Castaway sues Princess Cruises
A Panamanian fisherman who survived 28 days adrift in the Pacific earlier this year and watched two companions die is suing the owners of a cruise ship that sailed past. Adrian Vasquez has filed a lawsuit in Florida alleging negligence by Princess Cruises, his lawyer said. The American cruise company has said it deeply regrets that one of its ships sailed past the dying men. Passengers said they spotted the castaways and alerted staff, but the firm said the captain was not informed.
Public holidays scrapped
The government has decided to scrap four of its 14 public holidays in the hope of improving competitiveness and boosting economic activity. All Saints Day on November 1st and Corpus Christi, which falls 60 days after Easter, October 4th, the anniversary of the formation of the Portuguese Republic in 1910; and December 1st, which marks Portuguese independence from Spanish rule in 1640 - will be suspended for five years from 2013. The decision over which Catholic festivals to cut was negotiated with the Vatican.
Hailstorm kills 40
Forty people were killed when a brief but violent hailstorm swept through a mountainous region of northwest China last week. A local government official said 18 are still missing in Min county in Gansu province, while 87 had been sent to hospital. He said 29,300 people were evacuated after rain and hail battered the county for just an hour.
Since May 8th hailstorms have struck the province, affecting 3.42 million people. About 64,000 people have been relocated to safer areas and 7,600 houses have collapsed.