Notes and shorts from around the world


Fat chance
A healthy 32-year-old man was offered a Covid vaccination last month because his National Health Service files recorded him as being 6.2cm tall – and morbidly obese. Liam Thorp, of Liverpool, UK, who is in fact 6ft 2in (1.88m) and weighs 111.13kg, said he was surprised to be offered the jab months ahead of schedule. So he checked with his local GP surgery, and discovered that as a result of being listed as 6.2cm tall, the system mistakenly believed he had a body mass index of 28,000 – or around 1,000 times the national average.
World radio online
A non-profit website and app that enables listeners to tune into radio stations all over the world has had a surge in users, as people confined to their own countries in lockdown have found new ways to explore other cultures. Radio Garden has a map of the world, covered in 30,000 dots, each representing a station. Click on a dot, and it tunes you into the station. “People should be able to get lost and use their ears to paint a picture of the location,” said one of its founders.
TV reporter robbed
As if to call attention to Ecuador’s notoriously high crime rate, a sports reporter and his crew filmed themselves being robbed last week in the middle of a football report. Diego Ordinola, a journalist for DirecTV Sports, was filming outside the Isidro Romero Carbo Monumental Stadium in Guayaquil, home to Barcelona SC, when he was accosted by a masked man holding a revolver. In footage later posted online and viewed around the world, Ordinola is seen pleading with the man to be allowed to get on with his job, but the robber flicks his microphone away and points his gun at the camera operator. He then seizes a mobile phone belonging to one of the camera crew and makes his escape.
Seen but not heard
Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party announced last week that it would be inviting more female politicians to attend its board meetings – but they will be asked not to talk, and only to submit written comments later. Currently, there are only two women on the board of the LDP, which has dominated Japanese politics since 1955. Last week, LDP member and former PM Yoshiro Mori resigned as chief of the Tokyo Olympics after claiming women talked too much in meetings.
Bons mots
“It seems to me that many embrace the profession of politics not only without political convictions, but without seeing that it is proper that they should entertain them.” – Anthony Trollope, English novelist and post office official


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