QUIRKY WORLD ... Now that’s one pe-degree ... Fudge graduates university

SCOTLAND: A student and his dog donned graduation robes after the pet helped his owner complete his university degree.

QUIRKY WORLD ... Now that’s one pe-degree ... Fudge graduates university

Jack Proctor, 34, joined forces with cocker spaniel Fudge to complete a series of assignments as he studied for his BDes (Hons) in design and digital arts at Edinburgh Napier University.

Six-year-old Fudge starred in Jack’s introductory video and coursework, and featured prominently in his dissertation.

Apricot bonanza


Fledgling apricot production is poised to soar six-fold amid predictions of a bumper crop this summer due to near-perfect growing conditions.

As the first English apricots of the season go on sale, early estimates suggest growers will produce around 200 tonnes of the fruit.

It would mark a huge increase on the approximate 30 tonnes that were grown in England last year when the first English apricot crop became commercially available, Tesco said.

Ring sale


A jewel- encrusted gold ring found with a metal detector in the grounds of a historic house will be sold at auction.

The love ring, so called because it has two gems to symbolise the bond between husband and wife, was dug up two years ago near Launde Abbey in Leicestershire.

The Elizabethan manor was originally a monastery and was taken over by King Henry VIII’s adviser Thomas Cromwell but he was executed before he could move in and the house passed to his son.

Bird mystery


Biologists are trying to find out why thousands of nesting birds have abandoned Seahorse Key off Florida’s Gulf Coast.

The little blue herons, roseate spoonbills, snowy egrets, pelicans, and other birds left the island all at once in May. US fish and wildlife service biologist Vic Doig said what was once the largest bird colony on the state’s Gulf Coast is now a “dead zone”.

Scientists have found no indication that disease, contaminants or predators are to blame. The abandonment concerns biologists because it could have a ripple effect: Many bird species return year after year to the same nesting sites. Biologist also do not know how the disappearance will affect the island’s other animals, some of which rely on the birds to survive.

Open beach


It may be called Billionaires’ Beach, but the pristine views along one of Malibu’s most exclusive coastlines are now easily accessible to anyone.

After a legal fight that pitted public access advocates against a wealthy homeowner who refused to build a path, the California coastal commission is officially opening a third access way along the2.5km Carbon Beach, which will open between sunrise and sunset.

Casino scare


Police said two friends trying to drop off a rice cooker at a Rhode Island casino caused a brief security scare.

The Twin River Casino in Lincoln was not evacuated but the car park was temporarily closed until police determined there was no threat. A man told casino security he saw the cooker next to a car, WPRI-TV reported. Casino security, officers with the Lincoln and state police and the state fire marshal’s office responded.

Police reviewed CCTV and located the woman who left the cooker. She said she was meeting a friend who wanted to borrow it. The friend had already gone inside, so they agreed over the phone she would leave the cooker next to her friend’s car. Police said their story checked out, and the two apologised.

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