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Stampede tragedy

Six schoolchildren died in a stampede yesterday at a primary school in the southern Chinese city of Kunming, authorities said.

It wasn't clear what caused the stampede. Also yesterday a man fatally stabbed four students on their way to elementary school in the neighbouring province. Police were searching for the suspect.

Food fingerprints

The Venezuelan government has started to fingerprint shoppers at some state-run supermarkets, in a plan to combat food shortages which has been derided by some consumers weary of shortages.

Shoppers have struggled for more than a year to find basic goods including powdered milk and cooking oil, as well as certain medicines and diapers.

Currency controls implemented by the late President Hugo Chavez mean importers do not have the US dollars required for imports.

Chicken ransom

POLICE in Idaho are seeking a truck driver who held 37,000 pounds of frozen chicken for ransom demanding money for expenses before he let it rot at a truck stop in Montana where it is releasing putrid odours and liquids.

The refrigerated semi-trailer containing the chicken was to arrive in Washington state last month.

The shipment was arranged by an Idaho trucking firm that got into a dispute with its driver, who tried to extort money to deliver the load before abandoning it.

Mammoth sale

The skeleton of an Ice Age woolly mammoth is up for sale - and it could fetch up to €290,000 when it goes under the hammer.

The rare prehistoric find is residing at Summers Place Auctions in Billinghurst, West Sussex, after a private collector from Eastern Europe asked the firm to sell it on his behalf.

Law is an ass

Two amorous donkeys who were separated because of an outcry over their lovemaking have been reunited at a zoo in Poland. Napoleon and Antosia, who have been together for 10 years, got into trouble when mothers expressed outrage that children had to witness their mating.

Local conservative official Lydia Dudziak took up their cause and persuaded the director of the Poznan zoo to have the animals put in separate pens.

That prompted nearly 7,000 people to sign a petition to have the couple reunited once again in the popular zoo .

Irish Independent