A girl plays as she is surrounded by Muslims performing Eid al-Fitr prayers outside a mosque in Jakarta yesterday. Millions of people gathered at the mosques around Indonesia provinces to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

The New Yorker cartoons draw on financial crisis

Want the latest sign that the US financial crisis is crossing from Wall Street to Main Street? Let The New Yorker draw you a picture.

The weekly magazine of news, culture and wry pictorials on modern life and the upper class has devoted the cartoons in its October 6 issue to fallout from the crisis.

In one, a bank teller asks a customer from behind a bulletproof window, "Can I interest you in a faith-based account?"

Another depicts a woman at a cocktail party asking a thin-haired man wearing a pinstriped suit, "A banker, eh? Can you make a living at that?"

A third shows a group of well-heeled plutocrats around a table, as one exclaims, "For us, Main Street is Wall Street."

This is the first time The New Yorker, owned by publishing empire Conde Nast, has devoted all the cartoons excluding the cover and small space fillers to one theme, spokesperson Alexa Cassanos said.

Jobless German hands in cash, gold found by road

An unemployed construction worker found a package filled with €16,000 in cash and items of gold jewellery beside a busy German road - and turned it over to authorities, police said yesterday.

The 56-year-old father of a disabled son, whose family relies on state unemployment benefits of about €600 per month, spotted the large brown envelope while cycling along a road near Ermstedt in the eastern state of Thuringia, a police spokesman said.

"The money would have been like a gift from heaven for me," the finder, Thomas Liedtke, was quoted as saying in the Bild newspaper.

"It would have come in handy for the heating bill. But my conscience got the better of me. It was a hard decision to go to the police."

Cichlid fish vision change helped species diverge

Some colourful cichlid fish in Africa's Lake Victoria formed a new species by adapting their vision, showing that geographical isolation is not essential for divergence, researchers said yesterday.

The fish evolved to improve their ability to see food and predators at different depths, and this also affected the way they saw colours and attracted mates, said Ole Seehausen, who led the study published in the journal Nature.

"The split of one species into two was initiated by adaptation of the sensory system, in this case the eyes, to the local environment," said Dr Seehausen, an evolutionary biologist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology in Kastanienbaum.

South Korea pays for gyms for obese children

South Korea plans to help obese children pay for health club membership and other activities that can help them lose weight, an official said yestrerday. Health ministry official Chun Myung-sook said the rate of childhood obesity had tripled over the past three years due to a changing diet higher in fatty foods and a more sedentary lifestyle.

Under the government plan, elementary school students whose body mass index indicates obesity will be able to receive up to 40,000 won (€23.76) a month to help them bring their weight down.

Mexican thieves steal five small planes

Armed men stole five small planes from a private airstrip in the northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa by overpowering a police officer and flying away, security forces said.

The group of around 20 men stormed the small airstrip at dawn, seized the officer's gun, tied him up, filled the planes with fuel and flew off, said Emma Quiroz, spokesperson for the government's anti-organised crime operations in Sinaloa.

The five planes were taken from a hangar at an unpaved airstrip belonging to a fumigation company in the town of Navolato.

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