Best of Web: Ghost trees of Pakistan...

The ghost trees of Pakistan


KARACHI: Millions of spiders have crawled into trees in Pakistan to escape flood waters, shrouding them with their silky webs.

The eye-catching phenomenon is an unexpected side-effect of last year's flooding which claimed the lives of almost 2,000 people.

However, since the monsoon weather devastated the nation last July, much of the water has still not yet receded.

The tiny insects have sought refuge amongst the trees weaving beautifully intricate webs between the leaves.

The branches are now so cocooned in spiders webs it gives the appearance of them being shrouded in a large net.

People in this part of Sindh, in south eastern Pakistan, near Karachi, have never seen this phenomenon before, but locals are reporting that there are now fewer mosquitos than they would expect, given the amount of stagnant, standing water that is around.

It is thought that the mosquitos are getting caught in the spiders web and reducing the risk of malaria, benefiting local people.
The 2010 Pakistan floods began in last July following heavy monsoon rains in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan regions of Pakistan.

About one-fifth of Pakistan's total land area was underwater, affecting about 20 million people whose homes, livelihoods and infrastructure was destroyed.
Lost siblings reunited on internet


London: A 47-year-old man in Britain has reportedly been reunited with his sister after more than 35 years, all thanks to the Internet.

George Bentley of London got reunited with his 42-year -old sister Sarah Kemp, who now stays in Edinburgh, after they met via a dating website; she travelled to the British capital to meet him after exchanging emails for three months.

In fact, they only realised they were related while chatting about their childhood years over a pub dinner. They were born in Kent, but were separated when their mother and father split in 1975, the 'Daily Express' reported.

Sarah, who was six at the time, joined her mother in Edinburgh and George, 11, went to east London with his father. They tried to search for each other as adults but had no luck. George, a builder from East Ham, east London, did not know his sister had married and changed her name.

Sarah, a cleaner said: "Can you imagine the surprise, joy and embarrassment we both felt? It was such a crazy thing. We had so much in common and really enjoyed each other's company. It was as if we had known each other all our lives."
Prince William asks for special wedding cake


BRITAIN: Prince William and Kate Middleton chose a traditional fruit cake to celebrate their wedding, with a second at the reception to feature a chocolate cookie creation based on a special royal recipe.

The multi-tiered wedding cake, commissioned from luxury British baker Fiona Cairns, will feature cream and white icing, while the cake for the Buckingham Palace reception will be made by UK cookie company McVitie's - which, despite selling its everyday products in stores throughout the country, began in 1893 a long history of making treats for royal celebrations.

Cairns, who started her business 25 years ago on her kitchen table, will also add a delicate floral motif to the cake with the Joseph Lambeth technique, which uses intricate piping to create 3D decorations.

It was understood that Prince William specifically requested the chocolate cake, which will be made from a recipe held by the royal family. Details of its decoration were not immediately available.

The wedding will take place at London's Westminster Abbey on April 29.
Father who 'died' for 45 minutes brought back


UK: A father who 'died' for 45 minutes was brought back from the dead after his body was frozen for two-and-a-half days.

Doctors feared roofer Matt Fox would be left seriously brain damaged after his heart stopped beating for three-quarters-of-an-hour.

But the actions of his quick-witted fiancee Jane Bracey, who gave him cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and hospital staff who placed him in an ice suit to cool his body down, kept him alive.

Now, four months later, the 47-year-old father-of-one is fighting fit and ready to return to his job as a roofer at Tonbridge School.

Fox, who has a hereditary heart condition, said: 'I know I was very, very lucky.

'I feel really good now and can't wait to get back to work. I'm really looking forward to it.'

'The only things I'm not allowed to do are bungee jumping, tobogganing or rugby - anything which could cause impact.

'Jane was amazing when it happened, I still can't believe it.' 

She was so amazing, in fact, that Fox ended up proposing to her from his intensive care unit bed. The couple are due to marry next year.

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