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Japan Robot Owners Warned off Droid Sex

The company behind a chatty Japanese humanoid named Pepper has felt the need to remind customers who purchase the robots not to engage in sex with them.

Mobile phone giant SoftBank, which sells the units in Japan, states helpfully in its user agreement: "The policy owner must not perform any sexual act or other indecent behaviour."

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Italy Student Crowdfunding PhD to Fight Mafia

An Italian student is appealing for the public to crowdfund his PhD research into the mafia so he can shed new light on organised crime on the streets of Naples where the powerful Camorra syndicate holds sway.

After being rebuffed by supervisors in Italy who thought studying statistics beat infiltrating the grimy world of extortioners and victims, Mario Trifuoggi decided to move his PhD to London and ask donors to help with the costs.

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Argentine Drug Smugglers Busted for Cooking up Cocaine-rice

Creative drug smugglers in Argentina fused rice with cocaine and tried to ship nearly 1,000 bags to Europe marked as donations for a U.N. food program in Africa, police said Wednesday.

Authorities seized 920 bags of the special rice in the city of Rosario, north of the capital Buenos Aires, and arrested the gang behind the unusual ruse.

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Bolivia Wants to Ban Salt from Restaurants

Bolivia has a novel idea to cut down the salt intake of its people: banish it from restaurant tables.

About a third of Bolivia's population suffers from hypertension, or high blood pressure, and the government blames salt for it.

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Italy Far-Right Files 82 Million Changes to Constitutional Reform Bill

Italy's far-right, anti-euro Northern League party on Wednesday submitted more than 82 million computer-generated amendments to a draft constitutional reform in a bid to trump the bill.

The immense list could still be rejected in one clean sweep by the Senate president.

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Danish Anti-Immigrant MP Reveals Scant GDP Knowledge

A Danish anti-immigration lawmaker left radio listeners baffled after she was unable to explain the concept of economic growth and suggested GDP should be cut to help more refugees.

Pernille Bendixen of the Danish People's Party (DPP) was asked how the country's right-wing government would be able to keep its pledge of helping more refugees in areas bordering conflict zones, while at the same time reducing foreign aid.

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Egg-Throwing Kosovo Lawmakers Scramble PM's Speech

Kosovo opposition lawmakers on Tuesday pelted the prime minister with eggs, preventing him from addressing parliament over the ongoing dialogue with Serbia.

Isa Mustafa could not even begun speaking when opposition deputies started hurling eggs from their benches, prompting his bodyguards to rush to open umbrellas in a bid to protect him.

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'Hello': French Travel Guide Launches Special Edition for Refugees

The Routard travel guide that has led generations of French travelers through foreign lands has published a special version to help refugees navigate daily life in France.

"The idea was to make a Routard guide using only illustrations, which show problems which may arise in daily situations," said Philippe Gloaguen, the founder of the company who came up with the idea.

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Blown Out of Proportion: Malaysia Woman Charged in "Balloongate"

A Malaysian woman was charged on Wednesday with insulting scandal-tainted Prime Minister Najib Razak by dropping balloons bearing pro-democracy messages near him during a public event, her lawyer said.

The case against Bilqis Hijjas -- dubbed "Balloongate" on social media -- has drawn public ridicule as an example of government overkill in pressuring its critics.

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London High Court to Rule Whether Card Game Bridge is a Sport

Practitioners of the card game bridge are appearing in London's High Court this week to argue that their pastime deserves to be considered a sport.

The English Bridge Union (EBU) took legal action after British funding body Sport England refused to recognise it as such, preventing the EBU from taking part in international competitions.

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