x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Husband puts his wife on terrorist watch list

The man who put his wife on a terrorist watch list, and other news you can lose.

An immigration officer who wanted to get rid of his wife added her name to a terrorist watch list to prevent her from flying home.

The man illegally accessed government databases in the United Kingdom to list his spouse as someone whose presence in the country was "not conducive to the public good".

As a result the woman was blocked from entering the UK for three years after leaving to visit her family in Pakistan.

When the husband applied for promotion, a routine security check on his family revealed the deception.

A spokesman for Britain's Home Office said the officer had been sacked for "gross misconduct".

 

A frogman who can't swim

A Libyan student sent to Italy to be trained as a frogman nearly drowned when it turned out he could not swim.

The government-funded course on underwater explosives detection and demolition accepted the application from a man who was thought to have been sent by the Libyan government. A report of the incident noted that the student was initially reluctant to get into the swimming pool where the training was taking place.

It added: "The instructor walked up to the student, put his mask on, shoved the regulator in his mouth and pushed him into the pool. The Libyan student sank like a stone, spit out his regulator and swallowed a great deal of water."

A complaint to the Libyan government brought a response that: "It was the responsibility of the Italian government to ensure that candidates for its training programmes were properly qualified, and that the Italians should have taught him how to swim."

 

Frogs who can chew

Frogs are developing teeth on their lower jaw that had previously disappeared in over 200 million years of evolution.

The tree-dwelling Gastrotheca guentheri frogs live on the slopes of the Andes in Colombia and Ecuador.

Scientists from Stony Brook University in New York have concluded that the frogs began to regrow the teeth at some point in the past 20 million years.

The discovery is important because the laws of evolutionary science hold that once a physical characteristic has been lost it cannot reappear.

 

Fishing for space junk

Japan plans to clear space junk in orbit around Earth using a giant fishing net.

Fears that man-made debris from previous launches could damage or even destroy satellites and space craft have prompted the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to find a solution.

The net, which will be several miles wide when unfurled, will be launched into space and then charged with an electromagnetic field.

Once it has orbited for several weeks, it will re-enter the atmosphere, burning up along with the junk it has swept up.

jlangton@thenational.ae