Quirky World: Map mix-up embarrasses Romanian minister

ROMANIA: Romania’s foreign minister Bogdan Aurescu has apologised to his visiting German counterpart for handing him a booklet during a televised news conference that mixed up a map of Germany with one of France on the cover.

Quirky World: Map mix-up embarrasses Romanian minister

Frank-Walter Steinmeier paid a one-day visit to Romania to hold talks on bilateral relations, Nato, east Ukraine and to mark 135 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

“Due to a regrettable technical error, exclusively on the cover of the booklet, the border of the maps of Romania and France — with the latter being covered by the German flag — was printed,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The Romanian foreign minister has directly conveyed profound regret for this situation to his German counterpart.”

It is the second time in just over a month that Romania’s foreign ministry has had to apologise for a mistake.

In February the Romanian embassy in Paris sent out invitations for a reception and accidentally attached a spreadsheet with unflattering descriptions of guests such as “undesirable” or “ghastly”.

Biscuit bliss


The Vatican has given its blessing to a shortbread milkshake.

Part of the proceeds from sales of “#PopeinPhilly” milkshakes will benefit two events in Philadelphia: A world gathering of Catholic families and a visit by the Pope.

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia picked the winning flavour from three choices during a visit to a Potbelly Sandwich Shop. The president of the Vatican department that organises the world meetings, Paglia got help from a dozen Catholic school students.

The shake features a blend of vanilla ice cream and shortbread biscuits.

Pope Francis will attend the closing event of the world meeting on September 26. The next day he’ll celebrate an outdoor Mass.

Travelling turtle


An endangered 225kg leatherback sea turtle was being treated at a South Carolina aquarium after wildlife officials made a rare rescue of the reptile found alive and stranded on a remote beach.

It is the first living leatherback turtle to be recovered in South Carolina and one of only a handful ever treated at rehabilitation facilities in the United States, said Jenna Cormany, a wildlife biologist with the state’s Department of Natural Resources.

“I can hardly believe it. They don’t strand alive very often,” said Kelly Thorvalson, manager of the Sea Turtle Rescue Program in Charleston. It took five people four hours to retrieve the turtle from the beach. The animal was then driven an hour and a half south to Charleston, Cormany said.

Free grub


Shoppers at a Harris Teeter supermarket in North Carolina’s capital city have got a very big break on their bills.

WRAL in Raleigh reports the cash registers at the chain’s Cameron Village store crashed on Friday. The station quoted a store manager as saying his team tried for 15 minutes to reboot the system at the checkout lines.

When their efforts failed, the manager decided the shoppers had waited long enough and allowed them to get their orders free of charge. Anyone already standing in line was allowed to leave without paying. It’s not known how many shoppers received the windfall.

Harris Teeter spokeswoman Danna Jones said she had no details on what caused the outage.

Gender-free meals


The decision on who pays when David and Samantha Cameron go out on a date night depends on “who remembers to bring their wallet”, the prime minister has revealed.

Mr Cameron was speaking after actress Emma Watson, speaking at the HeForShe campaign for gender equality, pleaded for women to be allowed to be “chivalrous” and pick up the bill some of the time.

Asked if he or Samantha paid when they went out, Mr Cameron said: “We have a joint account so it depends who remembers to bring their wallet. I try not to forget mine, let me put it that way.”

Lost piste


La Plagne may be a bustling ski resort in the Alps, but a badly programmed GPS will not be able to distinguish it from Plagne, population 91, 715km away.

When a Belgian radio station took several busloads of youngsters skiing, passengers on one of the vehicles were surprised to find themselves among southern French vineyards close to Spain and nowhere near the famous snow-capped mountain range.

Studio Brussels radio station said a bus official had complained that there are too many Plagnes.

“We put the wrong one in,” he added.

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