BLINDING-GAZE: Dozens of partygoers at an outdoor rave near Moscow last week have lost partial vision after a laser light show burned their retinas, Russian health officials said on Monday.
Moscow city health department officials confirmed 12 cases of laser-blindness at the Central Ophthalmological Clinic, and daily newspaper Kommersant said another 17 were registered at City Hospital 32 in the centre of the capital.
Attendees at the July 5 Aquamarine Open Air Festival in Kirzhach, 80 km northeast of Moscow, began seeking medical help days after the show, complaining of eye and vision problems, health officials told Reuters.
“They all have retinal burns, scarring is visible on them. Loss of vision in individual cases is as high as 80%, and regaining it is already impossible,” Kommersant quoted a treating ophthalmologist as saying.
Attendees said heavy rains forced organisers to erect massive tents for the all-night dance party, and lasers that normally illuminate upwards into the sky were instead partially refracted into the ravers’ eyes. —— Reuters.
SEX-TOURNAMENT: Nine British women were facing prostitution charges after being arrested at the weekend for taking part in an oral sex competition in the Greek holiday island of Zakynthos, police said on Monday.
Six British and six Greek men, including two bar owners, were also charged in the incident, which took place at Laganas beach in the south of the Ionian island, which lies off the west coast of mainland Greece, police said. The women, who came to the popular resort on holiday, had been paid to take part in the competition, which was video recorded and was to be posted on the Internet, police said. The men were charged with encouraging obscene behaviour.
In recent years, Laganas has established itself as one of Greece’s most popular destinations for 20-something holidaymakers and is known for its wild party scene. —— Reuters.
OOPS!: A happily married couple were stunned to receive a solicitor’s letter saying their divorce had been finalised.
John Kitteridge (65) and wife Joan have been married for 36 years, reports the Sheffield Star. Joan (59) who burst into tears when she read the letter said: “I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I knew deep down it couldn’t be true but it was still such a shock.
“We’ve had our ups and downs like any couple! But we’d never get divorced.”
Security guard John had been working nights and was in bed when the post arrived. He said: “If it had been an old lady or an elderly man who had received it they could have suffered a heart attack. How does a mistake like that even happen?
Sheffield-based Best Solicitors apologised and said the mistake had been made after a standard template letter was sent to the Kitteridges. —— Ananova.
HITMAN-FOR-HIRE: Mexico City police are investigating classified advertisements posted on the Internet by people offering their services as hired killers for as little as US$6 000.
One post on the Website, which hosts free ads for people selling old home appliances or renting apartments, advertises the services of an “ex-military hitman, professional and discreet”.
The man promises a “job guaranteed in 10 days or less” and adds “I have worked in Spain, only serious offers, US$6 000.”
A police spokeswoman said authorities were taking the ads seriously, at a time when Mexican drug cartels and organised crime gangs are going ever more public with their tit-for-tat murders and leaving bodies and severed heads in streets. —— Reuters.