Flock of cardinals found corrupt
With the conclave gathering in Rome to vote on the new pope, scandals are being unveiled as well causing certain cardinals to decline from participating in the conclave. The conclave is the voting process where all the cardinals of the Catholic Church are locked in the Sistine Chapel and remain there until two-thirds plus one majority is reached. If a pope is not selected by 12 days, then the cardinals vote for the pope by simple majority. Lately, many cardinals are being accused of sexual abuse toward minors and the failure to act is painfully obvious. Pope Benedict XVI has apologized multiple times for these offenses but has yet to remove prelates who have been proved in court cases to be a danger to children for not reporting pedophiles. Due to the rampant sex abuse, many are hopeful that the new pope will step up and clean house.
Jaws in New Zealand?
On Wednesday, a man in his 40s was killed by a great white shark off a beach near Auckland. The man was swimming about 220 yards offshore when the 12- to 14-foot shark attacked him. Police and life guards took boats out to where the shark was and fired on it. It rolled away and disappeared but it was already too late for the man, who suffered fatal wounds from the attack. It is speculated that more than one shark were there when he started bleeding. Even though shark attacks are rare in New Zealand, with only 11 fatal attacks that have taken place since 1874, Muriwai Beach and others will remain closed at least for the next few days.
France forced to linger in Mali
France’s intervention in Mail starting back Jan. 11 after rebels took over northern cities looks like it isn’t ending anytime soon despite Paris’ hopes to slowly withdraw troops during March. Due to resilient jihadi groups in the mountains and extremists heightened terrorist attacks such as suicide bombings and mine attacks, France cannot withdraw with this threat still on the loose. However they still intend to slowly remove their 4,000 troops and leave the newly trained Malian soldiers in charge. Paris is wary of lingering in the country due to Africa’s awareness of their past interference. They also do not want to remain so long that the public no longer supports their presence. The French are hopeful that the operation will create long term stability and Africa will be able to handle itself with limited outside help.
Anheuser-Busch sued for “watering down” beer
In various states such as Pennsylvania and California, drinkers are filing a $5 million lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch for watering down their beer, claiming that they have been cheated out of the alcohol content printed on labels. Brands such as Budweiser and Michelob are among the 10 Anheuser-Busch beers being sued. These claims are based on former employees’ information about the practice at breweries owned by the company. It is said that in the final stage of production water is added to lessen the alcohol content lower than claimed on labels. Accused of sacrificing product quality to reduce costs the lawsuit charged that the practice was adopted after the merger between American Anheuser-Busch and Belgian-Brazilian InBev in 2008.
In South Africa, people with dreadlocks are now in fear of something known as “cut and run.” Thieves are ruthlessly mugging people with locks and cutting off the coveted hair with anything from a knife to a broken piece of glass. Due to the lengthy amount of time required to grow hair for dreadlocks, most people don’t want to wait and this demand for instant long hair causes the black market to have locks ready and waiting. While most of the gangs practice in Johannesburg, the trend is spreading out to coastal towns. Naturally the longer the hair the higher the price, shoulder-length dreads cost around $23. Thanks to a new method stylists are using known as crocheting, competition for stockpiles of natural locks these “hair jackers” are becoming prevalent. Those with dreadlocks are afraid they are next and victims are too embarrassed to report the crime.