Monday, November 5 2018

Man, 102, dies while repairing his roof

A 102-year-old UK man has died after being trapped on the roof of his home for three days has died. Ron Easton had climbed on to the roof of an extension on his home with a bucket of tools, but got stuck after falling over or collapsing. One of his friends called emergency services after spotting three unopened milk bottles outside his home. The former racing driver was discovered lying face down on a garden rake with his bucket of tools next to him. – The Daily Telegraph

Spice Girls give up on Posh for reunion

The Spice Girls are reportedly set to reveal they are reuniting for a UK stadium tour in 2019 – but without Victoria Beckham. The band have recorded a video message that will be broadcast on November 5. The Spice Girls, formed in 1994 and one of the most successful acts of the decade, have not performed together since the London Olympics closing ceremony in 2012. – The Daily Telegraph

Seed of doubt hits plant-saving scheme

A groundbreaking plan to store the world’s plants in seed banks to prevent them from extinction has hit a snag after scientists discovered one third of endangered species cannot be frozen. The Millennium Seed Bank, set up by the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew in London, is the world’s largest and most diverse genetic ‘ark’ and is on track to have collected 25% of global species by 2020. But new research by Kew scientists has found that the seeds of a huge number of endangered species simply cannot survive the process of drying and deep freezing. – The Daily Telegraph

France to keep its Pacific foothold

The Pacific islands of New Caledonia voted on Sunday to remain part of France in an independence referendum that showed support for Paris in one of its many far-flung but strategic outposts. Some 18,000km from the French mainland, New Caledonia is home to a quarter of the world’s known supplies of nickel – a vital electronics component – and is a foothold for France in the Pacific where China is increasing its influence. On the final count, 56.4% of people had rejected the proposition that New Caledonia become independent, a clear but smaller-than-expected victory for loyalists to the mainland. – AFP

Gays warned of Tanzania crackdown

The US has warned its citizens in Tanzania to be cautious after Dar es Salaam announced a crackdown on homosexuality, which is a criminal offence in the East African country. In an alert on its website late on Saturday, the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania advised Americans to review their social media profiles and internet footprints. ‘Remove or protect images and language that may run afoul of Tanzanian laws regarding homosexual practices and explicit sexual activity,’ it said. Dar es Salaam’s administrative chief Paul Makonda said on Wednesday that a special committee would seek to identify and punish homosexuals, prostitutes and online fraudsters in the city from this week. – Reuters

Myanmar falling out of love with Suu Kyi

The party of Myanmar’s embattled head of state Aung San Suu Kyi said on Sunday they were defeated in six constituencies in a national by-election, showing uneven support for her government after a string of controversies. Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) swept to power in 2015 in a landslide victory, ending decades of military rule. But her tenure has been full of stumbles, most notably with ethnic groups involved in peace talks with the military – which has been marred by skirmishes and ongoing civil war in states like Kachin and Shan. – AFP

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