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World Briefs

Russians in Arafat probe

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President has said Russian experts will join a team of Swiss and French investigators in exhuming the remains of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat later this month.

Abbas said he hopes that thanks to the Russian involvement, “new facts will arise or be known about the causes of death”.

Arafat’s death in a French hospital in 2004 has remained a mystery. While the immediate cause was a stroke, the underlying source of an illness he suffered in his final weeks has never been clear. That led to theories that he had cancer, Aids or was poisoned. The new probes come after a Swiss lab discovered traces of a deadly radioactive isotope on clothes said to be Arafat’s. (AP)

‘Grilled’ Chili chicken

Officials say a truck carrying nearly 40,000 pounds of frozen chicken went up in flames on its way to a supermarket in the New York town of Chili.

Fire officials said that the truck was hauling chicken from Mississippi to the Wegmans Distribution Centre just south-west of Rochester.

The truck driver was not injured. Part of the road was closed early on Friday while crews cleaned up. (PA)

Motorway loos aggravation

Customers at petrol station forecourt shops have given the toilets a panning.

Bad lavatory facilities were the number one aggravation for motorists and shoppers at petrol stations, a survey in Britain showed.

Poor hygiene was the main problem, according to the poll conducted by wholesaler and supplier Palmer and Harvey.

More than half of the 1,000 people surveyed said they hated having to ask for the key to the loo. Only 23 per cent said petrol stations were clean and only 17 per cent always found them stocked with toilet rolls, towels and soap. (PA)

Wood defends gig prices

Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood said the band do not feel bad about the high prices charged for their forthcoming London gigs, saying: “We’ve got to make something.”

The guitarist said preparations for the two gigs at London’s O2 later this month had cost them millions of pounds.

When the November 25 and 29 concerts for the band’s 50th anniversary were announced, promoters said the face value price of the tickets ranged from £95 (€118) to £375 (€469). A “VIP hospitality” ticket was priced at £950 (€1,188). (AP)

Thailand’s lanterns hazard

Air passengers are used to flights being disrupted by bad weather or strikes but now a new hazard is hitting travellers in northern Thailand - a lantern festival.

Thai Airways is suspending some flights as a precaution to avoid floating lanterns from being sucked into aircraft engines as people release them during the Loy Krathong festival. (PA)

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