Seven days

Sat, May 12, 2012, 01:00

A glance at the week that was

The numbers

9,388The number of new private cars licensed last month, a decrease of 16 per cent on the figures for April last year.

540Number of jobs that Aviva plans to cut. This is down from the 750 previously threatened.

1%Predicted growth of the Irish economy next year, according to Ibec.

7The percentage of the Greek electorate who voted for Chryssi Avghi (Golden Dawn), a neo-Nazi party.

€4.4bnThe net loss posted by Sony for its fiscal year just ended.

€67mAmount paid at auction for Mark Rothko’s Orange, Red, Yellow on Tuesday, a record for any contemporary artwork.

22%The increase in sales of Irish whiskey in the US last year.

Most read on irishtimes.com

1 Five stars? I don’t f*****g think so

2 Police in Perth to seek help from GAA clubs

3 Nama houses in 80% price drop

4 Still Shades of the old Keane edge

5 Evil, militant anti-Christian secularism is simply a myth

6 Barber clips €30,000 off home at auction

7 Man held over Cork road race

8 Toddler unfazed by hungry lioness

9 Welcome to Lowryland

10 Nama unveils new scheme in bid to boost homes market

Rankings calculated from May 4th to 11th

We now know

A sixth of cancers are caused by largely treatable or preventable infections.

The underwear bomb in the latest foiled al-Qaeda plot was undetectable by airport security.

Google’s driverless cars are legal in Nevada.

Baby powder with a bad smell

There’s more than a hint of Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal about the gruesome story that Chinese drug capsules containing the powdered remains of deceased babies were being smuggled into South Korea. The Korean customs service said that it had discovered 35 attempts to smuggle the capsules over the past few months and seized about 17,450 capsules. The smugglers claimed that the drugs were stamina boosters and that they were unaware of their true contents.

There is still a widespread superstition among the Korean-Chinese community that ingesting the remains of babies can cure a range of diseases. Chinese officials said they would again investigate the claims, after an investigation last year found no proof that such powder was being made.

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