• High spirits at Singapore's school for gin
    AFP

    High spirits at Singapore's school for gin

    In a Singapore distillery, the smell of pine, citrus and flowers fills the air as students crush juniper berries, blending them with their own choice of ingredients to make custom gin with an Asian twist. The students are encouraged to get creative and build their own flavour profile -- citrus, floral

  • What a relief! Paris show lifts taboo on historic outdoor loos
    AFP

    What a relief! Paris show lifts taboo on historic outdoor loos

    They were as much a symbol of Paris as croissants and the Eiffel Tower, though they had more than a whiff of scandal from the start. Now the much-mourned "pissotieres", the dark-green public urinals that gave relief to generations of Parisian men, are finally getting their place in the city

  • ChickTok: Indonesian kids given pets to wean them off smartphones
    AFP

    ChickTok: Indonesian kids given pets to wean them off smartphones

    Officials in one Indonesian city have hatched a plan to wean children off smartphones -- by giving them their own fluffy chicks to raise. Around 2,000 four-day-old chicks will be handed out to pupils at elementary and junior high schools in Bandung in the coming weeks in an attempt to distract the kids

  • French ducks allowed to keep quacking... for now
    AFP

    French ducks allowed to keep quacking... for now

    A French court has allowed a group of ducks in the southwest of the country to keep on quacking after complaints from neighbours over their noisy behaviour, at least pending a detailed investigation of noise levels. The case of the ducks in the southwestern Landes region was the latest in the country

  • Australian man survives croc attack by gouging its eye
    AFP

    Australian man survives croc attack by gouging its eye

    An Australian wildlife ranger has recounted his terrifying escape from the clutches of a "particularly cunning" crocodile, after wrestling with the reptile and sticking a finger in its eye. Craig Dickmann, who made a split-second decision to go fishing last Sunday in a remote part of Northern

  • Airbus plane winging its way to France after 'wet sock' complaint

    Airbus plane winging its way to France after 'wet sock' complaint

    A new Airbus plane will be sent back to engineers in France following complaints of a "smell of wet sock" from cabin crew in the Pacific island territory of New Caledonia. The Airbus A330neo came into service on October 4 as part of a fleet renewal at Air Caledonie International (ACI), the

  • US cows swim miles to safety after storm sweeps them into the sea
    AFP

    US cows swim miles to safety after storm sweeps them into the sea

    Three cows swept into the ocean when Hurricane Dorian struck the US east coast in September were found living on a string of sandy islands miles away from their home, US media reported Thursday. The bovine trio is believed to have swum four to five miles (six to 10 kilometers) before placing hoof on

  • Chinese tourists say 'I do' to Serbia
    AFP

    Chinese tourists say 'I do' to Serbia

    Enticed by visa-free travel and low costs compared to Western Europe, the Chinese have been coming to Serbia in their droves. The landlocked Balkan state is now one of the fastest-growing destinations in Europe for Chinese travellers, topping the charts last year, and has been rolling out the red carpet

  • Whodunnit? US library baffled by mystery of vanishing 'liberal' books
    AFP

    Whodunnit? US library baffled by mystery of vanishing 'liberal' books

    For more than a year, books critiquing Donald Trump, advocating gun control or supporting gay rights have been vanishing from a US library -- only to be found later, mysteriously hidden in dark corners of the wrong shelves. An anonymous person appears to find a malicious pleasure in hiding "liberal

  • Canadian declares canoe travel as a moving expense
    AFP

    Canadian declares canoe travel as a moving expense

    A Canadian teacher -- pushed to test the limits of tax laws after losing a court fight -- has successfully claimed a canoe trip as a moving expense, public broadcaster CBC said Tuesday. John Konecny loaded his belongings into a canoe and paddled up the Rideau canal from Whitby, Ontario to Ottawa for

  • Rogue 'Laden' elephant gets a job, renamed 'Krishna'
    AFP

    Rogue 'Laden' elephant gets a job, renamed 'Krishna'

    An elephant that killed five Indian villagers, earning it the moniker of the late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, has been renamed after the Hindu god Krishna and will be trained to patrol parks, officials said Tuesday. The male elephant, dubbed "Laden" by frightened villagers in the northeastern

  • Singapore baggage handler jailed for swapping luggage tags
    AFP

    Singapore baggage handler jailed for swapping luggage tags

    A Singaporean baggage handler has been jailed for 20 days for swapping tags on nearly 300 suitcases at the city-state's airport, causing them to end up at wrong destinations around the world. Tay Boon Keh, 66, had pleaded guilty to charges of swapping the tags on 286 bags at Changi Airport, one

  • Licensed to thrill: Bond author's steamy letters go on sale
    AFP

    Licensed to thrill: Bond author's steamy letters go on sale

    Sexually-charged letters between James Bond creator Ian Fleming and his wife Ann were put up for auction on Tuesday, part of a collection of correspondence that also charts the success of his 007 books. The letters reveal the intensity of their relationship, particularly before they married. In one

  • Shock in Russia as Napoleon expert confesses to chopping up lover
    AFP

    Shock in Russia as Napoleon expert confesses to chopping up lover

    A prominent Saint Petersburg-based Napoleon expert has confessed to murdering his young lover and former student and dismembering her body in a grisly crime that sent shock waves across Russia. Oleg Sokolov, a 63-year-old history lecturer who received France's Legion d'Honneur from Jacques Chirac

  • Denmark and Iceland clash over priceless mediaeval manuscripts
    AFP

    Denmark and Iceland clash over priceless mediaeval manuscripts

    They recount tales of Viking raids, Norse history, kings and gods: a priceless collection of mediaeval manuscripts, bequeathed by an Icelandic scholar to the University of Copenhagen in the 18th century, that Iceland now wants back. The UN cultural organisation UNESCO has called them "the single

  • French woman told not French enough for Quebec residency
    AFP

    French woman told not French enough for Quebec residency

    A French woman seeking permanent residency in Quebec was turned down on grounds on her French was not good enough. Emilie Dubois, 31, has lived in the mainly French-speaking province since 2012, completed her doctoral thesis at Laval University in Quebec City in French, started a small business in the

  • Too 'dead' for jail? A US court is not persuaded
    AFP

    Too 'dead' for jail? A US court is not persuaded

    An inmate serving life for murder in the US state of Iowa offered a novel legal appeal, saying he should be released because he "died" four years ago. Schreiber, who was handed a whole life term without the possibility of parole after bludgeoning a man to death in the 1990s, became gravely

  • Centuries old warships linked to 'Vasa' found in Sweden
    AFP

    Centuries old warships linked to 'Vasa' found in Sweden

    Swedish maritime archeologists have discovered two wrecks believed to be 17th century warships, and at least one is likely the sister ship of the iconic Swedish vessel "Vasa", which sank on its maiden voyage, the Swedish Museum of Wrecks said Friday. The two wrecks were found in the Swedish

  • Russian goat who made unlikely friends with tiger dies
    AFP

    Russian goat who made unlikely friends with tiger dies

    A Russian goat named Timur whose unusual friendship with a tiger won him nationwide fame, has died, the director of the safari park where the pair lived, said Friday. "Timur's heart stopped beating on November 5," Dmitry Mezentsev, director of a safari park outside the Pacific port of Vladivostok

  • Old McDonald's: Aussie mates show off burger bought in 1995
    AFP

    Old McDonald's: Aussie mates show off burger bought in 1995

    A McDonald's burger allegedly bought in 1995 and kept in an Australian shed for years has never decomposed, according to two men who now refer to the quarter-century Quarter Pounder as their "mate". Casey Dean, 39, and Eduards Nits, 38, claim they ordered the Quarter Pounder with cheese

  • 'OK, boomer': New Zealand MP hits out at parliament age gap
    AFP

    'OK, boomer': New Zealand MP hits out at parliament age gap

    With the quickfire putdown "OK, boomer", a 25-year-old New Zealand politician dismissed a heckler during a speech about climate change -- highlighting the generation gap between herself and other MPs in a clip that has gone viral. Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick used it to hit back at interjections

  • Lost pup turns out to be a rare purebred dingo
    AFP

    Lost pup turns out to be a rare purebred dingo

    It's little wonder Wandi was mistaken for a dog when he was found in an Australian backyard -- but DNA testing has confirmed he's a rare 100 percent dingo. The pup was discovered whimpering and alone in a country town in Victoria in August with talon marks on his back, leading to speculation

  • Boat stuck above Niagara Falls for over a century moves downriver
    AFP

    Boat stuck above Niagara Falls for over a century moves downriver

    An iron boat stuck above Niagara Falls for more than a century has moved because of severe weather, a park official said. Known as the "Iron Scow," the boat is an iconic feature of Niagara Falls and had been stuck in the rocks about 600 meters from the edge of the falls. The boat broke loose

  • Australia win the inaugural 'Ashes' of jousting against England
    AFP

    Australia win the inaugural 'Ashes' of jousting against England

    Australia and England took their storied sports rivalry to another level, and another century, this weekend as the two nations faced off in a jousting tournament, won by the Australian side Sunday. Dubbed the "Ashes" of jousting -- a reference to the historic cricket Test matches between the

  • Disneyland then World Cup as Kolisi's dad makes first overseas trip
    AFP

    Disneyland then World Cup as Kolisi's dad makes first overseas trip

    Springbok captain Siya Kolisi has arranged for his father to watch him in Saturday's World Cup final -- his first-ever overseas trip -- and Kolisi senior headed straight for Disneyland. Kolisi, the first black captain of the South Africa rugby union team, grew up in the poor township of Zwide outside