Van Gogh theft leads to 11 negligence charges
Eleven employees of Egypt’s culture ministry have been found guilty of negligence after a Van Gogh painting was stolen in broad daylight last August, the BBC reported. An Egyptian court sentenced all the employees, including Deputy Culture Minister Mohsen Shalan, to three years in jail, but pending an appeal. Bail was set at $1,750. Before the theft of the “Vase and Flowers” painting, which is worth more than $50 million, the museum had reduced its security down to one guard much of the time due to budget cuts. Furthermore, many museum officials were aware that none of the museum’s alarms and seven of its 43 cameras were functional, prompting the negligence charges.
Philips bear-ing the burden of controversial ad
Dutch electronics company Philips is under investigation and may be facing a fine of up to $1,000 US after a marketing campaign video of a bear rummaging through a suburban garbage can in Singapore sparked an uproar. The poor-quality clip, which only lasts about 10 seconds, seemed to suggest a bear was roaming residential areas. This prompted animal protection, wildlife reserve and zoo officials to search the streets, the latter with a tranquilizer gun. The bear was actually a man in costume and the video was posted on social media sites as a marketing campaign for a new razor. Philips has since apologized, but may still face a “public nuisance” fine.
University tuition cap may be removed in UK
Sound familiar? Students and some government officials are opposing U.K. deputy prime minister Nick Clegg’s decision to support a review of university tuition regulation, after a proposal that lifting the tuition cap could help Britain’s deficit. Universities should have the ability to charge unlimited fees, with government support contributing a maximum of Â£7,000 a year. The current tuition is Â£3,290, ($5,314 CND) and the proposed changes would cost students Â£21,000 ($33,920 CND) for a three-year degree. This more than doubling of tuition would help universities alleviate costs as, according to a BBC report, the government will likely be cutting Â£3.2 billion in teaching grants, or around 79 per cent, to help alleviate government deficit. Students, universities and even members of Britain’s coalition government have already expressed their dissatisfaction. A British think tank has also just released a report saying increased tuition could seriously limit student participation in more expensive courses like law or medicine.
“Vampires’ arrested after stabbing roommate for blood
Two Arizona residents were arrested last week after they stabbed their roommate in an attempt to drink his blood. The 25-year-old victim phoned police after being stabbed in the arm claiming that his two roommates, both admitted practicians of vampireism and paganism, were angry he refused to let them suck his blood. The two offenders first denied all claims, but later confessed to the story and were charged by police, one for aggravated assault and the other for false reporting. The victim, who admitted to having let them drink his blood in the past, was also charged based for violating probation.