QUIRKY WORLD ... Iran: There was no cover-up over naked statues

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani

Iran did not make any specific requests for Rome museum officials to cover up naked statues, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has said.

Rouhani laughed when asked at the end of a three-day visit to Italy about the statue cover-up, which made headlines in Italy and around the world.

Some Italian politicians decried the “cultural submission” implied in Italy’s gesture.

Rouhani said Iran made no specific request for the cover-up, saying there were “no contacts about this” from the Iranian side.

But he added: “I know that Italians are a very hospitable people, a people who try to do the most to put their guests at ease and I thank you for this.”

Ahead of a joint news conference with Italian premier Matteo Renzi on Monday, wooden panels were erected around some Roman-era statues in Rome’s Capitoline Museums.

Too posh for school

England:

Homeland star and Eton old boy Damian Lewis has been rejected as an “inappropriate choice” by former pupils of a comprehensive school who say his privileged education makes him the wrong person to launch its anniversary celebrations.

The actor had agreed to switch on a laser display at Acland Burghley School in Camden, north London, to help the school mark 50 years since its opening.

But disgruntled alumni say the invitation to Lewis, who lives locally, is at odds with the school’s ethos and questioned why he was chosen above other well-known ex-pupils such as singer Ms Dynamite or Lee Thompson, the saxophonist from Madness.

One, City University sociology lecturer Rachel Cohen, who was at the school in the 1980s, has set up a petition which has attracted 90 signatures urging the school to change its plans.

She wrote: “Acland Burghley has a long and proud tradition in comprehensive education, creatively working with and supporting diverse local students. Damian Lewis, was educated at Eton, a school that, more than any other, represents the reproduction of privilege and inequality in the UK.

“We have nothing against him as an actor or local resident, but he is a wholly inappropriate choice for this celebration of a wonderful local comprehensive school.”

Head teacher Nicholas John said

told the Camden New Journal: “Damian Lewis very kindly agreed to open the light show for us, to give up an evening of his time. The school he went to is of no consequence.”

Keep it quiet

England:

Secrets have a way of escaping that makes it impossible to keep a major conspiracy under wraps for long, a study has found.

British physicist David Grimes worked out a mathematical way to calculate the chances of a plot being deliberately leaked by a whistleblower or accidentally uncovered.

He was able to show that the more people share in a conspiracy, the shorter its lifespan is likely to be.

Snow joke

US:

An enterprising New Yorker took advantage of the heavy snow brought on by Storm Jonas by building an igloo and listing it for $200 (€180) a night on Airbnb.

Patrick Horton and his friends decided to use the mounds of snow to fashion their own igloo and furnished it with blankets, pillows and a candle. They then created a listing on Airbnb showcasing what the “boutique winter igloo for 2” in Brooklyn had to offer.

“Dripping with ingenuity and alt-lifestyle aura lays this Snowpocalypse’s most desirable getaway,” the post said. “Built completely by hand, all-natural. Come experience this chic dome-style bungalow with Bae.”

However, the listing was later removed by Airbnb, who emailed Mr Horton, an advertising art director, to say: “We are happy to see that you guys are staying busy and having fun during Blizpocalypse.

“Unfortunately your igloo, while very well constructed, has failed to meet our occupancy standards and has been removed from search results.”

Mr Horton told Sky News that he and his friends had the idea months ago, but had to wait until there was enough snow to do it.

He said: “We have friends trying to take their Tinder dates there.

“We learned this weekend that people actually really love igloos. We should have done it earlier. Plus it is nice that it keeps our beers cold when we are out there.”

Having nun of it

US:

A convent in suburban Chicago plans to move forward with an effort to close a neighbouring strip club even after a legal setback.

Cook County Circuit Judge Peter Flynn told the Missionary Sisters of St Charles Borromeo to rework their lawsuit against Club Allure in Stone Park alleging it violates prostitution regulations and is a nuisance. But Flynn also dismissed claims that the club violates zoning laws. He asked the nuns’ lawyers to provide examples of nuisance or lewd behaviour.

After the hearing, Sister Noemia Silva said her order is called to “protect our values, and we will not change them”.

Attorney Robert Itzkow, a former owner of the club, says it’s a legal business.


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