Offbeat
Latest stories
Camera Sold for $2.19 Million in Austria

An Austrian photo gallery says a camera used by a photographer who documented the life of artist Pablo Picasso has sold for a world record price of €1.68 million ($2.19 million).

The Westlicht gallery says the Leica m3d belonged to David Douglas Duncan. The 96-year-old former photographer for LIFE magazine was a close friend of Picasso and published hundreds of exclusive photos of him.

W140 Full Story
Hundreds of Philippine Police 'Cheated in Exams'

Thirteen Philippine policemen have been sacked and more than 350 others placed under investigation for allegedly cheating in written exams, the police governing body said Sunday.

The National Police Commission said it had invalidated the results of the exams taken last year by 386 people in the southern city of Zamboanga as so many had put exactly the same wrong answers.

W140 Full Story
'Dallas' Star Accepted Bag of Cash from Ceausescu

Larry Hagman, the "Dallas" star who died this week, accepted a bag full of cash from Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in return for allowing the regime to use his image, Britain's Sunday Times reported Sunday.

Hagman, who won worldwide fame for his portrayal of villainous Texas oilman J.R. Ewing on the primetime soap opera, visited Bucharest in the 1980s with his wife, where they were feted by Romania's Communist leaders, the newspaper said.

W140 Full Story
Pets Sent off With a Bang at Australia's Firework Funerals

Warren Blackwell held onto the ashes of his beloved canine companion Gypsy for eight years, never able to find the right place or occasion to celebrate her life.

"I've never been able to part with them, I've never been able to come up with anything that was suitable to do with them that would make me happy," he said.

W140 Full Story
Taiwan Nixes 'Jeremy Lin Party'

Taiwanese authorities have rejected an application to set up a new political party named after Asian-American basketball hero Jeremy Lin, officials said Monday.

The "Jeremy Lin Party", jointly endorsed by 30 people as required by Taiwan law, was turned down by the interior ministry's Department of Civil Affairs.

W140 Full Story
British Lawmaker Swaps One Jungle for Another

Politicians have done many things over the years to win votes, but none more so than British lawmaker Nadine Dorries, who spent 12 days in the Australian jungle eating ostrich anus on national television.

The feisty 55-year-old has been catapulted into the public eye by her appearance on "I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here", a reality TV show where C-list celebrities compete to outdo each other at a string of stomach-churning tasks.

W140 Full Story
British Codebreakers Stumped by WWII Pigeon Message

British intelligence officials are baffled by a secret World War II message that was discovered on the leg of a dead pigeon, they admitted on Friday.

The message, consisting of 27 hand-written blocks of five letters, was attached to a pigeon skeleton that was found by retired probation officer David Martin when he was renovating his house in Surrey, southeast England.

W140 Full Story
Global Toy Chain in 'Gender Neutral' Swedish Christmas

Sweden's largest toy chain said Friday that its toys are "gender neutral" after picturing boys holding baby dolls and banishing girls from the dolls pages of its Christmas catalogue.

"For several years, we have found that the gender debate has grown so strong in the Swedish market that we ... have had to adjust," Jan Nyberg, director of sales at Top Toy, franchise-holder for U.S. toy chain Toys R Us, told the TT news agency Friday.

W140 Full Story
Japan Manga 'Geeks' Seek Love at Masked Match-Making

Self-confessed geeks in Japan who might ordinarily be too shy to ask someone on a date are trying a new kind of matchmaking: wearing cartoon character masks.

In a small town north of Tokyo, 15 men and an equal number of women donned plastic masks of Doraemon, Mickey Mouse and other fictional creations to try to find a date on Friday.

W140 Full Story
Naked Man Brings London to Standstill

A naked man brought parts of central London to a standstill on Friday after he installed himself on a statue near Prime Minister David Cameron's office for nearly three hours.

He braved the November cold and gawking crowds to straddle the monument to Prince George, a 19th century military chief and one-time Duke of Cambridge, adopting various poses including balancing precariously on the prince's head.

W140 Full Story