Oman supermarket manager sacks employee for insulting Kerala flood victims

The death toll is close to 400 and rising, but there are also hundreds of thousands of people who have been evacuated, while others are yet to be reached by rescue crews. (AFP/Files)
Updated 21 August 2018

Oman supermarket manager sacks employee for insulting Kerala flood victims

  • Hundreds of people have died in the floods that have devastated entire areas of Kerala
  • The man was responding to an offer to send help to flood victims when he posted the insults

DUBAI: A supermarket manager in Oman sacked a cashier after they posted insulting comments about the Kerala flood victims on social media, national daily, Times of Oman reported.

The cashier – who is also from Kerala - was replying to a post on Facebook in which someone had asked about sending supplies to the worst hit areas of the southern Indian state.

At least 400 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been displaced in the floods that have devastated vast areas of the Indian state.

The man’s comments – which the newspaper described as “insulting” – caused a backlash, with people slamming the man for his insensitivity.

Eventually his post was spotted by his employers and a letter was sent, announcing his termination from the company, the report added.

“This is to inform you that we have terminated you from services with immediate effect because of your highly insensitive and derogatory comments on social media with regard to the current flood situation in Kerala, India,” the letter stated.

The man has since tried to apologize, claiming in a video he posted on Facebook that he was intoxicated from unspecified substances.

He said in this video: “I apologize to everyone in Kerala. Because of my foolishness, a mistake happened on my behalf. I request everyone to forgive me. After that comment, my friends and others have been abusing me on Facebook.”

But is it art? Pranksters plant missing ‘Picasso’ in Romania

Updated 44 min 43 sec ago

But is it art? Pranksters plant missing ‘Picasso’ in Romania

  • Writer was the victim of a ‘performance’ by two Belgian directors in Antwerp
  • Supposed tip-off was part of a project called ‘True Copy’ dedicated to the notorious Dutch forger Geert Jan Jansen

THE HAGUE: A writer who thought she had found a painting by Pablo Picasso stolen in an infamous art heist six years ago said Sunday she was the victim of a “publicity stunt,” Dutch media reported.
Picasso’s “Harlequin Head” was one of seven celebrated paintings snatched from the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam in 2012 during a daring robbery local media dubbed “the theft of the century.”
The artworks by Picasso, Monet, Gauguin, Matisse and Lucian Freud have not been seen since.
But Dutch writer Mira Feticu, who wrote a novel based on the brazen heist, thought she had uncovered the piece after she was sent an anonymous letter around 10 days ago “with instructions regarding the place where the painting was hidden” in Romania.
Feticu, of Romanian origin, said the tip-off led her to a forest in the east of the country where she dug up an artwork wrapped in plastic.
Romanian authorities, who were handed the canvas on Saturday night, said that it “might be” Picasso’s painting, which is estimated to be worth €800,000 ($915,000).
However, on Sunday night Feticu told the Dutch public broadcaster NOS that she was the victim of a “performance” by two Belgian directors in Antwerp.
Feticu said she received an email from the Belgian duo explaining that the letter was part of a project called “True Copy,” dedicated to the notorious Dutch forger Geert Jan Jansen, whose fakes flooded the art collections of Europe and beyond until he was caught in 1994.
“Part of this performance was prepared in silence in the course of the past few months, with a view to bringing back Picasso’s ‘Tete d’Arlequin’,” Bart Baele and Yves Degryse wrote on their website.
Their production company “currently wishes to abstain from any comment” because it first wants to speak to Feticu, the statement said.
“We will be back with more details on this issue within the next few days.”
Four Romanians were jailed in 2014 for the heist and ordered to pay €18 million ($20.5 million at today’s rates) to the work’s insurers.
One of the group, Olga Dogaru, told investigators she had burned the paintings in her stove in the sleepy village of Carcaliu to protect her son, Radu, when he could not sell them. She later retracted the statement.
Investigators have previously said the paintings were destroyed after the thieves failed to find a buyer.
Specialists from Romania’s museum of natural history examined ashes from a stove in Dogaru’s home and found traces of at least three oil paintings, based on lead- and zinc-based pigments in blue, yellow, red and green that are no longer used, director Ernest Oberlaender-Tarnoveanu said.
The thieves had slipped into the Dutch museum during the night of October 15-16, 2012 and got away with the works which despite their value were not protected by alarms.