Customs finds 70 finches in hair rollers

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Authorities say a passenger arriving from Guyana had the songbirds in a duffel bag. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)
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Live finches are seen concealed within hair rollers following passenger inspection at John F. Kennedy Airport. (US Customs and Border Protection via Reuters)
Updated 13 December 2018
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Customs finds 70 finches in hair rollers

  • Customs officers have seized about 184 finches this year

NEW YORK: Customs officials at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport say they found 70 live finches hidden inside hair rollers.
Authorities say a passenger arriving from Guyana on Saturday had the songbirds in a duffel bag.
The New York Times reports officials believe the birds were brought to the US to participate in singing contests. Customs officials say people bet on how many times the finches chirp, and a winning male finch can sell for up to $10,000.
The birds were turned over to veterinarians to the US Agriculture Department, and the passenger was sent back to Guyana.
US Customs and Border Protection says bird smuggling could threaten agriculture through the possible spread of diseases such as bird flu.
Customs officers have seized about 184 finches this year.


Ethiopia’s capital to ban motorbikes in bid to curb crime spree

Updated 19 June 2019
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Ethiopia’s capital to ban motorbikes in bid to curb crime spree

  • Addis Ababa Mayor Takele Uma said motorbikes had been used in recent crimes and the city would prohibit them from July 7
  • Takele Uma said the Addis Ababa municipal administration will also impose a ban on trips by most freight vehicles in the city during daytime

ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa plans to ban motorcycles in the city from July in a bid to curb a spree of muggings and robberies, local authorities said on Wednesday.
Addis Ababa Mayor Takele Uma said motorbikes had been used in recent crimes and the city would prohibit them from July 7 though people using bikes for business may be exempt.
“Exceptions will be made to those conducting licensed businesses with motorcycles as well as those who use motorcycles as postal carriers and motorcycles affiliated to embassies,” the mayor told journalists.
Addis Ababa, a city of an estimated five million, is generally considered safe for residents and foreigners. But a growing number of violent crimes involving suspects on motorbikes or in cars has caused alarm.
The mayor said the proposed ban came after a study of criminal activities in the city found a significant number were carried out using motorcycles.
Takele said the Addis Ababa municipal administration will also impose a ban on trips by most freight vehicles in the city during daytime to alleviate traffic congestion in the capital.