Thieving British vicar turns himself in

LONDON: A British vicar who went on the run after pocketing more than £24,000 in fees for weddings and funerals handed himself in to police on Monday following appeals from senior clergy. Simon Reynolds disappeared during a lunch break in the court proceedings against him in Sheffield in northern England last Thursday, shortly before being found guilty of four counts of theft. The police had alerted Interpol, fearing that the 50-year-old Anglican clergyman had fled to continental Europe. Senior clergy including the Bishop of Wakefield, Tony Robinson, had appealed to Reynolds to turn himself in. "Simon, we would like to assure you that you are in our prayers and all our thoughts at this difficult time," Robinson said in a personal appeal. "We are very concerned for your well-being and urge you to be in touch and allow justice to take its course. Never forget we are praying for you." Reynolds was found guilty of keeping the fees for weddings and funerals for himself, instead of passing them on to diocesan authorities.

Booked for killing lion

HARARE: A Zimbabwean conservation charity said on Monday that a foreign tourist could face criminal charges after allegedly using a bow and arrow to kill a much-loved lion called Cecil. The lion, which was a popular attraction for visitors to the Hwange National Park, was shot outside the park two weeks ago by the tourist, who was reported to have paid $50,000 to the holder of the local hunting rights. Police and Zimbabwe Parks Authority both declined to comment on the allegations, which were made by the Zimbabwe Conservation Taskforce. “We are still to establish the name and nationality of the hunter who is from Europe, but we believe they are likely to face criminal charges," Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the charity, told AFP. Park authority sources said the hunter, who was released after questioning, was thought to be Spanish, but some media reports said he was American. His whereabouts are not known.

Obama to host royals

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama will host the Spanish royal couple in September, during the Washington leg of a five-day US trip that will also take them to Florida. Obama will welcome King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia to the White House on September 15, the White House said Monday. "Their visit reinforces the strong ties between the American and Spanish people."