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Daring drunk

Bangkok, Jan . 17 (AP): Most people would hate to be called a drunk, but Thailand’s Arunothai Sriaran is wearing the epithet like a crown.

Arunothai was named “Miss Drunk” at a contest yesterday to promote Thai wines after downing five shots and walking a zigzag path between two rows of wine bottles without knocking them down.

“I was not drunk. Only a little bit dizzy. I was fine and refreshed after a cup of coffee and washing my face,” Arunothai said today. “The local wine is rather sweet ... Like orange juice,” said Arunothai, a 36-year-old wine seller who defeated 14 other female rivals by completing the obstacle course in seven seconds after putting down five pegs of wine. A peg is about a litre. For her troubles, Arunothai won the $120 prize.

Taxi TV

New York (Reuters): Stuck in traffic watching the meter tick in a New York taxi' Why not just sit back, relax and watch a little TV' Riders in some New York yellow taxis can now tune in to the small screen under a pilot programme by the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission. “In New York City, at the TLC, we’re always looking at new technology to try and improve customers’ lives in taxis,” Matthew Daus, chairman of the Taxi and Limousine Commission said. The commission is testing seven different approaches, including interactive systems that let riders surf for information on entertainment such as theatres, restaurants and movies, as well as get updates on news and sports.

Dracula dig

Bucharest (Reuters): Western consultants have driven a stake through the heart of Romania’s plan to build a grisly Dracula theme park near Vlad the Impaler’s birthplace, a government official said on Thursday. A feasibility study by consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers discourages the government from building it in the medieaval city of Sighisoara, birthplace of 15th century Count Vlad Tepes, thought to have inspired author Bram Stoker’s Gothic novel Dracula. It means victory for conservationist groups and Unesco, the UN cultural arm, which have fought the plan for two years.

School case

Kiev (Reuters): A Ukrainian boy has taken his school to court for exploiting children after he was made to adhere to the Soviet tradition of sweeping schoolyards and cleaning school buildings to instil the work ethic. Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported on Thursday that the boy’s father said his son would come home dirty and complain about feeling humiliated by teachers who made him clean the schoolyard instead of going to physical education or art classes.


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