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Archives: Britain's Thatcher Quashed Hague's Early Ambitions

An attempt to parachute British Foreign Secretary William Hague into an early political career was rejected as a "gimmick" by former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, archives released on Thursday revealed.

Thatcher, who died in April aged 87, first came across Hague when he addressed the Conservative Party conference as a schoolboy.

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New Zealand Finally Names Islands after 200 Years

New Zealand's two main islands have never been formally named due to a clerical oversight lasting 200 years despite being universally known as the North and South Islands, officials said Thursday.

The New Zealand Geographic Board said the names had appeared on maps since European settlement began in the early 1800s but had never been formally recognized.

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Baby Boy Born on Subway Platform

A woman who gave birth to a baby boy on a Metro platform in downtown Washington is getting $100 in subway or bus fare.

Shavonnte Taylor received a handwritten note of congratulations Thursday from Metro general manager Richard Sarles. Included in the note was a $100 fare card.

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Tiny French Village to Become 'Oasis' for Ageing British Gays

Salleles-d'Aude is a picturesque village like so many in France, with vines, a tree-lined canal, a church... and soon, a "private oasis" for ageing British gay people -- reportedly a first in the country.

The brainchild of 66-year-old Danny Silver, the luxury community for gay, lesbian, bi- and transsexual British people will be located just outside the small rural village, whose residents have raised a surprised eyebrow at the news.

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Bacon Fries on Pavement as Heat Wave Grips China

It's been so hot in China that people are grilling shrimp on manhole covers, eggs are hatching without incubators and a highway billboard has mysteriously caught fire by itself.

The heat wave — the worst in at least 140 years in some parts — has left dozens of people dead and pushed thermometers above 40 degrees C (104 F) in at least 40 cities and counties, mostly in the south and east. Authorities for the first time have declared the heat a "level 2" weather emergency— a label normally invoked for typhoons and flooding.

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BBC Sorry for Showing Prince William 'Penis' Doodle

The BBC apologized on Thursday for accidentally showing an image of Britain's Prince William with a penis drawn on his head.

The blunder happened when the broadcaster's breakfast TV show aired a clip of a promo video for a comedy group who were appearing later on the program.

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Austrian Convicted for 'Liquid Ecstasy' Tragedy

An Austrian man was sentenced on Thursday to two years in prison over the death of a woman in his car who mistook the drug "liquid ecstasy" for water.

The 27-year-old Natalie D. and a girlfriend were given a lift from a nightclub in Vienna by the 36-year-old defendant and another man in the early hours of April 1.

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Man Abandoned in U.S. Jail for Five Days Wins $4.1 Mn

A man forgotten for five days in a U.S. jail without food or water has won a $4.1 million (3.1 million euro) settlement from the U.S. government, news reports said Wednesday.

Daniel Chong, 25, survived by drinking his own urine, after his jailers from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) failed to remember he was being held in their facility.

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U.S. Porn Maker to Stop Ben & Jerry's Spoofs

The days of buying pornographic videos with names based on Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavors are over.

Caballero Video has agreed to stop marketing "Boston Cream Thigh," ''Peanut Butter D-Cup" and other films spoofing the names of the venerable Vermont ice cream maker's products.

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Finger Lickin' Tortoise Denied boarding in China

A tortoise was denied boarding at an airport in China after its owner's attempt to sneak it through security checks in a KFC burger failed, state media said Wednesday.

Security staff at Baiyun airport in the southern city of Guangzhou saw "suspicious corners" on X-ray images of a bag passing through security, the Guangzhou Daily reported.

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