New species of flying frog discovered in Vietnam

Updated 15 January 2013
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New species of flying frog discovered in Vietnam

SYDNEY: An Australian researcher who discovered a new species of flying frog near Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and named it after her mother said yesterday it was a rare find so close to such a big city. Helen’s Flying Frog was first discovered by Jodi Rowley, an amphibian expert from Sydney’s Australian Museum, in 2009 during a field trip to the forests fringing the city previously known as Saigon.
Rowley initially thought the tree-dwelling flying frog, so named for the huge webbed feet that allow it to glide or parachute across the forest canopy, was a familiar species when she saw it sitting on a log beside a path. It was not until a later trip, when she saw a specimen of the original type of frog in another part of Vietnam, that she realized her creature was something quite different.
“The new species has a bright white belly and white whites of the eyes, whereas the species that I thought it was — its closest relative — has a lemon yellow belly and yellow whites of the eyes,” Rowley told AFP. “There’s also differences in the color of the webbing, color of the thighs, and we did look at body type as well so it does seem to be bigger than the other species.”
Molecular analysis confirmed Rowley’s suspicions and she had the honor of naming the new species rhacophorus helenae or Helen’s Flying Frog after her mother, who had recently been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.


Japan worker’s pay docked for taking lunch 3 minutes early

Updated 21 June 2018
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Japan worker’s pay docked for taking lunch 3 minutes early

TOKYO: A Japanese city official has been reprimanded and fined for repeatedly leaving his desk during work hours — but only for around three minutes to buy lunch.
The official, who works at the waterworks bureau in the western city of Kobe, began his designated lunch break early 26 times over the space of seven months, according to a city spokesman.
“The lunch break is from noon to 1 pm. He left his desk before the break,” the spokesman said on Thursday.
The official, 64, had half a day’s pay docked as punishment and the bosses called a news conference to apologize.
“It’s deeply regrettable that this misconduct took place. We’re sorry,” a bureau official told reporters, bowing deeply.
The worker was in violation of a public service law stating that officials have to concentrate on their jobs, according to the bureau.
The news sparked a heated debate on Japanese social media, with many defending the official.
“It’s sheer madness. It’s crazy. What about leaving your desk to smoke?” said one Twitter user.
“Is this a bad joke? Does this mean we cannot even go to the bathroom?” said another.
The city had previously suspended another official in February for a month after he had left his office numerous times to buy a ready-made lunch box during work hours.
The official was absent a total of 55 hours over six months, according to the city.