Running on vapors, literally, in hard pressed Cuba

Updated 25 April 2013
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Running on vapors, literally, in hard pressed Cuba

HAVANA: It’s a wonder they move at all — the big old Chevrolets and other American jalopies from the 1950s and 60s that ply the potholed streets of Cuba. Now, ingenious Cubans have rigged them to run on propane and Cuban police are cracking down, out of fear there are “rolling bombs” on the country’s roads, the official newspaper Granma reported Tuesday.
The jimmy rig is done because gasoline is so expensive — nearly $6.50 a gallon, payable in dollars, in a country where the average monthly wage is around 20 dollars. Propane gas, used for cooking and heating, is subsidized and much cheaper. In 2011, 57 cars fashioned to run on gas were detected. Last year the number went up to 124.
And just through April 16 of this year, it stands at 110 already. “At this rate the figure could quadruple, with the danger that carries with it,” said Roberto Rodriguez Fernandez of the National Traffic Directorate. “It is essential to keep one of these rolling bombs from exploding,” he told the newspaper. He said most of the fuel-switching was being done in Havana and with the big old American gunboats that are used as privately owned taxis.


‘Mini-Me’ actor Verne Troyer dead at 49

Updated 23 April 2018
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‘Mini-Me’ actor Verne Troyer dead at 49

LOS ANGELES: Verne Troyer, best known for his role as Mini-Me in the “Austin Powers” movies, died Saturday. He was 49.

While no cause of death was given, a statement on the actor’s social media accounts said he had gone through a “recent time of adversity” and alluded to suicide and depression as “serious issues.”

“Over the years he’s struggled and won, struggled and won, struggled and fought some more, but unfortunately this time was too much,” it added.

Troyer, who lived in Los Angeles, was taken to hospital early this month for unspecified treatment. The actor spoke about his alcohol addiction during another hospital stay a year ago.

One of the world’s shortest men at just two feet eight inches (81 centimeters) due to achondroplasia dwarfism, according to reports, Troyer was born in 1969 in Sturgis, Michigan.