QUIRKY WORLD ... Diplomatic offensive: Peace breaks out between top cats

ENGLAND: The top cats in Whitehall have apparently ceased hostilities after a “fracas”, new Commons Leader David Lidington has reassured MPs.

Larry the Downing St mouse catcher and the latest cat on the block, Palmerston from the foreign office, were recently seen fighting. Mr Lidington used the business statement in the Commons to update the house on the pair’s relationship in the days since Theresa May and Boris Johnson took to their new offices.

“I have to say, I saw some reports in the media that (Larry) had been involved in a fracas with the foreign office cat, but I hope that they have now established a modus vivendi.”

Santa on tour

DENMARK:

With just five months until Christmas, Santas from around the world are gathering in Copenhagen for a mid-season break at the annual World Santa Claus Congress.

The annual conference gives them a chance to network, meet the public and get into shape for the busy days in December.

This year 140 Santas from 12 countries gathered in the Danish capital for the three-day event.

Santa Cherry from Canada, who is taking part for the fifth time, said: “You have to have Christmas in your heart. You have to have the love of children and caring and giving in your hear to be a really successful Santa and it’s not something you can make up. It has to be in you and people know, they can see it,” she said.

No light on dark matter

USA:

A giant $9m machine buried in a disused gold mine has failed in its mission to detect dark matter, the mysterious hidden material that accounts for more than four-fifths of the mass of the universe.

The Large Underground Xenon (Lux) experiment operated beneath a mile of rock in the Black Hills of Dakota, US.

Placed within a tank filled with 72,000 gallons of high purity water, it was designed to spot tiny flashes of light emitted as dark matter particles collided with atoms of xenon. But results from the detector’s final 20-month run, which ended in May this year, revealed no sign of the elusive particles.

Pokémon d’oh

USA:

A woman playing Pokémon Go in a cemetery had to call emergency services to rescue her after she got stuck up a tree.

Firefighters in Clarksboro, New Jersey, said the woman climbed the tree in Eglington Cemetery as she attempted to “catch them all” while playing the game on her phone. Firefighters came to her rescue and said she was “a bit embarrassed”. They refused to release her name to spare her additional embarrassment.

Butter trekkin’

USA:

A sculptor is set to boldly go where no sculptor has gone before — by creating a Star Trek exhibit made from butter.

As part of the Iowa State Fair in August, each year Sarah Pratt creates a cow from butter which is displayed alongside a second sculpture, and previously she has created Elvis Presley, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon.

But this year she plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek television show by depicting Captain Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Uhura on the bridge of the USS Enterprise.

Shock as bin smells bad

USA:

A bin used to discard roadkill is being moved after complaints about the smell. The bin is on city-owned property in Johns Creek, Atlanta, and is used to dump road debris, which can include dead animals. Local businessman Tony Maurlanda said the smell can be overwhelming. City spokesman Doug Nurse said the bin will now be moved to near a water reclamation area.


Lifestyle

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Fifty years ago, a fox was spotted in Dublin’s St. Stephen’s Green. The unfortunate animal was chased by local ‘gurriers’. It took refuge in a tree but was promptly stoned to death.Richard Collins: Wildlife taking back the streets of our cities

The north pier on Cape Clear has been eerily quiet these last few months as no visitors disembark. The ferry is not unloading boatloads of tourists from Baltimore, 45 minutes away, or from Schull, as it would normally.The Islands of Ireland: Cape Clear tells its side of the story

If the Donegal postman and amateur weather forecaster has it right, we could be in for water shortages in the coming months. Michael Gallagher, who predicted the scorching summer of 2018 and the 2010 freeze-up, says we’ll have a ‘lovely’ summer.Donal Hickey: Demand for water to soar

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