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June 10, 2021

Human Interest / Brights / Odd News

UAE selects first Arab woman for astronaut training

Reuters
DUBAI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates has selected the first Arab woman to train as an astronaut, as the Gulf country rapidly expands into the space sector to diversify its economy. Emirati national Nora al-Matrooshi, a 27-year-old mechanical engineering graduate currently working at Abu Dhabi’s National Petroleum Construction Company,......

China’s graft watchdog rebukes ‘mukbang’ binge-eating, drinking videos

Reuters
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s corruption watchdog has called on online video-sharing platforms to take action against “mukbang” shows, in which people livestream themselves eating – or drinking – excessively, saying such content encourages food waste. Mukbang videos originated in South Korea and are increasingly popular in China, but they have......

Myanmar pots ring out for CNN crew escorted by army

Reuters
(Reuters) – People in Myanmar’s main city, Yangon, banged pots and pans on Wednesday in a show of defiance against the ruling junta during a visit to Yangon by a news crew from CNN travelling in a heavily armed convoy. Opponents of the army’s Feb. 1 coup voiced concern that......

Belgian university city hopes circles will encourage social distancing

Reuters
GHENT, Belgium (Reuters) – The Belgian city of Ghent has struggled to persuade its large student population to stick to social distancing rules during the pandemic, but the authorities hope they have found a solution at least to keep outside gatherings under control. The city, home to some 80,000 students,......

Ravers feel the music at socially distanced silent disco in Barcelona

Reuters
BARCELONA (Reuters) – Barcelona ravers have found a way to get round COVID-19 curbs on clubs by holding outdoor silent discos in some of the city’s best-known locations. On Sunday, people welcomed the first day of spring by putting on their headphones and busting some moves at Mar Bella beach......

Portuguese island in middle of Atlantic close to COVID-19 herd immunity: doctor

Reuters
LISBON (Reuters) – The small, lush green Portuguese island of Corvo, home to around 400 people, has vaccinated most of its population against COVID-19 and will soon reach herd immunity, according to its only doctor. “There’s an atmosphere of celebration in Corvo,” Dr. Antonio Salgado told the Lusa news agency.......

Sea slugs lose heads to rid bodies of parasites, Japan researchers show

Reuters
An Elysia marginata, a species of sea slug, after shedding its body and its self-decapitated head is seen in this handout photo taken at the laboratory at Nara Women’s University in Japan on September 2, 2020, released by university graduate school student Sayaka Mitoh, and obtained by Reuters March 10,......

Fighting through the pain: Lady Gaga sends message of support to Japan

Reuters
(Reuters) – Lady Gaga sent a message of support to Japan on the 10th anniversary of its massive earthquake and tsunami, saying the resilience of its people offers hope in the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic. “Through the years, seeing and hearing about the vast recovery of your beautiful......

In Japan, vending machines help ease access to COVID-19 tests

Reuters
By Hideto Sakai, Rocky Swift TOKYO (Reuters) – In Japan, convenience is king and getting tested for COVID-19 can be highly inconvenient. Part of solution, as it is for a range of daily necessities in Tokyo, has become the humble vending machine. Eager to conserve manpower and hospital resources, the......

Retired Italian teacher leaves fortune to hospitals, charities

Reuters
FILE PHOTO: A view of part of the Genoa harbor May 14, 2013./File Photo ROME (Reuters) – A retired Italian teacher has bequeathed more than 25 million euros ($30 million) to hospitals and charities, stunning residents of the northern city of Genoa where she lived who had no inkling of......

San Francisco backpedals on controversial plan to rename schools

Reuters
FILE PHOTO: School buses are seen parked at First Student Charter Bus Rental as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in San Francisco, California, U.S. April 7, 2020. REUTERS/Stephen Lam (Reuters) – San Francisco’s education chief has halted plans to rename 44 of the city’s public schools, a move......

Factbox: Stonks in Washington – Deciphering Reddit’s WallStreetBets lingo

Reuters
(Reuters) – Reddit trading lingo may filter in to Washington on Thursday when top hedge fund managers, the head of Robinhood and Roaring Kitty himself are set to give testimony before U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers. FILE PHOTO: The Reddit logo is seen on a smartphone in front of a......

Ancient mass production brewery uncovered in Egypt

Reuters
CAIRO (Reuters) – Archaeologists have discovered a 5,000-year-old brewery that could produce thousands of litres of beer in the ancient Egyptian city of Abydos, Egypt’s tourism and antiquities ministry said. The site in Egypt’s Sohag Governorate likely dates back to the reign of King Narmer around 3,100 BC, the ministry......

Mealworm Valentine treats charm London Zoo’s squirrel monkeys

Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) – Staff at London Zoo have helped the leader of a squirrel monkey family keep his seven partners happy ahead of Valentine’s Day with some special treats: heart-themed hessian bags filled with mealworms. Nine-year-old Nuka and his fellow Bolivian black-capped squirrel monkeys adore the treats. While the keepers......

Cheap old homes draw U.S. millennials escaping pandemic cages

Reuters
NORWICH, Conn. (Reuters) – American millennials with budget constraints are breaking out of their pandemic coops to find affordable dream homes in far-flung places. For funeral home director Kate Reinhart, from Utah, that dream is an octagonal Victorian that recalls the macabre Addams Family mansion seen in cartoons, films and......

Mars ready for its close-up: China releases space probe’s first image

Reuters
FILE PHOTO: The first image of Mars taken by China’s Tianwen-1 unmanned probe is seen in this handout image released by China National Space Administration (CNSA) February 5, 2021. CNSA/Handout via REUTERS BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s maiden space exploration mission to Mars has captured its first image of the red......

COVID face mask painted on giant English chalk figure

Reuters
Long Man of Wilmington hill figure is pictured with an alteration depicting a mask in South Downs, Britain January 27, 2021 in this image obtained from social media. Jeremy Christey via REUTERS LONDON (Reuters) – British police are searching for the vandal or vandals who painted a COVID-19 face mask......

Amsterdam zoo Artis gives up lions amid coronavirus cash crunch

Reuters
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Amsterdam’s zoo Artis, one of the oldest animal parks in Europe, said on Thursday it will stop keeping lions because it can’t afford them due to the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. “This was a difficult decision because the lions are part of Artis’s identity,” director......

Makers of Sophia the robot plan mass rollout amid pandemic

Reuters
HONG KONG (Reuters) – “Social robots like me can take care of the sick or elderly,” Sophia says as she conducts a tour of her lab in Hong Kong. “I can help communicate, give therapy and provide social stimulation, even in difficult situations.” Since being unveiled in 2016, Sophia –......

Chile regrets panic triggered by mistaken tsunami warning after quake

Reuters
By Aislinn Laing, Fabian Cambero SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Authorities in Chile said on Saturday they regretted spreading panic with a mistaken tsunami warning calling for people to get out of coastal areas following an earthquake in Antarctica. A man checks his cell phone after receiving a message from the national......

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