xinhua news agency reported.
He now lives at a healthcare institution in Tokyo and celebrated his birthday with his friends and family. Momoi was born Feb 5, 1903, in Fukushima prefecture.  He was an agricultural chemistry teacher and principal of prefectural government-run high schools in Fukushima and Saitama. The world’s oldest living woman recognised by Guinness is also a Japanese.  Misao Okawa, a 116-year-old in Osaka, will turn 117 next month. (IANS)

Chinese teen chops off hand to cure Internet addiction

Beijing: In a grisly incident, a 19-year-old boy in China chopped off his left hand with a cleaver in order to cure his Internet addiction. Xiao Wang (pseudonym), a high school senior, in Nantong, Jiangsu Province is recovering after doctors were able to successfully reattach his hand.
He performed the amputation on a stone bench next to a bus stop on Sunday with a cleaver taken from his kitchen. He then hailed a cab and headed for the Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, where doctors conducted 10 hours of emergency surgery to reattach Xiao’s severed hand, the Global Times reported. Doctors have said it would take a week to know whether the hand would be saved. The severity of Xiao’s heavy-handed deed became known when the taxi driver called police, who then informed his parents and teachers.
“He chopped off his hand to show his determination to end his Internet addiction,” one of his teachers was quoted as saying. Pressed by his parents, Xiao finally told police the location of his left hand. Reportedly China has an estimated 24 million “web junkies” who are addicted to going online. Several military-style boot camps have been set up in a bid to combat what is believed to be a growing problem. “We cannot accept what has happened. It was completely out of the blue.
He was a smart boy,” his mother, who declined to be identified, told reporters. The woman said she had gone to her son’s bedroom only to find that he had disappeared. She found a handwritten note on the bed in which he should have been sleeping. (PTI)

Flight attendant in US stole USD 5K intended for UNICEF

New York: An American Airlines flight attendant has been arrested after 700 pounds (317.5 kilograms) of coins intended for UNICEF were found in his car at Kennedy International Airport. A Port Authority police spokesman said yesterday 56-year-old Marco Costa was arrested January 31 on possession of stolen property and other charges. Spokesman Joe Pentangelo says the Miami, Florida, man collected USD 2,900 in Euros, USD 1,800 in British pounds and USD 150 in US coins from passengers as part of a charitable partnership with the United Nations children’s agency.
He says bags holding the money in a car sagging low to the ground were found in October. A spokeswoman says the airline is working with investigators. UNICEF says it values its 20-year partnership with American Airlines. Lawyers for Costa didn’t return a message seeking comment. (AP)

Dog abandoned at train station with belongings finds new home

London: Kai, a dog which became a global news star after being abandoned at a Scottish train station with his belongings in a suitcase has found a new owner. The male Shar-Pei crossbreed was found tied to a railing outside Ayr station on January 2. The suitcase included the dog’s pillow, toy, food bowl and food. After Kai’s story was publicised around the world the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Scotland was flooded with offers to take him.
The charity chose Ian Russell as his new owner. Russell, 52, was selected out of hundreds of people who volunteered to re-home Kai. The self-employed hydraulic engineer said he felt it was “fate” that he had been chosen to give Kai a new home. “I’m over the moon and very shocked that I was chosen out of everyone who wanted him,” he was quoted as saying by the BBC.
“My Dalmatian named Mica passed away just before Christmas and I was left heartbroken. I had her for 15 years and she was the apple of my eye. We pretty much spent 24 hours a day together. “When I heard about Kai I knew the little guy needed a break but I never thought in a million years I’d get him.” Russell said he called the Scottish SPCA to “see if there was anything I could do to help”. “Fast forward a few weeks and here I am taking him home. I honestly think it was meant to be,” he said.
The charity’s senior animal care assistant, Alan Grant, said that offers to re-home Kai had come in from around the world after his story was reported across the international media. “We were overwhelmed by offers of new homes for Kai from places as far away as New York, Los Angeles, France, Spain and even the Philippines,” he said. “Kai’s story was really sad and many people likened him to Paddington Bear given he was found alone at a railway station with his suitcase.” Grant said that he believed Kai would have a great life with his new owner. (PTI)

US teen survives 48 hours lost in Swiss Alps

Geneva: A 19-year-old American student who disappeared over the weekend while skiing in the Swiss Alps has been rescued, alive but suffering from hypothermia, police said. After searching for more than 48 hours, rescuers finally found the US teen on Wednesday, who went missing while skiing off-piste Sunday near the Diablerets resort in southern Switzerland, police in the canton of Vaud said in a statement.
“The man was found conscious, in a state of hypothermia and exhaustion, and stuck waist-deep in the thick blanket of snow,” the statement said, describing his survival as “miraculous”. He had told his rescuers that he had left the prepared slopes to “free ride” back to the resort. But on his way down the mountain, he had gotten lost and broken one of his bindings. He had tried to continue on one ski, but had fallen into a stream. Exhausted and soaked, the 19-year-old was then caught in a storm, which snowed him under and trapped him for the next two days. “The skier was relatively well-equipped when it came to clothing, but had no working means of communication and none of the vital material needed when skiing off-piste,” including shovels and sensors, the police said. The skier, whose life was not in danger, was taken by helicopter to the Zweisimmen hospital near Bern. The American’s rescue came after 11 off-piste skiers were killed in avalanches in the Swiss Alps over a period of four days, following heavy snow-fall. (AFP)

Thousands of seized cats feared buried alive in Vietnam

Hanoi: Vietnamese authorities have buried thousands of seized cats — many believed to have been alive at the time — after the felines were smuggled from China to feed the nation’s illegal cat meat trade. A truck containing three tons of live cats crammed into bamboo crates was impounded last yesterday in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, with police initially undecided how to deal with the animals. But today a police officer told AFP they had been buried in accordance with Vietnamese law on smuggled goods.
“The cats were from China, with no official origin papers and no quarantine,” a policeman from the Dong Da district environmental police said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Several of them had died, there was a terrible smell that could affect the environment and carried risks of future diseases,” he said.
“Therefore, we culled them by burying them,” he said, declining to confirm how many were alive at the time of burial. Animal protection groups, who pleaded in vain for the cats to be spared, fear many of the creatures were alive when they were buried. Other smuggled animals, including chickens, are routinely disposed of in a similar way.
The Asian Canine Protection Alliance, a regional coalition of animal rights groups, said it had heard “inhumane stories as to how the (cats) may have been destroyed.” “Our request for any visual evidence of their fate has been denied,” the group said in a statement today, calling for the “practice of inhumane killing of trafficked animals,” to be stopped. Photographs of the cats crammed into dozens of bamboo crates stacked on top of one another prompted widespread calls for the felines’ lives to be spared. (AFP)

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