LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron ventured into a new swamp when he waded waist-deep into mud to rescue a drowning sheep. Cameron was on his way back from visiting a farmer near his home in the Oxfordshire countryside last month when he heard bleating and spotted a ewe that had got stuck in the mud after following her two lambs. In jeans and rubber boots, Cameron waded into the swamp, followed by his two bodyguards, wrestled the sodden sheep and hoisted it onto safe ground, the Sun newspaper reported. “When I got there, David (Cameron) was in the swamp, waist-deep in mud, along with the two police, who had all gone in there to help drag this sheep out,” farmer Julian Tustian told the Daily Telegraph. The ewe, which has been nicknamed Swampy, has fully recovered from the ordeal, which unfolded on March 1, Tustian said. The lambs drowned.
UK couple guilty of killing six kids
LONDON: A British couple were found guilty yesterday of killing six of their children in a deliberate blaze at the family home. Mick Philpott and his wife Mairead were convicted at Nottingham Crown Court in central England of the manslaughter of the six children in the house fire in nearby Derby, on May 11 last year. Prosecutors claimed the couple had set fire to their home in a bid to frame Philpott’s ex-girlfriend and claim custody of the children they had together. A third defendant, Paul Mosley, was also found guilty of manslaughter by the jury following an eight-week trial.
Firefighters abseil to owl’s rescue
VIENNA: Special Viennese firefighters flew to the rescue and abseiled down buildings yesterday after they received an emergency call to save a distressed... owl caught in a net. Residents alerted the fire department after noticing the bird trapped upside down in a net meant to ward off pigeons, in the courtyard of a residential building. Unable to reach the owl — suspended at a height of 15 metres—using a ladder, the fire department had to call members of its special unit to abseil down from the roof and rescue the feathered victim. The operation ended happily with the bird brought safely back to the ground and handed over to animal services.
EU troops begin Mali training mission
BAMAKO: The EU began a top-to-toe overhaul of Mali’s ragtag army yesterday to help its soldiers take the place of foreign troops defending the west African nation against an Islamist insurgency. The first of four battalions arrived in Koulikoro, 60km from the capital Bamako, to train under battle-hardened European instructors as part of a wider effort to bring the army up to scratch as quickly as possible. “The 570 men of the Malian army have just arrived at the training site in Koulikoro,” Lieutenant-Colonel Philippe de Cussac, spokesman for the European Union Training Mission in Mali said.
Ex-minister admits secret bank account
PARIS: France’s erstwhile budget minister admitted yesterday to holding a secret ¤600,000 foreign bank account and he was placed under a fraud investigation in a grave blow to President Francois Hollande’s 10-month-old government. Jerome Cahuzac’s surprise reversal after months of denying allegations he held a Swiss account deeply embarrassed Hollande. Cahuzac, who until he resigned two weeks ago was in charge of French finances, acknowledged having the undeclared foreign account and his lawyer said he had been put under formal investigation. If charged as a result of the investigation and found guilty in court, Cahuzac, a former plastic surgeon, faces up to five years in prison and a ¤375,000 ($481,400) fine.
UN-Congo pact to stop rape in war zones
KINSHASA: The United Nations has signed an agreement with the Democratic Republic of Congo aimed at fighting against rape and sexual violence by armed groups in the strife-torn eastern part of the country. The accord was signed by DR Congo’s Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo and the UN’s special representative on sexual violence in conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, during a visit by Bangura to the country. Agencies