Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 1st 2014 Contents A25
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
Italian police have recovered most
of a piece of cloth stained with the
blood of Pope John Paul ll after it was
stolen from a church in Abruzzo.
The cloth---from a cassock John Paul
was wearing in 1981 when a gunman
tried to assassinate him---was taken in
a burglary last weekend.
The cloth was found in separate pieces
in a garage of one of the three men
arrested in connection with the theft.
It has been put back together with
only a few filaments of gold missing.
Police are still looking for the remain-
On Thursday officers had found the
gold and glass case in which the relic
was held but said the cloth was still
But yesterday, Bishop Giovanni D Er-
cole told a press conference in L Aquila
that the cloth had now also been found
and pieced together.
"I think John Paul has forgiven them.
I think we have to do the same," Bishop
D Ercole said. The relic was taken during
a burglary of the San Pietro della Ienca
church. The three suspects apparently
threw the cloth away, not realising its
Stolen Papal relic found in Italy
BANGKOK---A Thai court yesterday ordered more
than US$1.4 million in assets seized from a former
top civil servant whose wealth was revealed when
burglars robbed his house.
The Civil Court said former Transport Ministry
Permanent Secretary Supoj Saplom could not prove
his wealth was honestly earned. It said his civil servant s
salary from 1978 until 2002 could not account for it.
He had also held senior positions in the state railway
and Highway Department.
Supoj had reported to police that US$156,000 was
missing after a burglary at his home in 2011. But when
the burglars were caught, they confessed to stealing
US$570,000 in cash and gold. (AP)
Thai civil servant
found unusually rich
LONDON---Just don t ask him about his love life.
Quizzed during a news conference at an English
air base whether his reported philandering had turned
France into an "international joke," the 59-year-old
French leader President Francois Hollande deadpanned.
"I m afraid I decline to answer," he said.
British journalists had been looking forward to Hol-
lande s appearance, which comes less than a week
after the French president officially ended his rela-
tionship with Valerie Trierweiler following a report
that he was having an affair with glamorous actress
Julie Gayet. (AP)
Hollande refuses to take
question on love life
MADRID---Police say an unidentified person threw
five Molotov cocktails at the entrance of a bottling
plant in the Madrid suburb of Fuenlabrada before
A police official says the attack happened yesterday
as company workers were protesting peacefully against
layoffs announced by the multinational. Around 200
workers at the plant are on an indefinite strike protesting
Coca-Cola Iberian Partners plans to close four of its
11 plants and lay off 1,253 workers. (AP)
at Coca-Cola plant
LONDON---Russian men who down large amounts
of vodka---and too many do---have an "extraordinar-
ily" high risk of an early death, a new study says.
Researchers tracked about 151,000 adult men in the
Russian cities of Barnaul, Byisk and Tomsk from 1999
to 2010. They interviewed them about their drinking
habits and, when about 8,000 later died, followed up
to monitor their causes of death.
The risk of dying before age 55 for those who said
they drank three or more half-liter bottles of vodka
a week was a shocking 35 per cent. Overall, a quarter
of Russian men die before reaching 55, compared with
7 per cent of men in the United Kingdom and less
than 1 per cent in the United States. The life expectancy
for men in Russia is 64 years. (AP)
Blame it on the vodka
JAMAICA---Rastafarians rallied Thursday in
Jamaica s capital to lay claim to a hilltop site where
a founding father of the spiritual movement led a
flourishing community in the 1940s before it was
destroyed by British colonial authorities.
About 100 people wearing the faith s colours of red,
green and gold recited poetry, smoked marijuana and
discussed recent efforts to prevent a housing developer
from building on a rocky hilltop dubbed "Pinnacle."
Leonard P Howell founded the group s first self-
sustaining settlement there more than 70 years ago,
and the site in St Catherine parish is considered sacred
About 4,500 people once lived in the community,
but it was razed in 1954, setting off years of persecution
by the state. For decades, Rasta adherents were treated
as second-class citizens in Jamaica and other Caribbean
The ruins of Howell s house were declared a national
heritage site last year by Jamaica. But island courts
say adjoining lots are owned by St Jago Hills Devel-
Donisha Prendergast, the eldest granddaughter of
reggae icon Bob Marley, said Pinnacle is hugely sig-
nificant for Rastafarian culture. She said negotiations
with the government and the developer are making
progress but she and others remain watchful.
"The battle is not over and we re not comfortable
with where things stand," Prendergast said.
Three Rastafarian groups met with developers and
government officials this week to discuss the dispute.
The Ministry of Youth and Culture says the developer
has agreed not to build on five lots adjoining the ruins
for now and is open to negotiations on the future of
A melding of Old Testament teachings and Pan-
Africanism, Rastafari emerged in colonial-era Jamaica
in the 1930s out of anger over the oppression of blacks.
Its message was spread around the globe in the 1970s
by Jamaican music stars like Marley, Peter Tosh and
Burning Spear. (AP)
Donisha Prendergast, the eldest granddaughter of
reggae icon Bob Marley, speaks during an interview
on a hilltop known to Rastafarians as "Pinnacle" in
Sligoville, Jamaica. AP PHOTO
claim to historic
CARACAS---Citizens of Venezuela s
socialist revolution have grown
accustomed to long lines for every-
thing from bread to buying a car.
But 26-year-old Daniela Rodriguez
hopes this line will be her last.
Like some 50 other college students
and graduates, she s been lounging for
the past three days on the cement
sidewalks of a busy Caracas office dis-
trict waiting for a consulate stamp
that she hopes will be her ticket to a
brighter future. Her destination? Ire-
land, a country she knows almost
nothing about. Not that it matters.
"I ll blindly go anywhere," said
Rodriguez, who has been unable to
find work as a journalist since grad-
uating college in 2010, instead working
as a sales clerk at a clothing store.
"Here you kill yourself just to get
nowhere, but outside Venezuela in two
years your effort pays off."
The sentiment is widely shared by
Venezuela s best and brightest, who
are abandoning their homeland in
droves rather than wait for a punishing
currency crisis, record shortages and
50 percent inflation to ease. But not
everyone is fleeing the madness. Some
Venezuelans are posing as students
and recycling on the black market
increasingly scarce hard currency
meted out at the official exchange rate
to pay for schooling abroad.
Amid the desperate search for
opportunities abroad, Ireland has
emerged as an almost ideal escape.
The country has long attracted lan-
guage students from all over the world,
and unlike the US, Australia and Cana-
da, Venezuelans don t need a visa to
enter the European Union.
The Irish economy is recovering
steadily from Europe s financial crisis.
Venezuelans already studying there
report that it s easy to find work, which
Ireland s immigrant-friendly laws
Anitza Freitez, a Caracas-based
demographer who has studied migra-
tory trends estimates the number of
Venezuelans living abroad jumped 12
per cent between 2005 and 2010, a
pride-shattering reversal for a country
whose oil-fueled prosperity made it
a magnet for immigrants from south-
ern Europe and South America for
much of the last half-century.
And the exodus keeps building. (AP)
...best and brightest will
'blindly go anywhere'
Daniela Rodriguez laughs with friends as she waits outside Ireland's consulate
in Caracas, Venezuela. AP PHOTO
Links Archive January 31st 2014 February 2nd 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page