GRAND-HALLET, Belgium (Reuters) - The colourful tins piled high around Belgian collector Yvette Dardenne used to contain goods ranging from chocolates, toffees, coffee and rice to tobacco, talc and shoe polish, and come from as far away as India. Yvette Dardenne, 83, has accumulated almost 60,000 vintage tin boxes from all over the world since starting her collection some 30 years ago. The collection, which now occupies four houses, all began with a Cote d'Or chocolate box illustrated with a painting of a blonde girl in a blue hat, Dardenne told Reuters, standing amid the carefully arranged tin boxes in the medieval watermill she owns next to her home.
The flip flop sound of penguin feet rang out at an empty zoo in Thailand on Thursday as a parade of birds waddled out of their enclosure for their daily splash in a pool to keep them healthy during a COVID-19 lockdown. Thailand is fighting its biggest coronavirus outbreak yet and has introduced strict movement curbs that have seen many public places, including zoos, shuttered. "I noticed that they felt a bit confused because when they walk out, there's usually a lot of people waiting for them," said Tossapol Kosol, a penguin specialist at the Khao Kheow Open Zoo just outside Bangkok, the Southeast Asian country's capital.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that his dog Dilyn had "romantic urges" and was "endlessly at people's legs" in Downing Street. Johnson and Carrie Symonds revealed in 2019 that they had adopted a rescued Jack Russell-cross puppy named Dilyn. "Do you have to worry about his romantic urges?" Johnson asked a police dog handler with an Alsatian.
Cat owners who love to take pictures of their furry friends now have a new excuse to pull out their smartphones and take a snapshot: it may actually help the cat. A Calgary, Alberta, animal health technology company, Sylvester.ai, has developed an app called Tably that uses the phone's camera to tell whether a feline is feeling pain. A 2019 study published in peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports found that the so-called 'feline grimace scale,' or FGS, is a valid and reliable tool for acute pain assessment in cats.
Australia's strict hotel quarantine requirements leaves most people frustrated and angry, but a group of quarantined seasonal workers from Samoa sang from their hotel room balconies in Hobart to say thank you instead. They were also doing this to thank the Australian Defence Force, police and government for their efforts, according to Dennie Teniseli, who filmed the video on June 18 not long after the group flew in. Australia has since March 2020 shut its international border to non-citizens but it has allowed just over 1,500 people from the Pacific to temporarily enter and work on farms in a bit to ease labour shortages.
A man in the Australian city of Perth escaped mandatory quarantine in a hotel by scaling down a rope made of tied together bedsheets from a fourth-floor window, police said on Tuesday. After arriving in the West Coast city on an interstate flight from Brisbane, the man had his application for entry refused under the state's tough border entry rules intended to stop the virus entering from elsewhere in the country. The man was told to leave the state within 48 hours and taken to a hotel for temporary quarantine, but just before 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday (17:00 GMT on Monday) "he climbed out a window of the fourth floor room using a rope made of bed sheets and fled the area", Western Australia Police said in a Facebook post.
Four German tightrope walkers have set a new world highlining distance record by crossing a 2.1 km-long valley in Swedish lapland on a line suspended at a height of 600 metres. Reuters' video footage showed a barefoot man sway and teeter as he delicately tiptoed across the line between two mountain peaks in a snow-capped valley. "I just focused on being very slow, being extremely clean and just reaching the end," said Quirin Herterich, who was first to cross the line before compatriots Lukas Irmler, Ruben Langer and Friedi Kuehne successfully followed.
The massive bubble Kurth Reis conjured last month, rising like a genie from a bucket of soap, startled a small girl visiting San Francisco's Embarcadero, almost enveloping her as she scampered away. Reis was in the military and later did jail time, burning bridges before a motorcycle crash hospitalized him in 2018, he recounted. His girlfriend, Kelly Sullivan, deserves much of the credit, or blame, for what she calls his soapy "addiction."
A 19-acre (7.7-hectare) lot for sale in a protected bay on the Canadian side of Lake Erie may look like a steal at C$99,000 ($80,292), especially with the average home in Canada now worth C$688,000, but there is a catch. The vacant lot on Brock Street in the village of Shrewsbury, Ontario, about 65 miles (105 km) east of Detroit, has no actual address, though the neighborhood gets high marks for being quiet and car-friendly. Canada's housing market has been on a tear through the COVID-19 pandemic, with the average selling price of a home up 38.4% in May from a year earlier.
A pet lion that authorities seized from a house in Cambodia's capital last week was reunited with its owner on Monday - after a personal intervention by Prime Minister Hun Sen. Police and wildlife officials initially raided the property on June 27, saying they were rescuing the animal after videos of it appeared on the social media app TikTok, and neighbours raised the alarm. In the days that followed, social media posts appeared saying the lion should be returned to the owner, who had denied accusations of mistreating the animal.
As demand for plant-based alternatives to meat rises, Barcelona-based startup Novameat is using its 3D printing technology to manufacture vegetarian "steaks" that it hopes will reach the mass market next year. Novameat plans to sell its "steaks" directly to consumers and to businesses such as restaurants interested in producing plant-based meat, business development manager Alexandre Campos told Reuters on Tuesday. The Spanish company, which developed its technology in 2018, was showing how its latest 3D printer produced food at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress (MWC).
Meatpacker JBS SA said on Thursday it will give away beef, pork and chicken for the next year to 50 U.S. families that participate in company-sponsored vaccination clinics over the coming weeks. The Brazilian company's arm in the United States and Pilgrim's Pride, a U.S. chicken company mostly owned by JBS, came under fire last year as thousands of meatpacking workers fell sick with COVID-19. "We've made great progress, and our vaccination rates are much higher than the rates in the communities that we call home," said Andre Nogueira, JBS USA chief executive.
Ancient Egypt met modern medical technology when a mummy underwent a CT scan at an Italian hospital as part of a research project to discover its secrets. The mummy of Ankhekhonsu, an ancient Egyptian priest, was transferred from Bergamo's Civic Archaeological Museum to Milan's Policlinico hospital, where experts will shed light on his life and the burial customs of almost 3,000 years ago. "The mummies are practically a biological museum, they are like a time capsule," said Sabina Malgora, the director of the Mummy Project Research.
After 123 days handcuffed together to save their on-again off-again relationship, Ukrainians Alexandr Kudlay and Viktoria Pustovitova have split up, shedding their bonds on national TV and saying the experiment had brought home uncomfortable truths. The young couple from the eastern city of Kharkiv decided to handcuff themselves together on Valentine's Day, in a last-ditch attempt to break the cycle of breaking up and making up. Pustovitova said personal space is what she missed most, although she also felt her boyfriend did not pay her enough attention while they were chained together.
With one eye on the lucrative Chinese market just across the border, an entrepreneur has launched Kyrgyzstan's first cricket farm and is producing high-protein insect flour and fried cricket snacks. Accompanied by loud chirping from his one tonne of crickets at the farm, Adyl Gaparov said his idea was inspired by online articles about breeding crickets. "Our main business is producing cricket flour with high protein content," Gaparov said.
Supermarket chain Carrefour SA said on Friday it had notified local police after employees at one of its Warsaw stores had found suspicious parcels in a delivery of bananas, which police later confirmed to be cocaine. "They immediately notified the police, who quickly secured the batch of goods and started an investigation that is currently underway," Carrefour said in an email to Reuters, adding that it was cooperating with the investigation. Warsaw police said the packages contained over 160 kilograms (352.74 lbs) of cocaine worth 30 million zlotys ($8.14 million).
For some in the U.S., the emergence of billions of red-eyed cicadas this spring after a 17-year slumber has been met with annoyance - particularly over their loud buzzing calls. But for David Rothenberg, a professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, it has presented a unique opportunity for collaboration. "We're combining human musical ideas with nature's musical ideas," he explained as he gathered fellow musicians at a nature preserve in Princeton, New Jersey.
Chinese social media platform WeChat on Thursday published a list of activities and "violations" it is banning in a bid to clean up its livestreaming service, including "indecent" nose-picking and spanking games. WeChat, owned by Tencent Holdings, is ubiquitous in China, where it is used by around 1 billion people for everything from sending instant messages to ordering pizzas. China closely regulates its internet and has been increasingly clamping down on content that is politically or socially sensitive.
GUANIMAR (Reuters) - "Michel the noble" and "Panchito the affectionate" are some of the names Leonardo Carrillo has given the pelicans that flock each year to his wooden hut on the southern coast of Cuba. For the past two decades, the 62-year-old has cared for the colony of around 100 brown pelicans that land in his village of Guanimar in December to spend the winter months there before heading back north in May. Carrillo said he does actually have three (human) children - two who live in the Isle of Youth and one who lives in a nearby town.
Laurent Veyet's tasting menu is not for the faint-hearted, but may point to the future of feeding a booming world population - there is a prawn salad with yellow mealworm, crunchy insects on a bed of vegetables and chocolate-coated grasshoppers. "It's the ideal dish for first-timers," the Parisian chef said, preparing a serving of pasta made with mealworm flour, sweet potato and sauteed insect larvae. The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) in January deemed the mealworm fit for human consumption and in May approved its sale on the market.
Peruvian shamans, with rattles, smoke and pictures of the Andean country's two presidential candidates, are trying to read the tea leaves ahead of a polarized run-off election on June 6 with polls showing what could be a tight contest. On a stony hillside in Lima, shamans burned incense and played musical instruments in colorful, traditional outfits to predict the winner from between socialist front-runner Pedro Castillo and conservative Keiko Fujimori. The vote could tip copper-rich Peru sharply to the left, with Castillo pledging to rewrite the constitution and levy larger portions of mining wealth.
BANGKOK (Reuters) -A district of northern Thailand has launched a raffle campaign for inoculated residents to win a live cow per week for the rest of the year, in a bid to boost the local COVID-19 vaccination drive. From next month, one lucky vaccinated villager in the Mae Chaem district of Chiang Mai province will be randomly chosen every week to win a young cow worth around 10,000 baht ($319). "Our vaccine registration numbers have gone from hundreds to thousands in a couple of days," district chief Boonlue Thamtharanurak told Reuters.
Foamy slime bubbles onto Damien Desrocher’s hand as he lightly rubs one of the thousands of snails he keeps in an enclosure in his backyard. The 28-year-old French artisan began using the gastropod fluid to make soap bars, which he sells in local markets, in December. "It's all in the dexterity of how you tickle,” Desrocher said as he extracted the slime, noting that the process does not kill the animals.
Belgium striker Michy Batshuayi faces a prompt punishment of 50 push-ups when he joins the national team squad for the European Championship at the end of the month. Batshuayi prematurely announced his own inclusion in the 26-man squad for the tournament on Monday, firing off a tweet before the squad’s official announcement was completed at a formal news conference addressed by coach Roberto Martinez. The Crystal Palace forward had not followed the announcement by Martinez on the Belgium FA mobile app and jumped the gun.
A British yachtsman has been placed in mandatory coronavirus quarantine in a hotel in downtown Sydney after being rescued from his sinking craft in rough waters, Australian police said on Sunday. Australian media said the 40-year-old was sailing to Sydney from Tahiti. Police in New South Wales said they launched a 26-hour rescue effort from midnight on Friday, after receiving reports of a 50-foot (15 m) Beneteau yacht taking on water about 95 nautical miles off the coast of Newcastle.
“Left unchecked, if artificial intelligence reaches cognition … it will be fueled by some of the most inhumane impulses of humanity.”
“Now is the time to stop and think — before our technology outstrips us once again.”
“I don't want to talk about sentient robots, because at all ends of the spectrum there are humans harming other humans.”
“Minds can take different forms … We should avoid reducing questions about AIs to ‘Can AIs think and feel like us?’”
“To identify sentience, or consciousness, or even intelligence, we’re going to have to work out what they are.”