China gum raid
Beijing, Feb. 21 (Reuters): China is developing a chemical weapon, under a project dubbed the “863 Programme” by the ministry of science and technology, for deployment in the war on a scourge that blights its public squares — chewing gum.
Eight research institutions have applied for the one million yuan ($120,000) project to come up with a lotion over the next 18 months that will dissolve discarded chewing gum stuck to the ground, the China Daily reported today.
China, with its 1.3 billion people, chews some two billion pieces of gum per year. Nearly 600,000 globules of gum were discarded by tourists in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square during the seven-day National Day holiday last October.
London (Reuters): A British yachtsman has abandoned his round-the-world voyage after taking twice the time needed to circumnavigate the globe just to leave the English Channel. After 130 days trying, Adrian Cross, has managed to sail his boat Gentoo no further than the French port of Brest, driven back by high winds. “We’ve been like a cork in a washing machine,” Cross, 50, said. It said he had been hampered by an oil slick and had been trapped in the French port of St Malo.