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Sealed in a car

Bangkok, May 12 (Reuters): Security guards smashed their way into an official limousine with sledgehammers today to rescue Thailand’s finance minister after his car’s computer failed.

Suchart Jaovisidha and his driver were trapped inside the BMW for more than 10 minutes before guards broke a window. All doors and windows had locked automatically when the computer crashed, and the air-conditioning stopped, officials said.

“We could hardly breathe for over 10 minutes,” Suchart told reporters. “It took my guard a long time to realise that we really wanted the window smashed so that we could crawl out. It was a harrowing experience.”

Mafia dump

Rome (Reuters): Italian officials have blamed the Mafia for a breakdown in garbage collection services in the southern city of Naples where residents have set fire to tonnes of rubbish left rotting in the streets. Mountains of refuse have accumulated in Naples and nearby towns over the last two weeks after dump sites filled and officials, residents and environmentalists squabbled over where to put temporary disposal facilities. Government and environmental leaders said yesterday the crisis may have been fuelled and is being aggravated by the local Mafia, known as the Camorra. “Organised crime has all the interest in the world in blocking our new disposal plans because they can then resume hauling off the rubbish, always a big business for gangsters,” regional president Antonio Bassolino said.

Video stars

Los Angeles (Reuters): The good news: video game fans have a chance to star in an upcoming game release. The bad news: your digital likeness will be beaten with lead pipes and body-slammed into concrete pool decks. British video game publisher Eidos said it has struck a deal with games news company IGN Entertainment Inc. to sponsor a contest in which the winner will appear as a character in the upcoming game Backyard Wrestling: Don’t Try This at Home. The game is set for release this summer on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox game consoles.

Wedding bell

Manila (Reuters): Philippine police are warning wedding parties to keep their eyes on their valuables after a gang robbed three women as they jostled for the bridal bouquet. With the busy June wedding season just around the corner, police said a woman from the “Salisi Gang” walked off with cash, a camera, a mobile phone and other valuables recently after scooping up three handbags from a table at a reception in Manila. “Security personnel saw her boarding a car with the plastic bag,” an investigator said.


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