World Briefs

‘Sex six times a week’

Italy’s Latin lover prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is in robust health and “can have sex six times a week,” but should take one day off to rest, his doctor said in an interview published yesterday.

“He’s a superior man, both physically and intellectually,” Umberto Scapagnini, the Premier’s personal doctor said in an interview.

“He can have sex six times a week, without overdoing it. And on the seventh day he should rest. It’s not a bad average, especially for a 74-year old man who has shrugged off a prostate tumour,” Dr Scapagnini said.

Mr Berlusconi is proud of his reputation as a seducer of young and busty women. (AFP)

Female MPs brawl

An ugly brawl erupted in Parliament between two female Afghan MPs on Tuesday after a row seemingly about one of the country’s vice-presidents.

Ex-army general Nazifa Zaki, in a black Afghan dress and head scarf, began arguing with fellow MP Hamida Ahmadzai and then threw a water bottle at her in anger, in footage broadcast by private TV station Tolo News. A stunned Ahmadzai chucked a bottle back towards Zaki, who then launched herself at Ms Ahmadzai, trying to grab her around the neck and delivering a series of punches to her face. Male MPs rushed in to break up the scrap.

One MP said the pair rowed over the reputation of Vice President Mohammad Kasim Fahim, one of Afghanistan’s most powerful warlords and alleged to have been involved in crime and corruption. About a quarter of the 249 seats in the lower house, or Wolesi Jirga, are reserved for women, who were severely restricted under the 1996-2001 Taliban regime. (AFP)

Robot piggyback

A robotic outfit that bestows superhuman strength has allowed a paralysed Japanese man to tour the steep lanes of France’s Mont-Saint-Michel landmark – on a friend’s back.Seiji Uchida, 49, said he had dreamed of visiting the mediaeval site, a warren of steep steps on a sea-lapped mound off northwestern France, but could not because a motorbike accident in his twenties left him unable to walk.On Tuesday he fulfilled his wish however, when student Hiromasa Hara donned a Hybrid Assistive Limb, a body-length device developed by Japanese scientists, and gave Mr Uchida a superhuman piggy-back. The suit is attached to the wearer’s back, arms and legs. Reading brain signals and following the wearer’s muscular actions, it takes the strain of the load, allowing him to lift up to 200 kilos“It was a dream to come here,” said Mr Uchida, who travelled with his wife and four children. (AFP)

Treasures salvaged

A Tiffany diamond bangle stuffed in a sock and worth some $8,300 was among hundreds of items retrieved from Christchurch hotels abandoned during February’s earthquake and now returned to their owners, reports said yesterday.

Other pieces of abandoned luggage included thousands of dollars in foreign banknotes hidden in a fake soft drink can and a rare Steiff teddy bear belonging to an Australian child.

Hotel guests had to flee for their lives during the 6.3 tremor which claimed 181 lives and leave their luggage in buildings which in some cases remained unsafe to enter for months. New Zealand Hotel Council executive officer Rachael Shadbolt said that more than 750 pieces of luggage had been painstakingly recovered in recent weeks and sent to owners in 37 countries. (AFP)

All’s well...

Spanish police rescued unharmed yesterday a 48-year-old Dutch woman hiker who spent 18 days trapped at the bottom of a ravine, police said.

The woman was spotted by a group of mountaineers near the resort town of Nerja in southern Spain and was then brought to safety by a police helicopter, police said in a statement.

“She became trapped in a pit near a river, without a rope and unable to ascend on her own,” the statement said. The woman was taken to hospital for observation. She is “stable, conscious and talking,” a hospital spokesman said. (AFP)

Gorilla flotilla

An unusual sight brightened a city’s harbour when a gorilla flotilla launched a summer art spectacle. A selection of colourful, life-size gorilla sculptures sailed into Bristol in spectacular style aboard three boats to officially launch Wow! Gorillas, a mass public art trail across the city’s streets.

The 60 unique Wow! Gorillas sculptures are appearing to celebrate Bristol Zoo’s 175th birthday year. (PA)


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