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Sept. 1, 2005 at 5:08 PM
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Moscow police nab naked robber

MOSCOW, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Moscow police have arrested a suspected naked robber accused of stopping women in a park and demanding their valuables.

Valery Martynov, 31, was naked and clutching a plastic bag containing his clothes when he was detained Sunday in a large, forested park in southwest Moscow, The Moscow Times reported Thursday.

Police arrested him after a woman called to say a naked man was watching her walk with her young child in the park, police spokeswoman Yevgenia Puzanova said Wednesday.

Martynov was convicted of staging a nude stickup in 2001 and was released from prison about a year ago. Police said he had stolen a cell phone from a woman after approaching her naked and threatening her with a handgun.

Police began receiving complaints in July about a naked robber. "If they weren't scared by the fact that he was naked, he would start yelling at them and threatening them," Puzanova said. "In some cases, he would choke them a little."

Ten women have complained of being mugged, and two of them have positively identified Martynov as the perpetrator.

"We believe there are probably more incidents, but a lot of women might be shy about reporting them," Puzanova said.

Company sued for calling Taiwan a country

SHANGHAI, China, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- A Chinese professor has filed suit against an international accounting firm in Shanghai for listing China and Taiwan as separate countries on its Web site.

Fudan University Professor Xie Baisan, an authority on finance and securities, filed suit against Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu CPA Ltd. in a Shanghai court Tuesday, claiming it had violated China's Anti-secession Law, Xinhua reported Thursday.

The court has seven days to decide if it will accept the case.

Xie said the listing on www.deloitte.com.cn insulted him as a Chinese citizen. He is seeking to have the company correct its mistake, make a public apology and compensate him $12,300 for his mental anguish.

"As an accounting firm that must be very precise and deals with the law every day, it's unforgivable for Deloitte to make such a mistake," Xie said.

After the suit was filed, Deloitte changed its country list in Chinese to indicate countries and "regions."

Shanghai lawyer Liu Chunquan said Xie was unlikely to win his case, as a private citizen could not properly file an action under the Anti-secession Law, and Xie would have difficulty demonstrating that he was harmed by Deloitte's action.

The law was passed in March to oppose a declaration of independence by Taiwan.

N.O. cabbie takes family to New York

NEW YORK, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- A New Orleans cab driver, eager to protect his family from Hurricane Katrina, drove two days to get them all the way to New York City.

Muhammad Munir, 42, his wife, Nyesha, 29, and 19-month-old Ambreen traveled more than 1,300 miles to safety in his black-and-white cab, the New York Post reported Thursday.

Muhammad drove some New Orleans evacuees to Houston, then realized he needed to move his family as conditions worsened. He asked a colleague to drive his wife and baby to Mississippi, where he met them, then headed up to Queens, where the family has friends.

A state senator helped get a hotel room for the exhausted Louisiana family.

Last Gauloise factory shuts down

LILLE, France, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Connoisseurs of Gauloise cigarettes may have puffed the last of the French-made pungent variety with the closure of the last factory making them in that country.

"We faced a fast-growing overcapacity due to declining sales," said Aneta Lazarevic, a spokeswoman for Altadis, which made the cigarette. "Just like all categories of food products, people seem to want a sweeter taste."

Closure of the factory in the northern industrial city of Lille will result in a loss of 447 jobs, the International Herald Tribune reported. The Gauloise cigarettes will now be made in a factory in Spain, but for the French it is the end of an era.

Gauloise cigarettes, which sport the winged helmet of the ancient French Gauls, were favored by Jean-Paul Sartre and Pablo Picasso, the report said.

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