Delhi officials ask ex-007 Brosnan to explain Indian ad

Former 007 star Pierce Brosnan has been asked to explain why he features in a commercial for an Indian mouth freshener linked to chewing tobacco. (Screenshot)
Updated 15 February 2018
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Delhi officials ask ex-007 Brosnan to explain Indian ad

NEW DELHI: Former 007 star Pierce Brosnan has been asked to explain why he features in a commercial for an Indian mouth freshener linked to chewing tobacco, Delhi authorities said Wednesday.
Health officials in the Indian capital said they had issued a show cause notice requiring Brosnan justify his starring in a James Bond-style ad dating back to 2016 for pan masala — a mixture of betel nut, spices and sometimes tobacco.
The adverts for Indian TV channels, newspapers and billboards showed a bearded Brosnan grappling with villains and flirting with beautiful women before revealing a can of pan masala, a twist that invited ridicule at the time.
But local authorities remain less than impressed, insisting the ads are still at large and warning the 64-year-old Irish actor he could be violating Indian laws against tobacco advertising.
“We saw Pierce Brosnan’s posters advertising Pan Bahar (a pan masala brand) at tobacco shops in Delhi in the last fortnight,” S.K Arora, a health department officer with the Delhi government, told AFP.
Arora said authorities had reached out to Brosnan through Pan Bahar, the pan masala company in question and “even directly on his Twitter account” — but had not heard back.
Brosnan could face a fine of 5000 rupees ($78) or up to two years in jail if he did not answer within 10 days, Arora added.
The makers of Pan Bahar insist their product does not contain nicotine, but many pan masala mixtures in India designed to freshen breath and aid digestion contain tobacco along with pastes, areca nut and spices.
Arora said chewing tobacco had been linked to cancer and millions of Indians chewed pan masala every day. The distinct mixture leaves lurid red stains on the mouth after being chewed or when it is spat out.


Rubbish-collecting crows a star attraction at French theme park

Updated 16 August 2018
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Rubbish-collecting crows a star attraction at French theme park

  • The birds have been picking up litter on the site that features shows and rides themed around different periods of history
  • The black rooks were chosen for their intelligence and have been trained to take small items of litter to a special wooden box

PUY-DU-FOU, France: Visitors to a theme park in western France this week have a new attraction to enjoy: six crows that have been specially trained to pick up cigarette ends and rubbish.
The birds have been in action since Monday at the Puy du Fou park, picking up litter on the site that features shows and rides themed around different periods of history.
The black rooks, a member of the crow family, were chosen for their intelligence and have been trained to take small items of litter to a special wooden box in exchange for a tasty nugget of bird food for each deposit.
There have been some instances of cheating, however, with some of the crows attempting to steal rubbish from others to win the rewards.
“It’s ecological, it’s practical and it’s fun to see,” Swiss tourist Dorothee Haefliger told AFP.
The managers of the park say the experiment is designed to make visitors more aware about litter.
“We can see litter here on the car park and the crows are picking it up,” Christophe Gaborit, who is in charge of falconry at the park, told AFP.
He stood holding the wooden box and dispensing the bird food for each piece of collected rubbish.
“That’s not normal. It’s up to us, humans, to take care of it. That’s the ultimate message,” he added.
He said that he had always loved rooks, adding that they are under-appreciated birds.
“People see it differently, so that makes me happy,” he said. “We’ve changed its image and that’s really interesting.”