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Chinaman downs $13k diamond
  9th Sep 2012

Sri Lankan police arrested a Chinese tourist suspected of swallowing a diamond worth $13,600 at the island nation's biggest international gem and jewellery exhibition. Chow Cheng, 32, is believed to have swallowed the diamond as he inspected it at the exhibition, attended by buyers from China, Hong Kong, Thailand, India and Europe, police said. "His intention was to steal it," Police Spokesman Ajith Rohana said. "The x-ray shows the diamond is in his throat." Suresh Christopher Wijekoon, owner of the exhibition stall, said Chow had tried to switch the original diamond with a synthetic one. "He realised that I noticed it. Then he immediately swallowed it," Wijekoon said. The island nation is famed for its blue sapphires, diamonds and a jewelry industry that accounted for $532 million of its export revenue in 2011.

Teen to get 100 lashes for sex

A 16-year-old girl has been sentenced to 100 lashes, which she will face when she turns 18, by a Maldivian court for having sex. The Hulhudhufaaru Magistrate Court in Raa Atoll also sentenced a 29-year-old man to 10 years imprisonment, after it found him guilty of having sex with the minor girl. As she is legally a minor, the court stated that the girl's sentence would be implemented when she turned 18, reports said. An official told the local media that the man travelled to the island after the girl invited him. The girl's family noticed that she was not at home and went looking for her. The pair were found that night in bushes behind a power house, he added. When the girl's family pressed charges, the man denied them as false but he was sentenced under the Child Sex Abuse Act.

Antique royal pot to be auctioned

A rare chamber pot made in 1724 originally for 'royalty' will be auctioned at the Bonhams sale in central London on 5 December and is expected to fetch up to 60,000 pounds. The elaborately decorated porcelain pot featuring the picture of an amorous couple embracing in a tent on one side and ladies bathing by a pavilion on the reverse is part of a prized Meissen ceramics collection worth as much as 2 million pounds in total. The chamber pot was known as a 'bourdalou', named in the 18th Century after the priest Louis Bourdalou, who preached at the court of French King Louis IV. His sermons were so fascinating that ladies of the court would use their pots rather than leave to relieve themselves. It was a privilege for spectators to observe all these 'toilette' rituals and beautifully painted pots were luxury items used to flaunt wealth.

Maple syrup heist baffles Quebec cops

Thieves in the Canadian province of Quebec may have pulled off the sweetest heist of all time, siphoning off a reservoir of maple syrup from a warehouse and cleverly covering up their caper to evade detection, an industry group said. The warehouse held more than $30.4 million worth of maple syrup, a whopping 10 million pounds of the amber pancake topping. It was not clear exactly how much of the sweet stuff was taken, which occurred over the last few days and was uncovered during a routine inventory check. "We don't know yet how much is missing - we do know it is significant," said Anne-Marie Granger Godbout, executive director of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers. Numerous barrels in the warehouse were emptied of their sticky contents. Police is investigating the robbery.

Skydiver survives 13,000 ft drop as parachute fails

A skydiver whose parachute failed to open, miraculously survived a 13,000 feet fall, landing into a muddy bog that saved his life. Liam Dunne, 35, broke his back after dramatically crashing into the ground at high speed and landing in the soft, waterlogged area. His reserve parachute opened at the last moment on the horrifying descent at a festival in Moteuko, New Zealand, but it was still too late to prevent him suffering serious injury, reports said. Dunne, originally from St Annes, Lancashire, was treated at the scene by medics and taken to a specialist spinal unit in Christchurch where doctors said he should be able to walk again. Since the accident, he has astonished doctors with his recovery after undergoing surgery to insert metal pins into his shattered spine. Speaking from his hospital bed, Dunne said, "Those last 1,000 feet was like 'here we go, this is it'. It wasn't nice. But that said, it was a one in a million accident and a one in a million save." Dunne, who now lives in Taupo, said, he went into an unrecoverable spin, had to ditch his main chute, and couldn't find the reserve canopy's handle. It finally opened just 228 metres from the ground. "Luckily I hit the softest patch of ground on the whole airfield. I bounced hard and my whole left side went numb," he said.

Ciggy rooms on Russian trains

Russia is planning the possibility of helping nicotine-addicts on long distance trains by providing special smoking rooms in it. Deputy Minister of Health and Social Development Sergei Velmyaikin said recently, that special smoking rooms may appear on trains, or passengers will be provided with nicotine-containing preparations. "There are trains that are on the way for several days. Different options can be considered by the time the ban takes effect," he said. The anti-tobacco law bans smoking on trains from 2016.

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