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Since 1st March, 1999
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Blood best

Sydney, July 7 (Reuters): Record-setting Australian James Harrison could be forgiven for feeling a little light-headed today.

His name has been added to the Guinness Book of Records for the most blood donated by a single person — 480 litres in 804 visits to the Australian Red Cross Blood Bank.

That’s roughly enough to fill the tank of a small car about 10 times.

Harrison said he first gave blood as an 18-year-old in 1955, three years after he received a life-saving blood transfusion, and now wants to go on to reach 1,000 donations.

“I go to the blood bank to meet the girls and while I’m there I donate blood,” Harrison joked at a ceremony today to recognise his achievement.

Harrison was handed a bottle of wine in recognition of his record by Jason McCartney, who was injured and needed blood transfusions after bomb attacks in the island resort of Bali which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, last October.

Australian Red Cross chief executive Dr Robert Hazel said about 3 per cent of Australians give blood each year, although 80 per cent will require blood or blood products at some point in their lives.

Pet passion

Cairo (Reuters): Ancient Egyptians loved their pets so much they even wanted to take them into the after life. Mummified cats, dogs, monkeys and even crocodiles — lovingly preserved in the same way as the pharaohs — will be on display later this month in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Egyptian antiquities chief Zahi Hawass told Reuters Television that ancient Egyptians were not only pet lovers who wanted to preserve animals for life after death, but also held some animal forms as sacred. “The ancient Egyptians worshipped the god Thoth, the god of wisdom, in the shape of a monkey,” he said late on Sunday. A mummified pet would either be placed in its owner’s coffin or buried in its own casket. The exhibition includes a bandaged gazelle displayed in a limestone casket shaped to the animal’s form.

Web crazy

Seoul (Reuters): A South Korean man angry with his daughter’s web surfing faced possible charges on Monday after he threw a computer monitor out of his 12th-floor apartment, hitting a four-year-old girl below on the head, police said. Police said the man, 49-year-old Park Yong-ju, had got angry when he returned to his flat in Seoul on Saturday. His 20-year-old daughter was playing an online computer game and failed to greet him, as Korean custom requires. When she declined to let him join the game, he grabbed the monitor and flung it through the window, the police said.

The screen hit four-year-old Han Jung-in, causing facial injuries but no brain damage, a hospital official said.

Crazy croc

Rome (Reuters): Italian police have captured a crocodile that was terrorising visitors to Rome’s famed Tiber river — only to discover it was a hunting trophy used as a gag.

Police pounced on the two-metre reptile, its fearsome jaws locked wide open, on the Tiberina island in the heart of the city on Sunday, following panicked phone calls they originally dismissed as a hoax.

But after throwing a few rocks at the immobile beast, which generally prefers African and Australian swamps to the murky Tiber, they discovered it had been stuffed for some time.

”Which is a good thing since we still don't have a crocodile rapid-reaction unit,” a policeman told reporters.

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