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It’s A Weird World

TERMINATE — A Yemeni court ordered the marriage of an eight-year-old girl terminated on Tuesday because she had not reached puberty.

The court also ordered the child’s family to pay about US$250 in compensation to the 30-year-old ex-husband.

The girl’s lawyer and human rights activist Shatha Nasser said the minor had filed a suit in April asking for divorce and told the court that her husband had been physically abusing her and forcing her to have “sex with him after hitting her”.

One of the people attending the trial volunteered to pay the compensation, the lawyer said, but did not explain the reason why the court ordered the compensation.

The ruling terminated the marriage instead of granting a divorce to prevent the husband from seeking to reinstate the marriage, according to the lawyer.

Many minor girls in Arab countries that observe tribal traditions are married to older husbands but not before puberty. Such marriages are also driven by poverty in countries like Yemen, one of the poorest countries outside Africa. — Reuters.

FUNKY SMELL  —  Police in Magnolia, Arkansas, say it wasn’t the
fried chicken in Savalas Vantoli Stewart’s car that gave off a funky smell.

Instead, officers who pulled over Stewart on Friday night say they found a side dish of marijuana hidden in a recently purchased box of chicken.

Police say officers smelled marijuana coming from the car and found it after Stewart consented to a search. Officers say they also found several Ecstasy pills in Stewart’s pockets.

The 33-year-old Waldo resident faces a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge and felony drug possession charge.

A deputy at the Columbia County jail says Stewart was released on Monday to await a court appearance. — AP.

BOFFIN — A 13-year-old German schoolboy corrected Nasa’s estimates on the chances of an asteroid colliding with Earth, a German newspaper reported on Tuesday, after spotting the boffins had miscalculated.

Nico Marquardt used telescopic findings from the Institute of Astrophysics in Potsdam (AIP) to calculate that there was a 1 in 450 chance that the Apophis asteroid will collide with Earth, the Potsdamer Neuerster Nachrichten reported.

Nasa had previously estimated the chances at only 1 in 45 000 but told its sister organisation, the European Space Agency (ESA), that the young whizzkid had got it right.

The schoolboy took into consideration the risk of Apophis running into one or more of the 40 000 satellites orbiting Earth during its path close to the planet on April 13 2029.

Those satellites travel at 3,07 kilometres a second (1,9 miles), at up to 35 880 kilometres above earth — and the Apophis asteroid will pass by earth at a distance of 32 500 kilometres.

If the asteroid strikes a satellite in 2029, that will change its trajectory making it hit earth on its next orbit in 2036. — AFP.

PING-PONG — Japan’s Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and China’s President Hu Jintao are to bond over a game of table tennis, Kyodo news agency said on Tuesday, in a move reminiscent of the ping-pong diplomacy that helped thaw ties between the United States and China in the 1970s.

Hu, expected to arrive next month on the first visit by a Chinese president in a decade, is likely to face Fukuda across the ping-pong table in Tokyo on May 8 at Waseda University, the agency said, citing unidentified sources. — Reuters.



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