- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 23, 2007

BRITAIN

Glastonbury festival rocks with mud

GLASTONBURY — The world’s biggest green field arts and music festival opened yesterday with a record 177,500 people braving rain and mud to hear British rockers Arctic Monkeys, Icelander Bjork and the haunting sound of Canadian band Arcade Fire.

The festival, in the heart of rural southwest England, is notorious for torrential downpours and mud baths. Rain throughout the day, interrupted by brief patches of sun, meant by evening the mud was deepening for Glastonbury 2007.

Michael Eavis, who turned his farm into a hippy musical haven in the 1970s, said the “weather could have been a lot worse” and so far he felt “very lucky.”

FRANCE

Towering corruption brings big fines

PARIS — Fifteen former workers at the Eiffel Tower, the world’s most-visited monument, received suspended jail sentences and fines yesterday for embezzling hundreds of thousands of euros from ticket sales.

The 12 women and three men were found guilty of breach of trust for taking advantage of weaknesses in the ticket office’s computer system to steal part of the sales revenues from 1996 to 2002. They were handed suspended sentences ranging from three months to one year and fines of between $2,700 to $13,500. They were also ordered to pay $940,000 to the company that manages the Eiffel Tower.

SOUTH AFRICA

Springbok emblem faces uncertain future

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa’s Springbok rugby team may have to be renamed if a proposal to scrap its famous emblem is adopted at an upcoming conference of the ruling African National Congress.

Delegates at the ANC’s policy conference, which begins Wednesday, will be asked whether they support the idea of having a depiction of the protea flower as the uniform emblem for all national sports teams.

If such a suggestion becomes law, the emblem of a leaping springbok — a small gazelle native to southern Africa — would have to be removed from the national team’s famous gold and green rugby shirts.

KENYA

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