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Wierd and Offbeat News

  • Thailand's sex-shy giant panda dies aged 19

    Golocal247.com news

    A beloved male giant panda on loan to Thailand from China has died aged 19 in Chiang Mai, leaving Thais on Tuesday to mourn the death of a mammal whose sex life captivated the kingdom. The pair's mating habits -- or lack of -- became a source of relentless public intrigue, with Chuang Chuang put on a low-carb diet and shown video clips of panda's coupling in an attempt to spice up their sex drive. After struggles to conceive, Lin Hui finally gave birth thanks to artificial insemination to Linping in 2009, spurring a widely-watched live 24-hour "Panda Channel".

    Tue, 17 Sep 2019 04:05:18 -0400
  • Buzz off! Angry bees delay Air India flight

    Golocal247.com news

    An Air India flight was delayed by several hours after a swarm of bees landed on the cockpit window, attacking ground staff when they tried to remove them, officials said. Ground staff tried to shoo the insects off, angering them, and when attempts to use the windscreen wipers failed officials switched to 'plan b' and blasted them off with water. "Fire tenders were deployed to spray water to dislodge the honey bees and they could be driven away after nearly an hour-long operation," airport official Kaushik Bhattcharya told AFP.

    Mon, 16 Sep 2019 03:11:13 -0400
  • Artist hopes gold toilet taken by 'Robin Hood' types

    Golocal247.com news

    The artist whose solid gold toilet was stolen from Britain's Blenheim Palace said he hoped it had been taken in a "Robin Hood-inspired action", as police scrambled Sunday to locate it. Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan told the New York Times that when he first heard news of Saturday's pre-dawn theft of his fully-functioning work "America", he thought it was a prank. Cattelan has described the 18-carat gold work, famously once offered on loan to US President Donald Trump, as "one-percent art for the 99 percent".

    Sun, 15 Sep 2019 11:01:09 -0400
  • Solid gold toilet stolen from English stately home

    Golocal247.com news

    A gang of thieves on Saturday stole an 18-carat gold toilet from Britain's Blenheim Palace, police said, causing flooding that damaged the world-famous stately home. The fully-functioning toilet, dubbed "America", was created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan and estimated to be worth around £1 million. The toilet was one of the star attractions in an exhibition of Cattelan's works that opened on Thursday at the palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Sat, 14 Sep 2019 11:03:01 -0400
  • Cats, dolphins and one smart raven: the CIA's secret animal spies

    Golocal247.com news

    In early 1974, Do Da was top in espionage class, on the way to becoming a high-flying CIA agent: he handled himself better in the rough, carried heavier loads, and could brush off attackers. The bird was a central figure in a decade-long US Central Intelligence Agency program to train animals as agents, helping Washington fight the Cold War against the Soviet Union. On Thursday, the CIA released dozens of files from its tests on cats, dogs, dolphins and on birds from pigeons to some of the smartest: ravens and crows.

    Fri, 13 Sep 2019 21:49:56 -0400
  • India's Stalin admits to problems visiting Russia

    Golocal247.com news

    Sharing a name with one of Europe's most brutal dictators isn't a problem in his home country, but Indian politician MK Stalin admitted Friday it raised eyebrows on a visit to Russia. When I said 'Stalin' many people at the airport started looking at me," Stalin told the Times of India. MK Stalin's father M. Karunanidhi, the socialist former chief minister of Tamil Nadu state, deliberately named his son after the Russian communist leader Joseph Stalin.

    Fri, 13 Sep 2019 07:56:12 -0400
  • Russia scraps robot Fedor after space odyssey

    Golocal247.com news

    It's mission over for a robot called Fedor that Russia blasted to the International Space Station, the developers said Wednesday, admitting he could not replace astronauts on space walks. There's nothing more for him to do there, he's completed his mission," Yevgeny Dudorov, executive director of robot developers Androidnaya Tekhnika, told RIA Novosti news agency. The silvery anthropomorphic robot cannot fulfill its assigned task to replace human astronauts on long and risky space walks, Dudorov said.

    Wed, 11 Sep 2019 09:52:04 -0400
  • Soldiers hospitalised as reindeer crashes Lapland wargames

    Golocal247.com news

    A reindeer that wandered into the middle of a military exercise in Lapland caused a pile-up of armoured vehicles with 12 soldiers rushed to hospital, the Finnish military said Wednesday. "A Pasi armoured personnel carrier crashed into the one in front, which swerved to avoid a reindeer," a statement from the Kainuu Brigade said. Finnish Lapland is home to up to 340,000 reindeer during summer and the animals represent a real hazard, not least as they tend not to fear motor vehicles.

    Wed, 11 Sep 2019 05:06:33 -0400
  • New Saudi minister jokes oil outlook could drive him to Prozac

    Golocal247.com news

    Saudi Arabia's Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman brought some humour to his debut as the kingdom's new oil minister Monday, joking that the industry outlook could drive him to take Prozac if he took it seriously. Speaking at an international energy forum in Abu Dhabi where he was the star of the show just a day after being appointed by his father King Salman, the new minister deflected concerns over the health of the energy sector. The International Energy Agency (IEA) last week lowered its growth forecast for oil demand for 2019 and 2020, blaming the ugly US-China trade dispute which has triggered fears of a global recession.

    Mon, 09 Sep 2019 11:06:12 -0400
  • Tourist told to pull 'Nazi grandpa' comments in Austria

    Golocal247.com news

    An Austrian court has ruled that a German tourist who took exception to a World War II portrait in an Austrian guesthouse had no right to complain about it on travel sites, the hotel owner's lawyer said Friday. The posts "gave millions of people the impression that my client sympathises with National Socialism", lawyer Stefan Kofler told AFP, saying this had harmed her reputation. After its annexation by Germany in 1938, Austria became closely associated with Hitler's Third Reich.

    Fri, 06 Sep 2019 09:56:19 -0400
  • Tsars of the show: Aussie blokes become unlikely Russian folk heroes

    Golocal247.com news

    The idea of starting a Russian choir in rural Australia began as a vodka-fuelled lark, but five years on a rag-tag bunch of farmers, lawyers and labourers have become unlikely international folk heroes. None of them speaks Russian, only one has ever travelled to Russia, and absolutely no one would mistake their tiny coastal hometown of Mullumbimby for Moscow. Andrew Swain, a local builder and the choir's director, admitted the all-male group had varying degrees of choral experience.

    Fri, 06 Sep 2019 06:44:26 -0400
  • Ruiz or Ruiz? Name game complicates race for US congress seat

    Golocal247.com news

    US congressman Raul Ruiz, a California Democrat, is facing a challenge for his seat by a Republican businessman named -- wait for it -- Raul Ruiz. The 47-year-old representative for the state's 36th district, a Harvard-educated physician, has handily won re-election every two years since entering Congress in 2013. "I grew up picking vegetables in the fields that feed America, dreaming up my own American Dream," Ruiz said, adding that he later became a carpenter who started a business that employed hundreds.

    Thu, 05 Sep 2019 17:33:04 -0400
  • French court to rule if noisy rooster can keep crowing

    Golocal247.com news

    A rowdy rooster named Maurice will learn Thursday if he can go on crowing as usual, after unhappy neighbours filed a lawsuit denounced by critics as an attack by urban interlopers on the traditional sounds of the French countryside. Maurice's owner, Corinne Fesseau, told a court in Rochefort, western France, in July that nobody else had complained about the noise at her home on the picturesque island of Oleron, except a couple of retired summer vacationers. The case quickly ballooned into a national cause celebre, with 140,000 people signing a "Save Maurice" petition or proudly displaying his picture on "Let Me Sing" T-shirts.

    Wed, 04 Sep 2019 23:17:02 -0400
  • AMLO's Mexico: a glossary

    Golocal247.com news

    Mexico City (AFP) - President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is reshaping the language of politics in Mexico with his colorful, folksy take on Spanish. Here is a glossary of key terms to understand the man known as "AMLO" and his opponents.

    Wed, 04 Sep 2019 22:35:38 -0400
  • 'Contemptuous!': Brexit Britain fumes at reclining MP

    Golocal247.com news

    The sight of hardline Brexit backer Jacob Rees-Mogg stretching out across the front bench of Britain's parliament during a particularly heated debate has become an instant meme, causing anger among government opponents. With his tiny round glasses pointing at the ceiling and wearing a double-breasted suit, Rees-Mogg appeared to be taking a rest in the crucial final minutes before a crunch Brexit vote on Tuesday night lit up Twitter. It came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government had lost its working majority in parliament and was about to be dealt its first painful defeat over the terms on which Britain should leave the European Union.

    Wed, 04 Sep 2019 09:06:27 -0400
  • Catholic school priest bans 'Harry Potter' books on exorcist advice

    Golocal247.com news

    Exorcists advised a Nashville school priest to ban the Harry Potter books, over fears the popular children's novels could be used to summon spirits. Reverend Dan Reehil contacted exorcists in Rome and the US, who recommended removing the fantasy novels from St. Edward Catholic School's library in Tennessee. Launched in 1997, the series of books spins an epic tale of good and evil focused on the adventures of the eponymous bespectacled young wizard as he struggles against the dark wizard Lord Voldemort.

    Tue, 03 Sep 2019 04:37:05 -0400
  • Aussie newbie pilot lands plane after instructor blacks out

    Golocal247.com news

    An Australian man venturing into the skies for a first flying lesson has been forced to make an "amazing" solo landing after his instructor blacked out mid-flight. Max Sylvester's wife and three kids watched from the ground as air traffic control talked him through safely landing the Cessna two-seater at Perth's Jandakot airport on Saturday. The 30-something had issued a panicked mayday call from an altitude of 1,900 metres (6,200 feet), after his instructor slumped onto his shoulder and could not be woken.

    Mon, 02 Sep 2019 03:11:52 -0400
  • Deadly Cobra caught in Germany after five days on the loose

    Golocal247.com news

    Berlin (AFP) - A deadly cobra that escaped, terrifying a German community, was captured Friday after five days on the loose.

    Fri, 30 Aug 2019 13:07:00 -0400
  • Slovenian village divided over Trump 'statue of liberty'

    Golocal247.com news

    Amid the idyllic calm of a sleepy corner of northern Slovenia, the unlikeliest of disturbances intrudes -- an irate villager on a tractor ploughing into a huge effigy of US President Donald Trump. The scene, witnessed by AFP, unfolded this week in the village of Sela pri Kamniku, around 30 kilometres (20 miles) north of the capital Ljubljana in the homeland of Trump's wife Melania. The man was making his feelings clear on the place's newest feature -- an eight-metre-high (26 feet) statue of Trump complete with his trademark mane, blue suit, white shirt and red tie.

    Thu, 29 Aug 2019 11:53:41 -0400
  • No-fly boys: new Russian space suit clashes with pee ritual

    Golocal247.com news

    Russia on Thursday unveiled a new space suit for a future spaceship, but the design may have to be changed to continue a decades-old tradition: making a stop to pee on the way to the launch. The Sokol-M prototype suit was demonstrated at an airshow outside Moscow, as a future replacement for suits currently worn during launches to the International Space Station on Soyuz spacecraft.

    Thu, 29 Aug 2019 10:56:40 -0400
  • Straight outta Karachi: Pakistan's surprise hip hop hub

    Golocal247.com news

    Haunted by gang violence and poverty for decades, Lyari was once considered one of Pakistan's most dangerous areas, but those grim realities also inspired a generation of artists and spawned a burgeoning hip hop scene. When Karachi served as a major transport hub during the Afghan jihad against the Soviets, Lyari was hit hard by the influx of weapons and drugs -- and the surge in brutality such black market businesses bring. Heavily armed gangs and political hit squads exerted iron-fisted control over large swathes of Lyari, squashing economic growth while residents battled with the fallout, including rampant drug abuse and poverty.

    Thu, 29 Aug 2019 06:17:45 -0400
  • Brussels mulls car use tax to cut traffic jams

    Golocal247.com news

    Officials in the Brussels region are looking at a new tax to tackle the city's notorious traffic jams by penalising heavy car use, the region's minister for mobility said Wednesday. It would be linked to the length and frequency of journeys, replacing a fixed-rate tax already in place, said Elke Van den Brandt, a deputy for the Greens. "But if it takes another 10 years to convince them, we don't have the luxury of waiting in Brussels.

    Wed, 28 Aug 2019 07:02:34 -0400
  • DNA to solve mystery of Napoleon's general lost in Russia

    Golocal247.com news

    Archaeologists are set to unveil the answer to a 200-year-old question over the remains of a French general who died during Napoleon's 1812 campaign in Russia. Charles Etienne Gudin was hit by a cannonball in the Battle of Valutino on August 19 near Smolensk, a city west of Moscow close to the border with Belarus. "As soon as I saw the skeleton with just one leg, I knew that we had our man," the head of the Franco-Russian team that discovered the remains in July, Marina Nesterova, told AFP.

    Wed, 28 Aug 2019 04:20:17 -0400
  • Escaped deadly cobra terrorises German town

    Golocal247.com news

    The metre-long snake, a monocled cobra whose bite can be fatal, has been missing since Sunday after escaping from its owner in the western city of Herne. Local authorities said the evacuated buildings will "remain locked and we will be regularly checking for any trace of the snake".

    Tue, 27 Aug 2019 12:45:37 -0400
  • Meng Meng, Berlin Zoo's panda, is pregnant

    Golocal247.com news

    Berlin Zoo panda Meng Meng is pregnant, with her cub expected to be born within two weeks, it was announced Tuesday. "We are delighted with the news," said zoo director Andreas Knieriem after an ultrasound scan confirmed the pregnancy. Berlin Zoo says the size of the foetus and the results of hormonal analysis suggest the birth will take place within a fortnight.

    Tue, 27 Aug 2019 06:43:17 -0400
  • Austrian police hunt for cowbell thieves

    Golocal247.com news

    Austrian police said Monday they are hunting for thieves who stole over a dozen bells from cows grazing in the west of the country. "Of course people may wonder why someone would steal a cowbell," Bernhard Gruber, a police spokesman from the Tyrol region, told AFP. Police estimated that the stolen bells were worth a total of less than 1,000 euros.

    Mon, 26 Aug 2019 11:33:57 -0400
  • 182 pigs killed en route to French slaughterhouse

    Golocal247.com news

    More than 180 pigs were killed when a lorry that was transporting them to the slaughterhouse overturned at the weekend in northeastern France, rescuers said Monday. "A heavy goods vehicle (HGV) which was transporting 205 pigs overturned" at a roundabout in Etain, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the city of Metz, a spokesman said. Only 23 pigs survived.

    Mon, 26 Aug 2019 05:07:09 -0400
  • Trump trips up in tweet about Macron lunch

    Golocal247.com news

    Did Donald Trump really have lunch with someone impersonating France's President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday? Big weekend with other world leaders!" Trump posted after the meal in Biarritz, where he had just arrived for the G7 summit. Shortly after, the US president -- one of Twitter's biggest fans and stars -- corrected his message to read @EmmanuelMacron.

    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 13:05:36 -0400
  • America's 'Marquis' snares air guitar championship title

    Golocal247.com news

    Twenty hopefuls from around the world donned glitter, make-up and outrageous costumes to face off in an epic, virtuoso guitar battle onstage on Friday -- but without an instrument in sight. The Air Guitar World Championships have been held in the small Finnish town of Oulu, not far from the Arctic circle, for 24 years, and the competition has become an institution in the country which prides itself on organising wacky competitions in anything from wife carrying to sitting naked on ant hills.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 19:21:01 -0400
  • New Zealand MP goes viral after bottle-feeding baby in parliament

    Golocal247.com news

    New Zealand's parliament speaker is perhaps better practised at quieting MPs than calming babies, but images of the powerful politician doing exactly that went viral this week. Trevor Mallard, the speaker of the country's House of Representatives, was filmed bottle-feeding and calming the one-month-old son of a fellow politician on Wednesday. Tutanekai is the biological son of his partner, Tim Smith, and was born by surrogate.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 06:12:58 -0400
  • Move over Angelina Jolie, it's 'humanitarian pup'

    Golocal247.com news

    With interest in the Rohingya refugees fading two years after fleeing their homeland, the World Food Programme has found a new weapon to maintain awareness, one with a wet nose and a wagging tail. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees have fled a military crackdown in Myanmar into Bangladesh. The exodus attracted global attention at the time, but despite the efforts of aid agencies -- including a February visit to the camps by UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie -- the world is losing interest.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 05:24:21 -0400
  • Gentleman jailbreak: convicts return to Indonesia prison

    Golocal247.com news

    More than 270 inmates -- including convicted murderers -- who bolted from a prison torched during violent riots in Indonesia's Papua region have returned to finish their sentences, a corrections official said Friday. The convicts are even helping build a temporary office for their jailers, he added, after parts of the building in Sorong city went up in flames this week. "But they weren't trying to escape -- they just wanted to save themselves from the fire," prison spokesman Elly Yuzar said Friday.

    Fri, 23 Aug 2019 03:28:28 -0400
  • US energy secretary falls for Instagram hoax

    Golocal247.com news

    US Energy Secretary Rick Perry -- who oversees the country's nuclear arsenal -- has fallen for an Instagram hoax. "There's no truth to this post," BuzzFeed News quoted a spokesperson for Instagram's parent company Facebook as saying. Perry came in for heavy criticism on social media, with various users wondering whether someone who couldn't identify an internet hoax should be in charge of nuclear arms.

    Thu, 22 Aug 2019 02:38:52 -0400
  • Albania bulldozes restaurant after owner attacks tourists

    Golocal247.com news

    Albanian officials on Wednesday razed a beachfront restaurant whose owner was captured on camera attacking a car rented by Spanish tourists, as the country scrambles to clean up its reputation as a burgeoning holiday destination. The incident, filmed by the victims' tour guide from inside their vehicle, took place at the weekend in Porto-Palermo on the Ionian coast in southern Albania, a popular tourist spot. The restaurant owner, 51-year-old Mihal Kokedhima, was arrested and faces trial for "verbally assaulting a group of Spanish tourists for futile reasons", damaging their car and causing minor injuries, police said.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 10:17:17 -0400
  • Mind the doors: Japan bullet train runs with door open at 280 kph

    Golocal247.com news

    A Japanese bullet train hurtling along at 280 kilometres (174 miles) per hour ran for nearly a minute with one of its doors completely open on Wednesday, its operator said. The accident, due to human error, was a rare mishap for the Japanese "Shinkansen" bullet train which has a world-famous safety and punctuality record. The Tokyo-bound Hayabusa No. 46 train screeched to an emergency stop in a tunnel shortly after leaving Sendai station in northeastern Japan when the conductor saw a warning light that the door of the ninth carriage was open, East Japan Railway said.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 10:17:10 -0400
  • Siberian postwoman on DIY monster truck gives lifeline to tiny village

    Golocal247.com news

    Every week, she travels 16 kilometres (10 miles) through the forest to the nearest post office in a larger village to collect the post, supplies and pensions for her neighbours. With her husband at the wheel, Yermolova can now reach the post office in an hour. Cows roam outside the post office, one of the largely wooden village's few brick buildings.

    Wed, 21 Aug 2019 07:30:18 -0400
  • Dutch plan big Brexit beach party

    Golocal247.com news

    Thousands of people have signed up on Facebook to a Dutch beach party for Brexit, featuring food from across the European Union to mark Britain's departure. Created by media worker Ron Toekook, the event calls for partygoers to meet at the seaside village of Wijk aan Zee near Amsterdam on October 31, the date Britain is meant to leave. Suggestions for other songs to be played included Dutch novelty boyband "Breunion Boys" and their single "Britain Come Back".

    Tue, 20 Aug 2019 13:09:55 -0400
  • Pilgrims gather for cosmic-like ritual in Bulgaria's mountains

    Golocal247.com news

    Thousands of pilgrims gathered Monday in Bulgaria's Rila mountains to welcome their "spiritual" new year with a cosmic-like dance performed in concentric circles, creating a striking image on the verdant mountain plain. The white-clad dancers hiked up to Bulgaria's Seven Rila Lakes at an altitude of 2,100 metres (6,900 feet) and performed a special meditative dance known as "paneurhythmy" for more than an hour under the sound of singing and violins.

    Mon, 19 Aug 2019 15:14:49 -0400
  • Bulgaria seizes cocaine smuggled in banana shipment

    Golocal247.com news

    A warehouse worker has discovered 75 kilogrammes (165 lb) of cocaine hidden among bananas shipped from Ecuador to Bulgaria's Black Sea port of Burgas, prosecutors and police said Saturday. The drugs were packed in bricks wrapped up in metal foil and hidden inside the shipment of 20,626 boxes of bananas, Burgas regional prosecutor Georgy Chinev told journalists outside the Burgas warehouse of the InterCitrus fruit distribution company. A warehouse worker came upon the 2.5-kilogramme packages on Saturday morning and alerted police, Burgas police chief Kaloyan Kaloyanov said.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 12:57:08 -0400
  • Eye of the swarm: experts take sting out of urban beekeeping

    Golocal247.com news

    "A swarm of bees... really looks like a biblical event," said 53-year-old Del Voss, one of about 100 amateur beekeepers in Washington. In 1947, there were about six million US honeybee hives but the figure dropped to 2.4 million in the following 60 years, thanks to pesticides, habitat destruction and other manmade threats, as well as parasitic mites. Hives typically house up to 70,000 bees.

    Fri, 16 Aug 2019 21:34:41 -0400
  • Greenland cold-shoulders Trump's buyer's interest

    Golocal247.com news

    Greenland is not for sale, local authorities said Friday, after a newspaper reported that US President Donald Trump is looking into whether it might be possible for the United States to buy the mineral-rich Arctic island. Trump has expressed interest in the self-governing part of Denmark -- which is mostly covered in ice, -- asking advisors if it is possible for the US to acquire the territory, The Wall Street Journal said Thursday, citing people familiar with the discussions. Greenland is a self-governing region of Denmark, which colonised the 772,000 square-mile (two-million square kilometre) island in the 18th century, and is home to only about 57,000 people, most of whom belong to the indigenous Inuit community.

    Fri, 16 Aug 2019 17:37:54 -0400
  • EU's von der Leyen bids Germany goodbye with Scorpions hit

    Golocal247.com news

    EU president-elect Ursula von der Leyen chose the Scorpions' smash hit "Wind of Change", which has become an anthem for the fall of the Berlin Wall, for her official departure ceremony in Berlin on Thursday. The power ballad by the German rock band, which has sold an estimated 14 million copies since its release in 1991, was performed by a military brass band during the ceremony attended by Chancellor Angela Merkel. Von der Leyen, who takes office on November 1, replacing outgoing European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, last month handed over as defence minister to Merkel's favoured successor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

    Thu, 15 Aug 2019 17:17:24 -0400
  • One for the rodent: Rats a cheap street snack in Cambodia

    Golocal247.com news

    As he tears off a leg of a charcoal-grilled rat at a roadside stall in western Cambodia, Yit Sarin hails the simple joy of rodent and rice washed down with beer. "It's delicious," he says of the snack. Barbecued field rats are not everybody's idea of a tasty treat, but in Cambodia's rural Battambang province they are popular as a quick -- and cheap -- snack, with small skewered ones going for $0.25 each while larger rodents can cost $1.25.

    Thu, 15 Aug 2019 10:08:23 -0400
  • Daredevils, balloons and bangles for Indian Independence Day

    Golocal247.com news

    India became a sea of saffron, white and green Thursday as the nation of 1.3 billion celebrated Independence Day in characteristically colourful fashion. India became independent from colonial power Britain on August 15, 1947. Towards midnight Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister, had made his famous "tryst with destiny" speech.

    Thu, 15 Aug 2019 06:02:05 -0400
  • Playing god: Japan temple puts faith in robot priest

    Golocal247.com news

    The android Kannon, based on the Buddhist deity of mercy, preaches sermons at Kodaiji temple in Kyoto, and its human colleagues predict that with artificial intelligence it could one day acquire unlimited wisdom. "This robot will never die, it will just keep updating itself and evolving," priest Tensho Goto told AFP. It's changing Buddhism," added Goto.

    Wed, 14 Aug 2019 09:31:34 -0400
  • The rugby-mad duo cycling from Twickenham to Tokyo

    Golocal247.com news

    They survived angry dogs in Iran and stomach bugs in India, and have slept in monasteries, underpasses and on farms -- it's been a madcap adventure for a pair of rugby enthusiasts cycling from Twickenham to Tokyo for charity ahead of the Rugby World Cup. With little more than a weathered map in their baggage, Ron Rutland and James Owens have been on the road for 191 days and counting, having set off from London in February. The clock is ticking, however, as Rutland and Owens are also carrying the whistle which will be used for the Rugby World Cup's September 20 curtain-raiser between Japan and Russia in Tokyo.

    Sun, 11 Aug 2019 00:08:49 -0400
  • Medieval bridge faces troubled waters in Belgium

    Golocal247.com news

    The demolition of a historic bridge across a Belgian river is triggering fears among residents of Tournai that the city symbol will be disfigured permanently when a new span replaces it. The authorities insist they chose the most cost-effective option to build a new crossing that will allow larger barges to sail underneath while preserving the character of the medieval monument, known locally as the "bridge of holes". Workers pressed ahead on Friday with demolishing the arches which were rebuilt after World War II when British troops blew up the original span, along with Tournai's other bridges, to slow the Nazi invasion of Belgium in May 1940.

    Fri, 09 Aug 2019 13:52:42 -0400
  • Iraqi transforms Kalashnikov into musical instrument

    Golocal247.com news

    It may sound as if Baghdad resident Majed Abdennour is playing the lute, but on closer inspection the Iraqi musician is clutching a repurposed Kalashnikov. Wearing a blue blazer and dark tie, Abdennour strummed the strings of his unusual instrument which has an ammunition case as a sound box. The Iraqi teacher in his fifties had the assault rifle at home to "protect" himself and his family during the worst years of sectarian violence in the Iraqi capital.

    Fri, 09 Aug 2019 13:40:06 -0400
  • Fairway to heaven? UK cathedral golf course draws fans

    Golocal247.com news

    A mini-golf course in the nave of a mediaeval English cathedral to encourage families to visit this summer is proving a match made in heaven -- and controversy. The nine-hole course blessing Rochester Cathedral in southern England, which dates back to 604AD, has been drawing in families since the miniature fairways were rolled out last week. The course will stay in the cathedral throughout August, in the latest move by the Church of England to stem dwindling congregations in an increasingly secular Britain.

    Fri, 09 Aug 2019 05:45:42 -0400
  • Donkey diva: Singing beast of burden becomes Indian sensation

    Golocal247.com news

    An unorthodox Indian music star has won hearts online with her big teeth, lustrous white coat, four legs and melodic braying at mealtime. "Usually our videos have a lot of sick animals and animals being rescued, and it's generally heavy and sad," RESQ Charitable Trust head Jessica Roberts told AFP. Roberts said they were inspired by Harriet, a singing donkey from Ireland who also shot to social media fame for her "operatic singing".

    Thu, 08 Aug 2019 20:15:30 -0400
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