News Bites Issue 103

Borris becomes Mayor of London
Borris Johnson has officially taken up the post of London Mayor and promises he will make public transport safer and protect taxpayer's money. Mr Johnson accepted the seals of the office from predecessor Ken Livingstone who has benn the Mayor for the past eight years. He pledged to be "mayor for all of London" which he described as "the whole world in one city".

Austria cellar plan 'from 1978'
Austrian police believe that Josef Fritzl may have planned to imprison his daughter from as early as 1978 when she was just 12. The dungeon in which he incarcerated daughter, Elisabeth could only be accessed through eight separate ensuring total security and secrecy. At the age of 18 Elisabeth was locked in the tomb beneath the family home where she bore seven children to her father, one of which died as a baby. Planning permission for the cellar was applied for in 1978 and would eventually become the lightless home for his daughter and their children for 24 years. The dungeon came to light after one of Elisabeth and Josef’s children became seriously ill requiring hospital treatment. The police said they believed Mr Fritzl had acted alone and were investigating claims from people who had come forward to say they had been raped by Mr Fritzl 30 to 40 years ago. Elisabeth and her children are being treated together in a hospital clinic.

Bakers strike
Bakeries in Nigeria have stopped making bread in a protest at rising flour prices. Following the strike the Association of Master Bakers revealed it will have to increase the price of bread by 25%. This strike will put pressure on poor Nigerians who rely on bread as a staple meal. The association went on strike last year for a week following President Umaru Yar'Adua’s refusal to order flour mills to reduce their prices. Tarrifs are placed on wheat imported into Nigeria. Chairman of the association Lateef Oguntoyinbo said "We are in a mess, "I understand the flour millers are due to propose an increase to their prices again in a few days." A loaf of bread can cost as little as $0.40 and is often the only thing poor city-dwellers will get to eat during the day.

Amazon Ferry capsizes
An overcrowded ferry has capsized killing at least 15 people in the Solimoes River in north-west Brazil. Many are still missing and Navy diving teams are searching for survivors at the scene near Manacapuru. Many of the passengers on board the ‘Comandante Sales’ were young people returning from a party. According to local authorities many vesssels plying the route carried excess passengers and cargo.

Local media have reported that some of the survivors swum to shore, while others were rescued by other boats.


Babies' bodies discovered in freezer
A woman has been arrested after the bodies of three babies were found in a basement freezer in western Germany. The bodies were discovered when two of the couples older children, aged between 18 and 24, decided to find something to eat. They found pizza in the freezer but then realized that much of the food was out of date. As they cleared out the freezer they found a bag with the body of a newborn baby inside. One of the couples son’s went to police who searched the house finding a further two corpses. Police have not revealed the ages of the babies although it is thought that they died shortly after birth.

Drunk parents lose children
Police were called to an apartment on the Algarve after a UK couple on holiday became so drunk they collapsed leaving their 3 children unattended. Officials have said that the couple was taken to a clinic in Portugal and their young children temporarily taken into protective custody after they collapsed drunk. Staff at the Aparthotel Mourabel called police after they passed out in the hotel bar leaving their 6 year old son to care for his two younger siblings. Dr Luis Villas-Boas said: "It is the first time it has happened in my 22 years working at this home. "It's normal for a couple for one to drink while the other doesn't drink. The problem here is they were both passed out. "It was extreme neglect and abandonment. I hope somebody carries this information to the UK so these parents can at least be seen because these children are indeed at risk."

Indian murder suspect held
Police have arrested a prime suspect in connection with the murder of the coach of famous child marathon runner Budhia Singh in India. Biranchi Das was killed, last month, at his judo club in eastern Orissa state. Police in Bhubaneshwar arrested Mr Acharya in connection with the death of Mr Das and will appear before the courts in Goa.  The motive behind Mr Das's killing is still unclear. Budhia Singh began running at the age of three, once running 65km without stopping, Mr Das later faced charges of torture. It is alledged that Budhia Singh was sold by his mother to Mr Das for 800 rupees (13€).


Shower Birth Teen Finally Comes Clean
A 17 year old girl gave birth in a shower and walked to the hospital with the baby still attached by its umbilical cord. Xochitl Parra kept the pregnancy secret from her mother for fear of being kicked out of home. She said that she as “a little nervous” when she went into labour. Following the birth of her son, Alejandro the school girl was unable to call emergency services because her phone and been disconnected and so walked to the nearest hospital. Neonatal ICU director Dr Jose Perez said Xochitl entered the lobby of the St Mary Medical Centre and asked for help. He continued "She still had the placenta and the baby was still attached, so of course everyone said 'Don't move!'. "She was very clever. She knew what to do. She wrapped the baby up and walked over here." Alejandro's grandmother has agreed to help care for the baby so Xochitl can continue attending school.

Terrifying maggot ordeal
A holidaymaker came home from a 2 week holiday in the Gambia with a very unusual souvenir. Alan Evans, 50, from Yatton near Bristol has told of his horror at discovering that six tiny bites he received on holiday in West Africa had each spawned a live maggot.

On returning to Britain Alan found that the little stings he got during the holiday grew into throbbing boils. The father-of-two had been infected by bot fly, which lays eggs beneath the skin and feeds on human cells. The maggots were surgically removed. Alan, a delivery driver told the Western Daily Press "At one point it looked like a crab's claw, and I was petrified I had baby crabs growing inside me. It was terrifying. "I was told there was a million-to-one chance of getting this."

Ahern resigns
Bertie Ahern has officially stepped down from office tendering his resignation to Irish president Mary McAleese. The Irish Premier, who has served 11 years, announced he would be leaving his position amid rumours surrounding his personal finances. It is believed that the 56-year-old Dublin Central TD will be succeeded by Finance Minister Brian Cowen.

Gunman Was Ex-Squaddie
A man shot dead in one of Britain's most expensive streets was a squaddie who had served in Iraq. The 32 year old died after trading shots with police in Markham Square, Chelsea, west London. According to London's Evening Standard newspaper, the former soldier started shooting after drinking heavily following a row with his girlfriend. The siege began at around 4.50pm on May 6th when armed officers were called to the area following reports of gunshots from a residential property. Residents and shop owners were forced to lock themselves in buildings until the siege came to an end some five hours later.

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