• Musk mocks Tesla short-sellers by selling short shorts
    AFP

    Musk mocks Tesla short-sellers by selling short shorts

    Tesla founder Elon Musk is ruthlessly mocking the carmaker's doubters who sell the company short by selling short shorts with the company logo. Musk on Sunday followed through on a threat made last week by offering red satin shorts for sale on the company website -- which promptly crashed from the volume of orders, or perhaps mere curiosity. "This item is out of stock," the Tesla site says, above the description of the athletic wear priced at $69.420.

  • Holiday park sculpture by artist Calder on sale in Paris
    AFP

    Holiday park sculpture by artist Calder on sale in Paris

    A huge sculpture by American artist Alexander Calder will be auctioned this week in Paris after spending over 50 years at a holiday park in southern France, the auction house said on Monday. The black steel 3,5 metre (11 foot) structure, which will go under the hammer at the auction house Artcurial on Wednesday, was made by Calder in 1963. It was installed six years later in front of a holiday park which aims to attract low-income families by maintaining affordable prices.

  • Hundreds of drones light up Seoul sky with virus messages
    AFP

    Hundreds of drones light up Seoul sky with virus messages

    Hundreds of drones lit up the night sky in Seoul for a spectacular showcase of motivational and awareness messages as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic. Three hundred unmanned aerial vehicles were programmed to form images above the Han river -- which runs through the South Korean capital -- for the eyecatching flash mob. The show began with messages reminding people of key precautionary measures, including wearing masks, washing hands and keeping a two-metre distance from others.

  • Dutch ID cards will soon omit gender, says minister
    AFP

    Dutch ID cards will soon omit gender, says minister

    Gender will cease to be mentioned on identity cards in the Netherlands in the next few years because it is "unnecessary" information, the education and culture minister has said. In a letter to parliament seen by AFP on Saturday, Ingrid van Engelshoven -- whose brief also includes emancipation -- said gender categories would be omitted from ID cards "starting from 2024/2025". Van Engelshoven said she intended to "limit where possible the unnecessary registration of gender" even if such information would continue to be included on passports in line with European Union regulations.

  • Turkmen leader dedicates poem to 'wonderful' wheat
    AFP

    Turkmen leader dedicates poem to 'wonderful' wheat

    Turkmenistan's eccentric and authoritarian leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has penned a poem celebrating wheat and the farmers that grow it, state media in the Central Asian country reported Tuesday. Berdymukhamedov is portrayed by local media as a prolific author, poet and composer, while reverence for wheat is a tradition deeply rooted in the Soviet Union that oil-rich Turkmenistan separated from in 1991. The poem published in the state newspaper Neutral Turkmenistan hailed wheat as a "wonderful cereal, miracle seed."

  • Panda gifted by China gives birth to second cub in Taiwan
    AFP

    Panda gifted by China gives birth to second cub in Taiwan

    A giant panda gifted by China to Taiwan has given birth to a second female cub after being artificially inseminated, Taipei Zoo announced Monday. Yuan Yuan and her partner Tuan Tuan have been top attractions since arriving from China in 2008 as a symbol of what were then warm relations between the two sides. Yuan Yuan gave birth to a daughter Yuan Zai in 2013 -- the first giant panda born in Taiwan.

  • Bias against women driven by people who think it doesn't exist: study
    AFP

    Bias against women driven by people who think it doesn't exist: study

    Managers who believe gender discrimination is a thing of the past showed bias against women by suggesting a female job candidate be paid eight percent less than an identically qualified man, according to new research. The study, which comes after a United Nations report said around 90 percent of people globally hold some prejudice against women, found that bias persists even when female representation in a particular field increases. "Quite critically, this research demonstrates that managers who think bias is no longer an issue in their profession are, perhaps ironically, the key drivers of bias," the authors said.

  • Fourth time lucky? Danish PM forced to postpone wedding again
    AFP

    Fourth time lucky? Danish PM forced to postpone wedding again

    Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen thought she had finally found a date for her wedding, but has now had to postpone it for a third time due to an EU summit, she said Thursday. Many a wedding plan has been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic and it seems not even world leaders are immune. "I am really looking forward to marrying this fantastic man," Frederiksen wrote in a Facebook post alongside a photo of herself and her fiance Bo.

  • Stranded surfer says Argentina must repatriate dogs too
    AFP

    Stranded surfer says Argentina must repatriate dogs too

    An Argentine adventurer stranded in Peru because of the coronavirus lockdown says he wants to go home, but not without his dogs which he has adopted on his travels. "We are waiting in Lima for a humanitarian flight that will take my pets so we can fly to Argentina," 33-year-old surfer Michael Graef told AFP. After walking and cycling through much of Peru for 40 days, Graef arrived in Lima, where he spends the nights with his pets in a tent near the Argentine embassy.

  • Never mind the skyscrapers, grab a deckchair on Milan's 'beach'
    AFP

    Never mind the skyscrapers, grab a deckchair on Milan's 'beach'

    Milan sun-worshippers, finally emerging from months of coronavirus lockdown, do not have to travel far to find a deckchair and a parasol: a "beach" beckons right in the middle of one of the city's main business districts. It's not the seaside, concedes 22-year-old student Mauro Manara Rossino. Lido Bam, or Bam Beach, appeared at the weekend in a park in Milan's Porta Nuova district, home to Italy's tallest skyscraper, the Unicredit Tower.

  • Maurice, the French rooster who ruffled feathers, will crow no more
    AFP

    Maurice, the French rooster who ruffled feathers, will crow no more

    A French rooster, who became a symbol of tensions between traditional rural France and encroaching urbanity in a court battle over his early-morning crowing, has died, his owner said Thursday. Maurice the cockerel rose to national fame after his dawn cock-a-doodle-doos so annoyed a retired couple with a holiday home on the picturesque island of Oleron in western France that they took the owner to court in a bid to silence him. The case last year was seen as a symbol of the strains between the traditions of rural France and city-dwellers, who use the countryside as a place for second homes but have a thin skin for countryside smells and sounds.

  • Must be glove: the Japan man obsessed with lost gloves
    AFP

    Must be glove: the Japan man obsessed with lost gloves

    Tokyo (AFP) - Koji Ishii can't help himself: whenever he sees a lost glove on the streets of his hometown Tokyo, he just has to stop and document it.

  • Putin has 'disinfection tunnel' to protect him from coronavirus
    AFP

    Putin has 'disinfection tunnel' to protect him from coronavirus

    Visitors meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin at his country residence must first pass through a walk-through device that sprays them with disinfectant to protect him from the coronavirus, officials said. Putin has been self-isolating at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow under lockdown although he made a public appearance without a mask at an outdoor event on the June 12 Russia Day holiday. As part of precautions to protect the president, visitors walk through the device and get sprayed from above and the side, a video posted Tuesday evening on Twitter by Kremlin pool journalists from RIA Novosti state news agency showed.

  • Vienna man fined 500 euros for deliberate 'massive flatulence'
    AFP

    Vienna man fined 500 euros for deliberate 'massive flatulence'

    Austrian police fined a man 500 euros for loudly breaking wind after officers stopped him earlier this month to check his identity. The police defended the massive fine saying he had deliberately emitted a "massive flatulence," lifting his backside from the bench where he was sitting.

  • Plain plane go away: UK PM orders official jet paint job
    AFP

    Plain plane go away: UK PM orders official jet paint job

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson doesn't like the plain plane he uses for state visits and has ordered a more colourful makeover to fly the flag for Britain, it was reported Tuesday. The paint job on the RAF Voyager transport plane sounds like something "from Austin Powers", the source added. The Austin Powers character flew around on a psychedelic-coloured Boeing 747 in the "Goldmember" film of the 1990s spoof spy franchise.

  • Sub surfaces to let Norway sailors take the plunge
    AFP

    Sub surfaces to let Norway sailors take the plunge

    It was an unusual sight: on a hot sunny day this weekend, it wasn't a Norwegian navy submarine seen plunging into the North Sea, but rather its swimsuit-clad crew who were observed diving in off the hull for a refreshing dip. With the men in trunks and the women in bikinis, a couple of dozen sailors were photographed diving off the hull of their submarine, the KNM Uthaug, in a fjord in Norway's southwest. With a fleet of six submarines, Norway is tasked with defending NATO's northern flank, opposite Russia's mighty Northern Fleet.

  • 'Baby dragons' go on display in Slovenia
    AFP

    'Baby dragons' go on display in Slovenia

    Slithering through their subterranean aquarium, three "baby dragons" have gone on display in a Slovenian cave, where they hatched in 2016 in a rare successful breeding, officials said Thursday. Only 30 visitors per day will be allowed to visit the so-called baby dragons -- ancient underwater predators that can live up to 100 years and only breed once in a decade. "We are proud to present three out of the 21 baby olms, the world-famous 'dragon's offspring', which we have kept a close eye on since 2016," the Postojna cave said in a statement.

  • In Spain, the white lion cub whose mum didn't want him
    AFP

    In Spain, the white lion cub whose mum didn't want him

    Guillena (España) (AFP) - His name is White King, he's 10 days old and the zoo says he's a real "teddy bear". Born on May 31, the cub is the first white lion born in a Spanish zoo. "It was a bad birth," he told AFP, adding that the mother, a white lioness brought over from Thailand four years ago had "laboured for 14 or 15 days before giving birth".

  • US author declares decade-long treasure hunt in Rockies finally over
    AFP

    US author declares decade-long treasure hunt in Rockies finally over

    A decade-long hunt for treasure hidden in the Rocky Mountains that drew in 350,000 seekers and is believed to have cost five lives has ended with someone finally uncovering the chest, the man who designed the riddle said. Forrest Fenn, a Santa Fe writer and artifacts dealer, said he hid $1 million in the western mountains in 2010 and offered clues to its whereabouts in a 24-line poem published in his autobiography the same year. Fenn, a former Vietnam War fighter pilot who went on to become an art dealer and author, said he had packed the bronze chest with gold dust, expensive rubies and emeralds, rare coins and even pre-Columbian animal figures, worth a total of $1 million dollars.

  • 'We'll be back': Italy prison escapees promise to return
    AFP

    'We'll be back': Italy prison escapees promise to return

    Two inmates who escaped from a prison in Rome last week left guards a courtesy note, saying they had business to take care of but would be back shortly, a newspaper reported Tuesday. The two cousins, Davad Zukanovic, 40, and Lil Ahmetovic, 46, broke out of Rebibbia prison overnight on June 2 by scaling a wall using a water hose left in a courtyard. At the end of the signed note, Zukanovic and Ahmetovic promised to return in about 15 days once everything was sorted, the paper said.

  • Sick of lockdown: Panda escapes confinement in Copenhagen zoo
    AFP

    Sick of lockdown: Panda escapes confinement in Copenhagen zoo

    Humans are not the only ones tiring of confinement during the coronavirus pandemic -- a panda escaped from his enclosure at Copenhagen Zoo on Monday. Xing Er, a six-year-old male panda -- soon to be seven -- then took a tour of the zoo, which was closed at the time. "The veterinarian of the zoo anaesthetised the panda and he was brought back to the enclosure," Hoeck said.

  • Gran Theft Auto: finger flexes keep 90-year-old gamer console-ready
    AFP

    Gran Theft Auto: finger flexes keep 90-year-old gamer console-ready

    Every day, 90-year-old Japanese grandma Hamako Mori flexes her fingers to keep them nimble. Not for knitting or needlepoint, but to keep them in shape for playing video games. The pensioner known as "Gamer Grandma" spends three or more hours a day battling monsters and going on missions in the virtual worlds of her favourite games, and even has a popular YouTube channel for her fans.

  • Banana, bean cake and fertiliser stunts in Hong Kong's legislature
    AFP

    Banana, bean cake and fertiliser stunts in Hong Kong's legislature

    Outnumbered and with the rule book written against them, Hong Kong's pro-democracy lawmakers have embraced rotten plants, red bean cakes, bananas and a dizzying array of other weird objects for theatrical stunts inside the rambunctious chamber. In the latest event to infuriate the pro-Beijing majority, opposition lawmaker Ray Chan threw a foul-smelling fertiliser onto the green carpet of the Legislative Chamber on Thursday. The incident occurred on the anniversary of China's 1989 deadly crackdown on Tiananmen protesters, and Chan said the jar of brown liquid represented the "stink" of that tragedy.

  • Back in the saddle: Turkmen leader heads up giant bike parade
    AFP

    Back in the saddle: Turkmen leader heads up giant bike parade

    Thousands of tracksuit-wearing officials in Turkmenistan were brought along for the ride Wednesday as eccentric leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov spearheaded a cycling parade to mark World Bicycle Day. Turkmenistan -- one of the few countries that has not reported a single case of the coronavirus -- has given little thought to social distancing in recent months, celebrating key occasions in the national calendar with customary pomp. World Bicycle Day, a date that the United Nations recognised in 2018 following a proposal by Turkmenistan, saw a large throng of officials follow Berdymukhamedov on a trip through the capital Ashgabat where roads were closed for the occasion.

  • S.Africa thieves stage liquor heist under lockdown
    AFP

    S.Africa thieves stage liquor heist under lockdown

    Thieves in South Africa dug through a concrete floor into a shop to steal thousands of dollars worth of liquor days before an alcohol sales ban was lifted, police said Tuesday. The thieves made off with whisky, brandy, gin, vodka and beer valued at around $17,000. Workers at the Shoprite supermarket in the Newtown district of Johannesburg discovered the heist when they went in last Friday to prepare for the resumption of sales on June 1.