Russia on Thursday announced the death at 103 of veteran Soviet spy Alexei Botyan, whom it hailed as a hero for “saving” the Polish city of Krakow from the Nazis, although Poland disputes Moscow’s version of events. Russia’s SVR military intelligence agency said Botyan, who lived in Moscow, had died after turning 103 on Monday. Russian President Vladimir utin expressed condolences. AFP
Banksy artwork to be auctioned for Aus bushfire relief
Sydney: An original artwork by Banksy, the acclaimed anonymous British street artist, will be auctioned in Australia to raise money for bushfire relief, it was reported on Thursday. As the extensive bushfire recovery effort begins, art collectors, Sandra Powell and Andrew King from Melbourne saw the opportunity to put their lifelong passion for practical good, reports Xinhua news agency. IANS
250-yr-old family-run inn awarded UK’s Pub of the Year
London: The Bell Inn in the English village of Aldworth, Berkshire, which has been run by the same family for 250 years, was named the UK’s Pub of the Year for a second time. The only pub in the county of Berkshire with an official Grade-II listed (buildings that are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them) interior, the Bell Inn was named the best in the country this time for its strong community focus, relaxed ambience and great beer. IANS
Islamabad High Court bans corporal punishment islamabad: A top Pakistani court on Thursday suspended corporal punishment by parents, guardians and teachers in Islamabad, the country’s capital. After hearing a petition filed by musician and rights activist Shehzad Roy, the Islamabad High Court suspended till further notice section 89 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which allows corporal punishment, the Dawn News reported.