• Air New Zealand offers 'safety tips' to Irish rugby fans
    AFP

    Air New Zealand offers 'safety tips' to Irish rugby fans

    Air New Zealand has offered Irish rugby fans some tongue-in-cheek "safety tips" before the countries face off in the quarterfinal of the Rugby World Cup in Japan on Saturday. The highly tipped All Blacks are straining not to seem cocky ahead of the match in Tokyo, but the national flag carrier

  • The ghosts of abandoned Paris police HQ, Quai des Orfevres
    AFP

    The ghosts of abandoned Paris police HQ, Quai des Orfevres

    A chair sits in the middle of the interrogation room, as if waiting for the next suspect and the doors of the cells swing wide open. The former Paris headquarters of the judicial police (PJ), France's top criminal investigators, looks like it is ready for another day of work. In 2017, the PJ was

  • AFP

    Oxford University probes 'sale' of ancient Bible fragments

    Oxford University said Wednesday it has launched an investigation into claims that one of its professors sold ancient Bible fragments to the controversial US company of a billionaire evangelical Christian. The renowned British university confirmed it was seeking to establish if Dirk Obbink, an associate

  • Erdogan says can no longer 'keep track' of Trump's tweets
    AFP

    Erdogan says can no longer 'keep track' of Trump's tweets

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he could no longer "keep track" of the tweets by his US counterpart Donald Trump as tensions mount over Ankara's operation against Kurdish militants in Syria, in comments published Wednesday. "When we take a look at Mr Trump's Twitter

  • 'SOS' picked up on CCTV saves Aussie woman lost in bush
    AFP

    'SOS' picked up on CCTV saves Aussie woman lost in bush

    Deborah Pilgrim went missing on Sunday while camping with friends about 100 kilometres from the South Australian state capital of Adelaide. Late Tuesday a man remotely monitoring CCTV footage of his property near the South Australian search area, noticed an SOS sign etched into a dirt driveway near

  • Dutch family found in cellar 'waiting for end of time'
    AFP

    Dutch family found in cellar 'waiting for end of time'

    Dutch police found a father and six adult children hidden in the basement of a remote farmhouse where they had reportedly spent years "waiting for the end of time", officials said Tuesday. Local media said the family were found after one of the sons went to a nearby pub in a confused state,

  • Dutch family found in cellar 'waiting for end of time'
    AFP

    Dutch family found in cellar 'waiting for end of time'

    Dutch police found a family of seven people hidden in the basement of a remote farmhouse where they had reportedly spent years "waiting for the end of time", officials said Tuesday. "I have never come across anything like this before," local mayor Roger de Groot told a press conference

  • Tulips from Amsterdam? Not so much says new probe
    AFP

    Tulips from Amsterdam? Not so much says new probe

    Tourists are being ripped off at Amsterdam's famous flower market, with just one percent of all bulbs sold at the floating bazaar ever producing a blossom, investigators said Tuesday. "The probe showed that there is chronic deception of consumers," at the sale of tulip bulbs at the flower

  • The chips are down: EU takes Colombia to WTO
    AFP

    The chips are down: EU takes Colombia to WTO

    The European Union launched a case at the WTO against Colombia on Monday, after a furious outcry from Belgium, the self-proclaimed inventor of the French fry or chip. The EU's top trade official said efforts to reason with Colombia had failed, with Bogota insisting on imposing tariffs on fry exports

  • Hoop troupe: Croquet an unlikely hit for Vietnam retirees
    AFP

    Hoop troupe: Croquet an unlikely hit for Vietnam retirees

    Best known as a historic pastime among Europe's upper crust, croquet has found an unlikely fan base among Vietnamese retirees eager to fill their diaries and move their limbs. "We don't have to move a lot when playing croquet... and it also exercises our brains," Nguyen Van Tuu told

  • Polish city declares free transport for readers of Nobel laureate
    AFP

    Polish city declares free transport for readers of Nobel laureate

    Public transport will be free through the weekend for anyone carrying a book by Poland's newly minted Nobel literature laureate Olga Tokarczuk in her western city of Wroclaw, local officials said Friday. "As soon as we heard the news Thursday that Olga Tokarczuk won the Nobel, we wanted to

  • New Caledonia to hold new independence poll from France in 2020
    AFP

    New Caledonia to hold new independence poll from France in 2020

    France's Pacific island territory of New Caledonia will hold a second referendum on independence next year, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Friday. Voters in a November 2018 poll chose to remain part of France by 57 percent to 43 percent, a result hailed by President Emmanuel Macron

  • Belgrade's naked 'Victor' statue to be restored
    AFP

    Belgrade's naked 'Victor' statue to be restored

    Symbol of Belgrade, the "Pobednik" (Victor) statue, which has overlooked the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers since 1928, was taken down from the city's Kalemegdan fortress Thursday to be restored. Initially, Belgrade commissioned the statue from sculptor Ivan Mestrovic to mark

  • Ukraine's Zelensky 'breaks record' for world's longest press conference
    AFP

    Ukraine's Zelensky 'breaks record' for world's longest press conference

    Volodymyr Zelensky, a popular comedian before he was elected president of Ukraine this spring, promised to bring a fresh kind of politics to the ex-Soviet nation. Around eight hours into the marathon event, Zelensky's first major press conference since coming to power in May, a representative of

  • 'One small nibble for man': 3D printer makes meat in space
    AFP

    'One small nibble for man': 3D printer makes meat in space

    The prospect of astronauts tucking into a roast dinner has grown slightly closer after a successful experiment used a 3D printer to create meat on the International Space Station. The bioprinter produced beef, rabbit and fish tissue using magnetic fields in microgravity, a Russian medical technology

  • AFP

    British MPs seek answers about post-Brexit toilet paper

    British lawmakers have asked the government to give guarantees that supplies of toilet paper don't dry up in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The country is due to leave the European Union on October 31, and with three weeks to go there is still no deal to smooth over the flow of goods post-Brexit

  • South Korean judge turned MP sparks row with personal insult
    AFP

    South Korean judge turned MP sparks row with personal insult

    A prominent South Korean judge turned senior lawmaker sparked a political row by personally insulting a rival MP during a live-streamed meeting. Yeo Sang-kyoo, of the opposition Liberty Korea party, was chairing a parliamentary committee meeting when a ruling Democratic party politician objected to

  • Putin puts on birthday show gathering mushrooms
    AFP

    Putin puts on birthday show gathering mushrooms

    Russian President Vladimir Putin is renowned for posing for high-octane photo opportunities like tiger-tracking or deepwater diving. Putin, who has turned 67, spent a mini-break in mountains above the Yenisei River in Siberia at the weekend foraging for wild mushrooms with his defence minister Sergei

  • Mexican church blesses furry friends for World Animal Day
    AFP

    Mexican church blesses furry friends for World Animal Day

    Chihuahuas, parakeets and turtles joined their human companions for services at a Catholic church Friday in the Mexican city of Zapopan, where they got a special blessing for World Animal Day. Pets joined their owners in the pews of the city's Saint Francis of Assisi church, named for the patron

  • Spanish police saved from sea by smugglers they were chasing
    AFP

    Spanish police saved from sea by smugglers they were chasing

    Three Spanish police officers who were thrown into the sea when their boat crashed early Friday during a high-speed chase were pulled to safety by the drug-smugglers they were chasing, police said. The unexpected rescue happened after a police vessel began pursuing a speedboat "with four people

  • Turkey rules Rebel Girls children's book be treated as porn
    AFP

    Turkey rules Rebel Girls children's book be treated as porn

    Turkey has ruled that the million-selling book "Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls" book should be partially banned and treated like pornography because it could have a "detrimental influence" on young people. The book, which has been published in 47 languages, offers a series of

  • New EU president to sleep in her office
    AFP

    New EU president to sleep in her office

    The EU's incoming president Ursula von der Leyen plans to live in a tiny flat attached to her Brussels office rather than rent an apartment, her staff told AFP on Thursday. The president of the European Commission has no official residence -- a fact that irked von der Leyen's predecessor Jean-Claude

  • Russian man sues Apple for 'turning him gay'
    AFP

    Russian man sues Apple for 'turning him gay'

    A Russian man has filed a lawsuit against Apple for moral harm claiming that an iPhone app had turned him gay, according to a copy of the complaint seen by AFP. The man filed suit in a Moscow court asking for one million rubles ($15,000) after an incident this summer in which a cryptocurrency called

  • French police detain man over stolen panther
    AFP

    French police detain man over stolen panther

    French authorities have detained for questioning a man suspected of keeping a wild panther in an apartment from where it was rescued, only to be stolen from a zoo, legal sources said. The ink-black feline was tranquilised with a dart and taken to a zoo in Maubeuge near the Belgian border, awaiting a

  • Hidden for 21 years, Ethiopian crown set to return home
    AFP

    Hidden for 21 years, Ethiopian crown set to return home

    A priceless 18th-century Ethiopian crown is set to be returned from the Netherlands to Addis Ababa after a one-time refugee found it in a suitcase and hid it in his apartment for two decades. The ornate gilded copper headgear, featuring images of Christ and the Twelve Apostles, was unearthed after