ARGENTINA: Argentine authorities are probing a day-care scandal after parents put an iPod in their daughter's backpack to record what happened at the center.
What they found was shocking. The recording caught teachers shouting, swearing and repeatedly mistreating children who became so upset that they vomited.
At one point, a teacher threatens to take a child to the bathroom sink if the child doesn't stop crying. The teacher shouts, "Do you want to go to sink?! OK then, shut up! Shut up!"
Parents said Tuesday that may explain why their children suddenly were afraid of taking baths.
The newspaper La Nacion reported that inspectors found the "Tribilin" day-care center was ordered closed as an educational establishment in 1996, but kept operating for 17 years despite being registered only as a private "party house." (AP)
Fine dining meets fast food at McDonald's outlet
AUSTRALIA: Would you like a knife and fork with that?
In a world first, a McDonald's franchise in Australia is offering full table service for its dine-in customers, complete with china plates, glassware and metal utensils in place of the more usual paper boxes and plastic.
Meals are also brought to the table by waiters and waitresses, and diners can daintily dab their lips with cloth napkins after eating.
"It's very popular," store manager Michelle Steain told Reuters of the five-week trial service.
"Everyone seems to be loving it."
Glenn and Katia Dwarte, owners of the franchise in Warilla, about 100km south of Sydney, sought permission for the idea after their habit of serving Mr Dwarte's parents with cutlery and plates caught the attention of other diners.
The dine-in offer is open to customers who purchase premium meals between 5pm and 8pm each day.
This is not the first time that the Dwartes, who have owned the store for 20 years, have pioneered innovations for the fast food chain.
Last year, they caught the attention of McDonald's head office in Chicago after creating an iPhone app that allows customers to place an order and pay in advance before they arrive in store.
Dining-in is the second world first for McDonald's Australia after it last month temporarily changed signs at selected stores across the country to "Macca's", the affectionate local nickname for the chain. (Reuters)
Chinese friend rice record in Latin America
COSTA RICA: Members of Costa Rica's Chinese community celebrated the the arrival of the Year of the Snake by setting the world record Tuesday for the largest amount of fried rice ever cooked.
Briton Ralph Hannah, an inspector with the Guinness World Records, certified the win after putting the giant meal - enough to feed some 7,000 people - on a scale.
The official weight: 837 kilograms (1,845 pounds), which nearly doubles the previous record.
Armed with shovel-sized spoons, 52 cooks toiled over an enormous wok built especially for the event in San Jose's recently inaugurated Chinatown.
Some 735 kilograms of rice were used, along with 200 kilograms of chicken, 120 kilograms of ham, 20 kilograms of Chinese sausage, hundreds of eggs and vast amounts of chopped vegetables.
The Chinese Association of Costa Rica came up with the idea for the giant meal, said Godwin Pang, who helped coordinate the event.
Pang said the Chinese community wanted to mark the Year of the Snake, which began on Sunday, with a big event.
Most Chinese residents in Costa Rica are in the restaurant business. Chinese restaurants can be found even in small towns across this Central American country of 4.7 million.
Hannah, the Guinness representative for Latin America, said this was the first time that Costa Rica enters the world record book. (AFP)
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