x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

India's rich find a way to rise above the traffic

Plus tea grown in panda dung, a faith healing ceremony leaves a man dead and a dozen hospitalised, and other unusual and entertaining moments from the weekly news cycle in News You Can Lose.

India's millionaires are increasingly turning to helicopters to beat the country's traffic-congested roads.

Demand is so high that a new factory has been set up to build commuter helicopters for the super rich.

Indian Rotorcraft is a joint venture between Tata and Augusta Westland, with a production plant in Hyderabad that will be able to produce up to 30 helicopters a year from 2013.

"Business people are very keen to take helicopters now because it saves them a lot of time and it's also safer," an aviation expert told the Times of India.


One lump or two?

Tea grown in panda dung is to be marketed as the world's most expensive brew.

A Chinese businessman plans to grow the tea in manure from a nearby Giant Panda sanctuary in Sichuan province.

An Yanshi believes that his tea will fetch nearly Dh13,000 for 50g, equivalent to Dh780 for a single cup.

Mr Yanshi describe the pandas as "a machine that is churning out organic fertiliser".

The tea is even more expensive than coffee processed from the dung of Indonesian civet cats, which only reaches Dh550 for around half a kilo.


Not feeling the healing

A faith healing gathering in South Africa ended with one man dead and more than a dozen in intensive care.

Pastor Chris Oyakhilome had claimed he was able to perform miracles such as healing the paralysed before the gathering of 150,000 people at Cape Town Stadium - which has the capacity for less than half that number.

Reports said one man died of kidney failure, with 30 more treated at the stadium's medical centre and 16 sent to hospital.

"Pastor Chris" as he is known, is one of Nigeria's wealthiest preachers, with a fortune estimated at Dh175 million.


Toasting the happy couple

Unhappy at the bill for his wedding, a groom set fire to the hotel where his reception was being held.

Max Kay, 37, had argued about the Dh87,000 the venue claimed it was owed, then set fire to Peckforton Castle Hotel in England.

Around 100 firefighters were called to fight the blaze, which led to 120 people being evacuated.

Kay is said to have warned the hotel's finance director that "nobody crosses Max". He was sentenced to six years in prison for arson.


Hanging around at 101

Guinness World Records has recognised the feat of a woman who celebrated her 101st birthday by paragliding.

Mary Hardison, from Utah in the United States, says she normally prefers knitting but believes that elderly people should push themselves.

In a tandem paraglider with an instructor, she did a number of loops and spins.

Mrs Hardison said her motto is "be positive", adding: "Friend's don't like a grumpy person."