Nick Drainey's world view: People's 'oil' to fuel Chinese Olympians
Olympic organisers in Beijing are promoting an officially sanctioned chanting routine for Chinese spectators at August's Games, state media has announced.
Incorporating the ubiquitous Chinese sporting chant, "Jiayou", or "add oil", the four-step routine is designed to help spectators cheer in a "smooth and civilised manner" at the Games from August 8 to 24 .
The chant will be promoted by television programmes, video presentations and squads of cheering volunteers at the venues as well as by the education ministry, the People's Daily reported.
The routine begins with "Olympics – add oil" accompanied by two claps and a double thumbs up, before continuing with "China – add oil" with two more claps and raised fists. The "China" and "Olympics" can be replaced to allow support for other countries or individuals, the paper said.
There was relief on the international space station last week after astronauts fixed the toilet.
The problem had fast become the most pressing issue of the mission, and a spare pump was rushed from Moscow to Cape Canaveral for a last-minute ride aboard space shuttle Discovery.
Russian Oleg Kononenko put in the new pump, and the toilet started working normally again.
For two weeks, the three men living aboard the space station had to manually flush the Russian-built toilet with extra water several times a day. It was a time-consuming job and a waste of water, not to mention an unpleasant chore.
So everyone was thrilled that the new pump seemed to solve the problem. "Let's start using it," Russian Mission Control told Kononenko. "We'll keep our fingers crossed."
The mayor of a tiny Aegean island faces criminal charges after conducting Greece's first same-sex marriage ceremonies.
Tasos Aliferis held the civil ceremonies for two Greek gay and lesbian couples shortly after dawn on Tilos, angering conservative church officials and the country's justice minister.
"This is a huge step forward for human rights in Greece," said Evangelia Vlami, one of the newlyweds. "It is a very important day for us."
Her marriage was held in front of around 30 people on Tilos, about 230 miles from Athens. "We got positive feedback from the local people we saw, and local people signed as witnesses, which is very important for us," said Vlami, who is a spokeswoman for the Homosexual and Lesbian Community of Greece.
Hours after the ceremonies, however, a prosecutor on the nearby island of Rhodes charged Aliferis with breach of duty which carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.
Justice minister Sotiris Hatzigakis said the two marriages were illegal and invalid.
"There is no legal framework allowing same-sex marriages to be held in Greece," he said.
Both couples had sought to take advantage of a loophole in a 26-year-old law that does not specify gender in civil weddings.
A Dutch cyclists' lobby group plans to teach more people across the country how to steal bikes after lessons it conducted in the big cities showed that bike owners became more security-conscious after taking the lessons.
"Someone specialised in locks shows people how to unpick them. This teaches people how to better secure their bikes," a spokeswoman for Dutch bike group Fietsersbond said.
About 700,000 bikes were stolen last year in the Netherlands , which is home to 18 million cycles. Bikes are the most common form of transport in the country.
Fietsersbond will tour the country, offering its bike theft lessons, which have so far helped students moving to the cities, such as Amsterdam, and who usually secure their bikes poorly, the group's spokeswoman said.
"If freshmen move to the city with their bikes, it is a party for bike thieves," she said.
An Indian man, frustrated at failing to find employment, ordered the murder of his father to get his government job, a day before the victim was to retire.
The man, arrested from a village in the impoverished eastern Bihar state, had planned to claim his father's job on the grounds that he died while still at work, police officer Naresh Singh said. The son had paid a relative about 1,270 to carry out the crime.
"He told us he would have got a government job on compassionate grounds had this murder remained a mystery," Singh said.
The victim worked as a low-ranking employee at a local office.
With a plasma TV, a DVD player, 87,000 in cash, gym equipment, two refrigerators and a couple of guns, Genilson Lino da Silva had everything he needed for a luxurious life – in his Brazilian prison cell.
It came to an end last week when his cell was raided in a police operation against drug traffickers in the northern city of Salvador.
"He was alone in all that comfort. It wasn't very big but the other cells had several prisoners in them," a spokesman for Bahian state authorities said.
Da Silva reportedly claimed the money in his cell came from old robberies and gambling in prison.
The New York State Restaurant Association is tomorrow due to demand that a federal appeals court throw out New York City's new rule requiring fast food restaurants to post calorie information on menu boards.
In April, a federal appeals court let the city proceed with the measure, but only after the city agreed to postpone issuing fines until mid-July.
More than half of New Yorkers are overweight and health officials believe the regulation will prevent 150,000 of them from becoming obese while stopping another 30,000 from developing diabetes and other health concerns in the next five years.
MOVERS & SHAKERS
Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd was last week forced to explain that a simple stomach upset had been blown out of proportion.
Rudd has been dubbed "24/7 Kevin" by public servants because of his hectic work schedule since he was elected in November last year.
Reports circulated last week that the 50-year-old had suffered a minor heart attack before he appeared ashen-faced on May 3 to give a speech in Sydney.
But Rudd explained that he had had a bout of food poisoning or a stomach bug.
"We've all had to drive the porcelain bus at some stage," Rudd told Sydney's Nova Radio.
Victoria Gotti, a newspaper columnist and the daughter of late Gambino crime family boss John Gotti, was sued last week by publisher HarperCollins for the return of a $70,000 advance on a memoir that was never written. Gotti signed a contract in 2005 for two books, including an untitled memoir, according to the lawsuit filed in New York state.
Oscar-winning film director Roman Polanski should not serve time in prison for unlawfully having sex with a 13-year-old girl 30 years ago, the victim now says. The French-Polish filmmaker fled the US for France in 1978 before he was sentenced and Samantha Geimer, now 45 with three sons, said she wants the case to be resolved.
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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