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World Newsbits for January 8,2014

AFTER 20 YEARS, BOSTON HAS NEW MAYOR

BOSTON (AP) — One political era ended and a new one began Monday as Martin Walsh was sworn in as the city’s mayor, succeeding Thomas Menino, Boston’s longest-serving chief executive, who retired after more than two decades in office. “I will listen. I will learn. I will lead,” Walsh said in his inaugural address at Boston College, his alma mater. The former Democratic state representative and onetime labor leader called Boston a city of courage, of champions and of big dreams, noting that he was once just a kid from the city’s Dorchester neighborhood and joking that even his mother was surprised at how far he had come. Walsh, 46, outlined a series of broad policy goals, including improving public safety and ending “senseless gun violence.”

OLIVE OIL FREES NAKED MAN

SYDNEY (AP) — A naked Australian man who became stuck in a washing machine as part of an ill-planned practical joke was freed from the appliance with the help of an unusual rescue device: olive oil. The man, identified only as “Laurence,” told Australia’s Fairfax Radio that he was on his way to take a shower on Saturday when he decided to climb into the top-loader. He then realized he couldn’t budge and yelled out to his friend for help, who called the police. Rescuers tried in vain to pull Laurence from the machine, and eventually grabbed a bottle of his favorite olive oil to help lubricate his escape.

INTEL ASSURANCE

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Intel says all its processors this year will be made from minerals that don’t hail from mines held by armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It’s the first major US technology company to make such a claim. It’s the fruit of four years of work by the company to determine the sources of four crucial metals widely used in electronics manufacturing: tantalum, tungsten, tin and gold. Eastern Congo is rich in minerals, and other economic activity has been disrupted by nearly two decades of fighting between the government, rogue soldiers and different ethnic groups.

CHICAGO GUNS

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge has potentially opened a new market to gun dealers after ruling that Chicago ordinances banning the sale of guns within the city’s limits in an effort to reduce gun violence are unconstitutional. US District Judge Edmond E. Chang said Monday that while the government has a duty to protect its citizens, it’s also obligated to protect constitutional rights, including the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. However, Chang said he would temporarily stay the effects of his ruling, meaning the ordinances can stand while the city decides whether to appeal.

PANDA PHOTO-OP

WASHINGTON (DPA) — Bao Bao, the female giant panda cub at the National Zoo in Washington, had her first photo op on Monday. Photographers normally assigned to shoot static pictures of politicians got a sneak peak of the cute 4-and-a-half-month-old cub in her habitat while Mei Xiang, her mother, looked on, munching on bamboo. Bao Bao, whose name in Chinese means precious, at one point tumbled a short distance while trying to climb. But Laurie Thompson, a biologist at the zoo, said panda cubs are covered in fluffy fur and are used to taking tumbles without hurting themselves. Bao Bao went back to sleep after her media debut.