QUIRKY WORLD ... That moment when you’re billions in debt...

USA:  A technical glitch meant some First Hawaiian Bank customers logged on to their accounts to find that they appeared to be billions, or sometimes more than a trillion dollars in the red.

QUIRKY WORLD ... That moment when you’re billions in debt...

KHON-TV reports that bank officials say the glitch was visible to customers who logged on to their accounts during a 20-minute window on Wednesday. They say no actual customer information or balances were affected.

Customers who logged in at that time saw outstanding balances of at least $710bn (€670bn). Kauai resident George White says when he saw the error all he could think was, “Well, my wife is going to kill me.”

First Hawaii Bank said in a statement that the issue was resolved quickly and that the bank apologised to customers who were inconvenienced.

Sorry criminal

USA:

A Florida man charged with robbery told a convenience store clerk he was sorry about committing the alleged crime around the Thanksgiving holiday, police said.

Brian McCoy, 27, of Deltona, faces robbery and attempted robbery charges after trying to rob a Burger King and then robbing cash from a Circle K store.

He approached the counter with a 12-pack of beer and told the clerk: “I’m sorry to do this on Thanksgiving, but I need all the money in your register.” McCoy walked off with $87 in cash and the beer. He later turned himself in and was jailed without bond.

Vintage bird

USA:

The world’s oldest known seabird has returned to Midway Atoll in Hawaii.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service said the Laysan Albatross named Wisdom was spotted at the remote island on November 19. An ornithologist first put an identification band on Wisdom in 1956. She is estimated to be at least 64, but she could be older.

Laysan albatrosses typically mate for life, but Wisdom has likely had more than one mate. She has raised as many as 36 chicks.

Looks a lot like...

AUSTRALIA:

A man has set a world record by illuminating a Christmas tree in the capital Canberra with 518,838 twinkling lights.

Guinness World Records confirmed David Richards broke the record for the most lights on an artificial Christmas tree that had been held for five years by Universal Studios Japan in Osaka.

Mr Richards, a Canberra lawyer and businessman, brought together volunteers including an electrical engineer, structural engineer, welders, carpenters, masons and steel fixers to erect the display on a 22m steel tree. He creates such Christmas extravaganzas to raise money for Canberra’s Sudden Infant Death Syndrome charity.

Red card for cards

TANZANIA:

Officials will not be allowed to send out the usual government printed Christmas and New Year cards this year as part of belt-tightening measures by the new president.

John Magufuli has implemented a series of austerity steps since being sworn in on November 5, including cancelling independence day festivities and restricting foreign travel by officials.

The president’s chief secretary “has prohibited the printing of Christmas and New Year cards at the government’s expense”, the presidency said in a statement. “Anyone who wants to print those cards should do so at his or her own personal cost. The funds set aside for the cards should be used to pay off debts that government ministries, departments and institutions owe citizens and other creditors for goods and services rendered or should be directed towards other priority areas,” it said.

Last week, Magufuli ordered the sum of about $100,000 that had been set aside for a party to mark the opening of parliament should be used instead to buy hospital beds at Tanzania’s main hospital, after he found patients sleeping on the floor.

The president has issued a raft of instructions to curb government spending, winning praise from citizens of the nation of 47m.

Picture perfect

ENGLAND:

Portraits of Queen Elizabeth, Debbie Harry, and Tony Blair will feature in an international photography event.

Eighty of the world’s top galleries will take part in Photo London 2016, displaying photos from all periods and genres. War photographer Don McCullin has been given the title of Master of Photography for the showcase which takes place next May at Somerset House and across the capital. Highlights include portraits of the queen, Blondie star Harry, and former prime minister Blair, taken by photographer Rankin.

Making a show of himself

ITALY:

A man climbed onto an outside ledge of Rome’s Colosseum and shouted in protest at a new decree restricting sightseeing tours, rickshaw rides, and centurion impersonators as part of a public order crackdown in the city.

Italy’s capital is imposing extra security measures and sprucing up parks and piazzas as it gears up to host the Catholic Holy Year, or Jubilee, which could draw millions of tourists and pilgrims.

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