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World Briefs

International Day of Hand Washing

Retired doctor Benoit Vanhercke from Belgium washing his hands with a Canacla at his Dakar residence on March 26. The Canacla was invented by Dr Vanhercke's son, Jacques, enabling him to save a significant amount of water during hand washing. The recipient can be made of ceramic or metal and uses about 30 times less water than a regular tap.

The International Day of Hand Washing will be marked tomorrow. (AFP)

Former Iranian minister stabbed

An Iranian former minister was seriously wounded yesterday when an unknown person stabbed him at a Teheran university, the Mehr news agency reported.

Ahmad Motamedi, who was telecommunications minister in the government of reformist President Mohammad Khatami, was stabbed at Amir Kabir University, the report said.

The 40-year-old assailant, who confronted Mr Motamedi in his office, was apprehended by campus guards, the report added.

Mr Motamedi was admitted to hospital where he underwent surgery. The reason for the attack was not immediately known. (AFP)

British cadet dies in tragic accident

A teenager died after he fell from the rigging of a ship while bringing in the sails.

The 14-year-old sea cadet, from Kent, was airlifted to hospital by coastguard helicopter following the accident in Stokes Bay, near Gosport, Hampshire, on Sunday evening but was later pronounced dead.

He was one of a crew of sea cadets on board the training ship TS Royalist which had taken part in celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the movement just hours before.

Marine Society & Sea Cadets chief executive officer Mike Cornish said the boy fell from around 20 to 30 feet as he climbed the ship's rigging.

He said he would have been wearing a safety harness but the cadets did not wear life jackets when climbing the rigging in case they got tangled. (PA)

Strong earthquake strikes off Japan

A strong earthquake with a 5.9 magnitude struck off Japan's Izu Islands yesterday, seismologists said, but no tsunami warning was issued.

The quake hit at 7.27p.m. (1027 GMT) 303 kilometres northwest of Chichi-shima on the Bonin Islands, according to the US Geological Survey. Its depth was estimated at 82 kilometres, the agency said. (AFP)

Actress Lynn Redgrave dies

Actress Lynn Redgrave died yesterday in New York aged 67, her publicist Rick Miramontez said.

A member of the well-known British family of actors, Ms Redgrave trained in London, before making her theatrical debut in 1962. By the mid-1960s she had appeared in several films, including Tom Jones (1963) and Georgy Girl (1966) which won her a New York Film Critics Award and nominations for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award. Her brother, actor Corin Redgrave, died early last month at the age of 70. (PA)

Belt up, even if you're driving a hearse!

A hearse driver was pulled over by police because he was not wearing a seatbelt as he transported a woman's body to her funeral, it was reported yesterday.

The driver, from M J Silcox and Son Funeral Directors, was given a £60 penalty after he was pulled over, the Cambridge Evening News reported.

PC Steve Gedny, who stopped the driver, told the newspaper: "Drivers and passengers of hearses are just as likely to be involved in a collision as anyone else." (PA)

Prisoner cuts off ear to escape

A prisoner cut off part of his ear so he could escape from an ambulance on the way to hospital, Greater Manchester Police said.

Michael O'Donnell, 28, told staff at Forest Bank prison in Salford at around 1.30 on Sunday that he had been injured in his cell.

An ambulance was called to take him to Hope Hospital, also in Salford, but on the way four masked men pulled up in a stolen BMW.

They smashed the ambulance windows with baseball bats and bolt-cutters and Mr O'Donnell, who was escorted by three prison guards, escaped. He was handcuffed to one officer, who released him during the ambush. Mr O'Donnell was waiting to be sentenced for conspiracy to rob and commit burglary.

The police have appealed to the public for help in finding him. (PA)

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