$13 for a beggar
Hanoi, Feb. 14 (Reuters): Vietnam’s China Beach, which gained fame as the playground for US servicemen during the Vietnam War, is offering $13 to anyone who turns in a beggar.
“This is our lastest effort to clean up the cultural environment of the city,” an official from the Danang People’s Committee, or the local government, said today.
He said the beggars would be sent back to their home towns or put in vocational centres. The drive was launched on Wednesday, he added. China Beach is located in the city of Danang, which is 700 km south of Hanoi. The beggar bounty of 200,000 dong is a considerable sum of money for the residents.
Washington (Reuters): IMF staffers will soon be forced to taste their own bitter medicine and pay full price for their lunch, ending years of subsidised vittles for some of Washington’s highest-paid workers. “With this bitter pill, the fund is getting a taste of its own medicine,” the February issue of the lender’s own IMF Staff News lamented. As part of a round of cost-cutting, the IMF will stop subsidising the food at its cafeteria on May 1. “In many ways, ending this support makes sense. While financially supported cafeterias were once common, the fund had become one of a shrinking number of organisations offering this perk,” the newsletter wrote. In addition to generous pay rates, monetary allowances for spouses, tuition for children’s private schooling, air fares home and a host of other perks, many IMF staffers also pay no income taxes.
Berlin (Reuters): A lovesick 58-year-old German man was sentenced to seven years in jail after attacking a factory worker with a pair of bull castration tongs in the western town of Duesseldorf, a state court said on Friday. The circus trapeze artist had tried to emasculate the man using the steel pincers after accusing him of having a relationship with his former girlfriend, a 46-year-old belly dancer who performed in the same circus. The trapeze artist inflicted serious injury on the victim, who worked at a local factory, with the tongs and a knife in the February 2002 assault. But the factory worker was able to fight off the smaller attacker and prevent more serious injury. “Fortunately the factory worker didn’t lose anything — except for a lot of blood,” said Ulrich Tholer, spokesman for the Duesseldorf state court. The assailant was convicted of attempted murder and grievous bodily harm.