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Fat is not fine

Sydney, June 9 (Reuters): Increasingly portly Australians may be slapped with a “fat tax” on chips, hamburgers and soft drinks as obesity balloons to record levels. A recent national survey of over 11,000 people by the Australian Medical Association (AMA) showed almost 60 per cent of Australians were overweight or obese, more than double the rate 20 years ago.

AMA vice-president Mukesh Haikerwal today said the fat tax would be one of several fat-fighting ideas put to health ministers next month.

Under the proposal, foods with a high fat or sugar content would attract an extra tax.

“It’s not about money,” he told the Australian Associated Press. “It’s part of a strategy to make people more aware of the content of food that’s bought.”

Australia has one of the highest rates of the disease in the world.

Pharaoh

Cairo (Reuters): Egypt unveiled the design on Sunday of a new museum in the desert near the ancient pyramids at Giza to house its wealth of pharaonic treasures, including those of the boy-king Tutankhamun. The design showed an angular building half-buried in a desert hillside with triangular panels on the front and roof, mirroring the shape of the pyramids which stand just two km from the site. Culture minister Farouk Hosni said an international jury chose the design by Irish firm Heneghan Peng Architects, which would cost an estimated $350 million to build.

All for art

Barcelona (Reuters): Spencer Tunick, famous for his photographs of huge groups of naked people, beat his own record on Sunday when some 7,000 people posed nude for him in the Spanish city of Barcelona. From about 0200 GMT on Sunday thousands of volunteers gathered in central Barcelona to strip off and be photographed lying down and kneeling in rows. The Barcelona photos beat Tunick’s last record of 4,500 snapped in Australia and while some 7,000 posed, more than twice that number initially signed up, the project manager said. The New York-based artist has shot naked throngs around the world but his work has got him into trouble in the US where he has been arrested several times, though not charged, for lewd conduct and blocking pedestrian traffic.

Spider scare

Berlin (Reuters): Trembling teachers at a German pre-school called in police to confront a giant spider crawling in a sandbox but it turned out to be a rubber toy, police in the western town of Heilbronn said on Sunday. “They were all highly agitated and trembling with fear,” a police spokesperson said. Two officers closed off the sandbox and surrounded the “spider” before discovering it was an imitation toy.

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