SWAM: Police rescued two teenage Bulgarian sisters from a circus in southern Italy which forced one of them to swim with flesh-eating piranhas for the amusement of guests, police said.
While the 19-year-old sister swam in a transparent tank, the younger, 16-year-old was forced into a container where the circus staff tossed snakes at her. She was injured by one of the snakes, police said.
Police arrested three Italians who ran the circus south of Naples, in Salerno province, accusing them of forcing the sisters to live in virtual slavery.
The women were paid 100 euros (US$155,8) per week and lived in a trailer that had previously been used to transport animals, they said. – Reuters.
TRAPPED: Four hundred people were trapped on the London Eye for more than an hour while engineers fixed a mechanical fault, a spokeswoman for the riverside tourist attraction said on Tuesday.
Sightseers were suspended up to 450 feet above the ground on Monday night as workmen repaired one of the four huge tires that turn the observation wheel.
Staff spoke to visitors over an intercom system fitted in each of the 32 glass pods. They were offered water, blankets and glucose tablets stored in “comfort packs”.
“It stopped for a brief period while we rectified it and then we got all the guests off,” said a London Eye spokeswoman. “We had full communication with them throughout and offered them a refund afterwards.”
The wheel, which can carry 800 passengers during each 30-minute revolution, reopened at 10am on Tuesday. – Reuters.
WON: A Scottish cleaner who won a record bingo jackpot over the Easter weekend said she would return to work as normal on Tuesday.
Soraya Lowell (38) won the national jackpot of Â£1 167 795 (US$2,3 million) at a bingo hall in Coatbridge, north Lanarkshire.
“I don’t intend to give up my job. I like the girls I work with, and they have already said to me ‘don’t pack it in,’” she said. “I haven’t slept at all but I will be back at work on Tuesday as usual.”
The mother-of-four from Hamilton, Lanarkshire, said her husband Frankie didn’t believe her when she called home with the news. Her oldest children have already asked her to buy them cars.
Steve Baldwin, of the National Bingo Game, said Sunday’s win was the biggest ever. – Reuters.
BUGGED: A group celebrating a birthday at a Dubai diner were cheered by a 25% discount but not necessarily the reason: “Bug on food.”
The restaurant cut the bill for seven customers at a birthday dinner after they found four insects crawling around their meals, the Gulf News reported on Tuesday.
“We were surprised when the receipt said ‘bug on food’ as a reason for the discount. I think they were trying to be funny,” it quoted one of the disgruntled customers as saying.
An official at the restaurant defended the phrase saying it was “an inappropriate detail”, the paper reported. – Reuters.
FAREWELL: Russia’s Mariinsky ballet has said farewell to one of its longest-serving artistes: a 21-year-old female donkey named Monika.
The animal is to be pensioned off after 19 years carrying the knight’s overweight servant Sancho Panza around the stage in productions of the ballet Don Quixote.
“She loves to perform and she loves applause,” said Tatyana Solomatina, a spokeswoman for St Petersburg zoo, where Monika lives between performances. “She knew the exact time to appear in the ballet, even without someone accompanying her.” – Reuters.