Baghdad taxi ride costs $5,100
BAGHDAD, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- The taxi ride from Baghdad airport to the heart of the city is believed to be the costliest in the world and is probably the most dangerous.
Small convoys of armored cars and Western gunmen charge about $5,100 for the 15-mile trip along the Qadisiyah Expressway, a stretch known for insurgent attacks and kidnappings, the BBC reported. That works out to $340 per mile.
The money gets two cars and four ex-military bodyguards, usually American, South African or British, armed with submachine guns, M-16 rifles and assault weapons.
The passenger rides in one vehicle at speeds averaging 100 mph, while another, called the "gun car," shadows the first car watching for potential attackers.
Since the resistance began, scores of vehicles have come under attack from car bombs, suicide attacks, snipers and rocket-propelled grenades.
Car parker wins top NY lottery prize
NEW YORK, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Juan Rodriguez, who parked cars at a New York City garage to earn about $10 to $12 an hour, is now worth $149 million after winning a Mega Millions jackpot.
Rodriguez, who recently declared bankruptcy, jumped into the air, hollering and sobbing and saying he's going to retire, Madan Lal, the seller of the winning ticket, told the New York Post.
The 49-year-old immigrant from Colombia won the largest single-winner lottery payout in New York lottery history, the Post said.
The computer picked the winning numbers 1-12-24-36-51 and the Mega Ball number, 38, to give Rodriguez's a "Quick Pick" Mega Millions jackpot-winning ticket.
Rodriguez said he wants to help his 90-year-old mother who is sick in Colombia with a heart condition, but he says his windfall "won't change my life too much."
Rodriguez is not his family's first lottery winner -- his father won the equivalent of $500,000 in a lottery 40 years ago, and one of his brothers won the lottery twice in Colombia.
World's oldest man dies at age 113
DEWITT, N.Y., Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Fred Hale Sr., believed to have been the oldest man on Earth, has died less than a month before his 114th birthday at a DeWitt, N.Y., nursing home.
Hale was raised on a farm in Maine and retired there 51 years ago after working as a railroad postal worker. He moved to the Syracuse, N.Y. area to be near his son, Fred Jr., when he was 109.
The oldest living man was a fan of the Boston Red Sox. Albert Tapper, a Boston-raised millionaire, had hoped to fly him to Fenway Park next spring to throw out the first ball in the season opener, the Syracuse (N.Y.) Post-Standard reported Sunday.
Born Dec. 1, 1890, Hale was listed by the Guinness Book of Records as being the world's oldest driver when he renewed his driver's license at the age of 104. He gave up driving four years ago and his grandson, Fred Hale III, said, "He probably should have given it up a little sooner," Sky News reported
The father of five is survived by nine grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren. He reportedly died in his sleep while recovering from a bout with pneumonia, Sky News said.
The world's oldest living man is now Hermann Dornemann of Germany, who is 111 years old.
Workers object to 'pee-poles'
SYDNEY, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- About 50 women workers at a Sydney call center are complaining they are forced to place "pee-poles" at their desks whenever they go to the bathroom.
The Australian Services Union said the workers at the P&O Cruises call center say the "pee-poles" are obtained from their bosses' offices in an apparent bid to monitor toilet breaks, reported the Sydney Daily Telegraph Sunday.
The management of the call center said the claims were ludicrous.
John Richardson, a spokesman for P&O, said workers had to take a pole and leave it on their desk if they took a paid tea break to let colleagues know they were on a break.
Richardson said there were no restrictions on toilet breaks.