Offbeat
Latest stories
Grenade Tossed at Wahab Residence Building

Unknown assailants tossed overnight a hand grenade at the Beirut building where Tawhid movement leader Wiam Wahab resides, As Safir daily reported Thursday.

The newspaper said the incident caused material damage only.

Full Story
Australia Mulls Lifting Ban on Hemp Foods

Australia's food watchdog said Wednesday it may lift its ban on food derived from hemp, with the man pushing for change promising cannabis ice-cream if successful.

Hemp foods are widely available in many overseas markets, including Europe, Canada and the United States, and deregistered Sydney doctor Andrew Katelaris has applied for the rules to be overturned in Australia.

W140 Full Story
Russia Bans 'Putin-Medvedev' Vodka Brand

Russia has banned a firm from registering as a trademark a brand of vodka whose name appears to play on the names of its ruling duo, Vedomosti business daily reported Tuesday.

Russia's patent agency refused to allow a company to register as a trademark the name "Volodya and Medvedi," with Volodya a diminutive of Vladimir, and Medvedi, or bears, sounding similar to the surname Medvedev, it reported.

W140 Full Story
$1 Million from Zayed Environment Prize to 4 Pioneers

Zayed International Prize for the Environment awarded $1 million to four environmental pioneers, including Najib Saab, Editor-in-Chief of Al-Bia Wal-Tanmia magazine and Secretary General of Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED). At a ceremony held today in Dubai International Convention Center, Saab was honored for Environmental Action Leading to Positive Change in Society, by the prize patron, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

Also honored was the laureate for Global Leadership, President of the Republic of Korea Lee Myung-Bak, “who seized the moment of the recent economic and financial crisis to commit his country to a low carbon, more resource efficient green economic path.”

W140 Full Story
Teen Cancels Facebook Party with 200,000 'Guests'

An Australian schoolgirl had to cancel her 16th birthday party after her Facebook invitation went viral and close to 200,000 people said they would turn up at her house, reports said Tuesday.

The Sydney girl had wanted her schoolmates to attend, and the post -- which included her address -- said they could bring friends if they let her know, Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.

W140 Full Story
Civet 'Cat' dung Fuels Indonesia's Luxury Coffee

Indonesia's self-proclaimed "King of Luwak", Gunawan Supriadi, is having a hard time keeping up with demand for the beans excreted by his stable of pampered civet "cats".

And he's not alone. Demand for coffee brewed with beans plucked from the dung of the furry, weasel-like creatures -- known locally as luwaks -- is surging among well-healed connoisseurs around the world, exporters say.

W140 Full Story
Passenger Prayer Spurs Security Alert on LA Flight

Pilots on an Alaska Airlines flight from Mexico City to Los Angeles locked down the cockpit and alerted authorities Sunday when a flight crew grew alarmed at the behavior of three men who turned out to be conducting an elaborate orthodox Jewish prayer ritual, officials said.

The men, all Mexican nationals, began the ritual that involves tying leather straps and small wooden boxes to the body, and the crew of Flight 241 alerted the cockpit, airline spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said.

W140 Full Story
Brazilian Cosmetic Surgeon Recalls Gadhafi Facelift

A prominent Brazilian cosmetic surgeon has revealed that he operated on Libyan leader Moammer Gadhafi 16 years ago to give him a more youthful look.

"Gadhafi insisted on an imperceptible operation," said Liacyr Ribeiro, 70, who worked in two Rio clinics and is also said to have performed cosmetic surgery on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

W140 Full Story
Old Bird Lays Egg at 60

She's the grand old lady of albatrosses, is still raising chicks and doesn't look a day older than she did in 1956.

Researchers call her Wisdom, and at 60 years of age she was recently found sitting on an egg on Midway Atoll, an island in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii.

W140 Full Story
Two-Headed Turtle Raises Eyebrows in Slovakia

A two-headed turtle with five feet is raising eyebrows in Slovakia after the bicephalic reptile hatched in the northern town of Zilina seven weeks ago, local news agency SITA reported.

"I call it Magdalena or just Magda and Lena. Magda, is the larger head and the smaller one is Lena," explained owner Roman Gresak.

W140 Full Story