x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Spanish cops release criminal - on basis of fax from wife

A Spanish convict is ordered released from jail – by a fax sent by his wife. And other news you can lose.

A fax ordering the release of a Spanish criminal turned out not to have been sent by court officers, but by the man's wife.

Jose Carlos Serna, who was facing kidnapping charges, was set free by police, who believed the message was genuine.

After a search of his home on the outskirts of Madrid, Serna, 57, was discovered hiding inside a hollowed-out sofa and taken back into custody.

Officials later admitted that Serna and his wife had also managed to pull off the same trick back in October.

Battle fatigue

A soldier caught using a maid to carry his field pack has been officially reprimanded.

The unnamed serviceman identified himself to his commander in the Singapore armed forces after a newspaper photograph showed him in uniform, followed by the domestic servant.

A spokesman for the country's ministry of defence said the recruit was beginning his basic military training and was "remorseful for his actions and realises that it was wrong".

Pyramid diet

Ancient Egyptians suffered from heart disease despite having a healthy diet, a new survey has revealed.

Scientists at the University of California carried out CT scans on the mummified remains of 52 Egyptians who lived as far back as 1981 BCE and discovered 42 showed signs of damage to heart and artery tissue.

Nearly one quarter of those who died before reaching the age of 40 had hardened arteries, a figure that rose to 60 per cent for those who were older.

Since ancient Egyptians had a diet that consisted largely of fruit, grains and lean meat, and they did not smoke, researchers say this adds to the evidence that much heart disease is hereditary rather than caused by an unhealthy lifestyle.

Trial marriage

A couple have returned from a four-month holiday trip whose start was delayed by some of Europe's worst snowstorms in decades.

After finally escaping from Munich airport, Stefan and Erika Svanstrom, from Stockholm, arrived in Perth, Australia, only to be evacuated because of massive bush fires.

The couple then arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand, in time for the 6.3-magnitude earthquake before arriving in Tokyo, yes, Tokyo, as the earthquake and tsunami struck.

Mr Svanstrom told reporters: "I know marriages have to endure some trials, but I think we have been through most of them."

Happy bunnies

A court battle over who has the exclusive right to sell chocolate rabbits has been won by the Swiss manufacturer Lindt and Spruengli.

After a six-year fight, an Austrian court has ruled against a rival company, which has been ordered to stop making similar rabbits.

The chocolate rabbit covered in gold foil is made for Easter and has a distinctive red ribbon and gold bell.

jlangton@thenational.ae