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Leader’s escape

Toronto, Nov. 13 (Reuters): And now we know what at least one of the world’s leaders has done when his guards aren’t looking.

Feeling shackled by the Canadian Mounties and Italian Carabinieri who were protecting him ahead of a 2001 G8 summit in northern Italy, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien and his grandson scampered across rooftops to get free.

“My grandson said: ‘Grandpapa, let’s escape.’ So we managed to escape... and it was quite a thrill. You know, we jumped from one roof to the other roof to a third roof,” Chretien said with a boyish chuckle in remarks broadcast on CBC radio yesterday.

“And when we arrived (at the edge of the third roof) there was a bunch of Carabinieri cars there, and my grandson wanted to slide along the pipe.

“(But) these guys shoot and ask questions after that, so we went back and we found another way and we managed to escape for about an hour,” said Chretien, who is set to step down after a decade as Prime Minister. After spending some time on their own outside the compound, near Florence, they sauntered back in. And the reaction of the security detail' “They were not worried, because they saw us coming back through the main door, and they said, ‘Oh, we thought you were inside’.” He added: “It was the spirit of Italy, I guess, that led me to do that.”

Boy in coop

Nairobi (Reuters): Kenyan police said on Thursday they had rescued an 18-year-old boy who was forced by his stepmother to sleep in a chicken coop for the past 10 years. Investigators acting on a tip-off found James Kimathi Mwirigi badly malnourished and scarred from apparent beatings in the central Kenyan district of Meru. “His stepbrother confirmed to us that he has been maltreated. But he is above the age of what is considered a child, so we have to proceed very carefully,” the police said. Villagers told police that the teenager — thought to be mentally disabled — was denied food and a proper education, while being made to carry out household duties.

Greek rule

Athens (Reuters): Greece’s television regulator has fined a private channel 100,000 euros ($116,900) for corruption of public morals over scenes in a late-night TV series that included a kiss between two men, the regulator said on Thursday. The drama series Close Your Eyes is screened after 10.30 pm and has regularly topped television ratings. The regulator criticised the sexually charged language and the portrayal of a relationship between gay men in the show, which it said “could damage young people by making them too familiar with vulgarity”.

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