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New York drink ban opposed

ABOUT half of New Yorkers oppose the city mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to ban sugary drinks over 16oz from sale in city eateries.

Of the 500 adults surveyed for the NY1-Marist poll, 53pc said the proposal is a bad idea, while 42pc praised the concept -- which would make New York the first American city to so directly attempt to limit portion sizes in an attempt to fight obesity.

Up to 45pc of those polled said they think the ban would help people lose weight, while 52pc said it wouldn't make a difference.

Iraq bomb kills 13, injures 50

IRAQI officials say a car bomb went off near two government offices in Baghdad, killing at least 13 people and wounding more than 50.

Police say the explosives-rigged car was parked near an office for Shi'ite Muslim religious affairs and the city's health department in the Bab al-Muadham area.

Yesterday's explosion damaged nearby buildings and cars. It occurred at about 11am.

Kidnapped UK man released

A BRITISH tourist has been released unharmed by Kurdish rebels who kidnapped him in Turkey's south east and held him hostage for nearly two days.

The UK Foreign Office confirmed the abduction and the release of the man.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency identified the man as James Masami Miyazaki-Ross. It says he was freed today near the town of Genc, about 25 miles north of where he was kidnapped. The man was travelling on a passenger bus when he was abducted by the rebels on Saturday night.

Ghost hunters in Saudi clinic

THE dingy corridors and gloomy wards of a long-abandoned Saudi Arabian hospital have drawn hundreds of amateur ghost hunters who believe it to be haunted by jinn, the malevolent spirits of the Koran and Arabian mythology.

The macabre fascination with Riyadh's Irqa Hospital, which treated Gulf War combatants in 1991, began with tweeted rumours and escalated to the point where hundreds of youths broke into the grounds, smashing windows and starting fires.