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3D technology brings medieval books to life

AFP – Precious mediaeval books, usually displayed in glass cases and touchable only with gloves, can now be read in glorious 3D, thanks to a system unveiled Tuesday at the world’s top tech fair. With the 3D interactive book explorer, developed by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute, users browse through the sinewy…

Scientists solve Darwin’s Falkland Islands wolf mystery

PARIS — It was an animal that puzzled Charles Darwin, who wondered how on Earth a large mammal that looked a bit like a wolf and a bit like a fox had arrived on barren islands nearly 500 kilometres (300 miles) from the mainland. Now, say biologists, the mystery of…

European deep-space telescope will soon go out of service

The deep-space Herschel telescope, launched four years ago to observe the creation of stars, will soon be going out of service as its supply of instrument coolant runs out, the European Space Agency said on Tuesday. When it was launched in May 2009, Herschel became the largest and most powerful…

Playboy prints Hebrew edition for Israeli newsstands

Iconic men’s magazine Playboy is to hit the streets of Israel in Hebrew for the first time on Wednesday, combining scantily-clad Israeli models with articles in the tongue of the Bible. Spokeswoman Danielle Peters told AFP that the target audience was men “from 25 to 40, mature men who enjoy…

Lesbian couple holds first same sex wedding at Tokyo Disney

Two lesbians have become the first gay couple to tie the knot at Tokyo Disney Resort, both decked out in fairytale white dresses despite an initial ruling that one had to wear men’s clothes. “My love Hiroko and I wore wedding dresses and had a mini-parade in DisneySea, a place…

Conservationists urge Google to remove ads for ivory and whale products

Conservationists have urged Internet giant Google to remove thousands of advertisements promoting products made from endangered whales and elephants. Campaign group The Environmental Investigation Agency said Tuesday that it had written to Google CEO Larry Page last month appealing for the removal of more than 1,400 ads promoting whale products…

Ikea pulls almond cakes after finding bacteria associated with feces

Swedish furniture giant Ikea pulled a batch of almond cakes from its restaurants in 23 countries on Tuesday after Chinese authorities said they contained coliform bacteria, normally present in faecal matter. The Swedish-made cakes had failed tests “for containing an excessive level of coliform bacteria, according to the General Administration…

German museum returns art stolen by Nazis

A German museum for the first time on Tuesday returned a painting despoiled by the Nazis to the estate of a late German Jewish art dealer. Concordia University in Montreal, acting on behalf of the executors of the estate of Max Stern (1904-1987), announced Staatsgalerie Stuttgart’s restitution of an early…

Prague court acquits ‘Lamb of God’ singer of manslaughter of fan’s death

A Prague court acquitted Tuesday the frontman of US heavy metal group Lamb of God, Randy Blythe, of charges of involuntary manslaughter over the death of a Czech fan in 2010. Blythe, 42, went on trial on February 4 after pushing a 19-year-old fan off the stage on to a…

Sistine Chapel shut down ahead of election for new pope

The Sistine Chapel was shut down on Tuesday ahead of the upcoming conclave to elect a new pope following Benedict XVI’s resignation even though the date for the meeting is still not known. Visitors will not be able to gaze up at Michelangelo’s famous frescoes but other parts of the…

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