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Escape on a leg

Rio de Janeiro, Dec. 9 (Reuters): Two one-legged inmates were among 26 prisoners who scaled walls to break out of an overcrowded jail in the Brazilian city of Niteroi, authorities said today.

A spokeswoman with the Rio de Janeiro state security secretariat said police only managed to recapture 10 of the 26 inmates, including one of the disabled prisoners, in the centre of the city, which lies just across the bay from Rio de Janeiro.

yesterday’s jailbreak, the inmates sawed metal bars on the windows of two cells in the police detention centre, used a rope to get to the ground and then jumped a backyard wall. They exchanged pistol fire with one police officer and then fled.

Police said they were investigating whether the runaways had any help from the guards.

Bowie in bed

Boston (Reuters): British rocker David Bowie again postponed the kick-off of his first North American tour in eight years after being confined to bed by influenza, the concert promoter said on Monday. The opening of Bowie’s “A Reality Tour” was delayed last week after the illness forced him to cancel shows in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Washington, DC. But now Bowie has postponed two more shows — a performance at Boston’s FleetCenter and a Wednesday show at Philadelphia’s First Union Spectrum — as doctors ordered him to remain in bed for a few days longer. The promoter, Clear Channel Entertainment, said it now expects the tour to kick off on Friday in Toronto. It said tickets for the postponed shows would be honoured at the rescheduled events.

Happy Dutch

Amsterdam (Reuters): Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander’s wife Princess Maxima gave birth to a baby girl on Sunday, sparking royal celebrations. The girl will be second-in-line to the Dutch throne. A proud Willem-Alexander, the Prince of Orange, presented his daughter to the media at a brief news conference in the evening, broadcast live on television. “Although many babies are born each day, we believe this is the most beautiful baby in the world,” he said, holding his daughter wrapped in white blankets. The couple have not yet decided on a name for the girl who is likely one day to be queen. She was born late afternoon weighing 3.3 kg . Queen Beatrix arrived for an hour at the Bronovo hospital in The Hague in the early evening to loud applause from scores of royal fans waiting outside. She was accompanied by her son Prince Johan Friso and his fiancee Mabel Wisse Smit.


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