Pre-poll violence

MANILA: Philippine troops found 21 bodies in the country’s restive south after dozens of gunmen on Monday hijacked a convoy of politicians and supporters filing their nominations for next year’s elections, officials said. The victims, 13 women and eight men, were found in southern Ampatuan township, five kilometres from where they were taken hostage as they travelled in three vans earlier Monday, regional military commander Major General Alfredo Cayton said. The identities of the gunmen were unclear but victims’ relatives blamed political rivals. Philippine elections are particularly violent in the south because of the presence of armed groups, including Muslim rebels fighting for self-rule in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation, and political warlords who maintain private armies.


Cannabis Cafe

PORTLAND: At the newly opened Cannabis Cafe, people sit around taking tokes from a “vaporiser” -7 a contraption with a big plastic bag that captures the potent vapours of heated marijuana. Glass jars hold donations of dried, milky-green weed, and the cafe serves up meals and snacks for the hungry. It’s all perfectly legal and, for cancer patient Albert Santistevan, it’s about time. “It’s a very positive atmosphere. We could use more places like that,” the 56-year-old former jewellry shop owner said.