Reuters | May 20
Warning to would-be home invaders: Look out above. A new thief-hunting "home drone" created by a Japanese security firm will serve as a mechinical guard activated when an alarm is tripped to harass and video any wanna-be intruder. The drone will fly to the scene of a break-in, dodge any aggressive actions and hover until human security arrives.
The Wall Street Journal | May 17
German activists are going bonkers over the opening of a Barbie Dreamhouse in Berlin. Little girls can bake cupcakes, dance around a giant (wedding?) ring and try on stilettos all in a blazingly pink atmosphere in the tiny theme park. A mass of mostly women has taken to the streets to protest the Dreamhouse.
Associated Press | May 17
Thieves ripped a safe from a hotel room wall near the Cannes Film Festival and stole some $1 million worth of jewelry being held by a representative of the Swiss jewelry firm Chopard. Though the company often loans gems to actresses on the red carpet at Cannes, a spokeswoman insisted the lifted jewels were not destined for the festival.
Reuters | May 14
Paris has banned all celebrations for the Paris Saint-Germain soccer team after fans partying to mark PSG's league win turned violent, injuring 33 people. Some 21 fans have been arrested. Nearly 15,000 supporters gathered near the Eiffel Tower to party. Team members were only able to stay in the area for two minutes before violence erupted.
Euronews | May 15
Belize residents are furious after a construction company bulldozed much of a Mayan temple to obtain crushed rock for a road building project. The temple in the Nohmul complex, one of the largest Mayan sites in the country, dates back 2,300 years. The government is investigating. "It's deplorable," said one archaeologist.
CNN | May 15
Hong Kong's new giant rubber duckie tourist attraction has suddenly deflated, letting the air out of excitement over the floating 54-foot-tall art exhibit in Victoria Harbor by Dutch conceptual artist Florentijn Hofman. Officials said the duck would be back on its webbed feet in no time, but some fans are crying fowl.
Euronews | May 9
A German opera house has pulled a Nazi-themed production of Richard Wagner's "Tannhauser" after audience members were sickened by scenes of Jews being shot and gassed. The director, who says he wants to confront the composer's anti-Semitism, refused to tone the scenes down.
Euronews | May 14
The French government will decide by July whether to hit products by giants like Apple and Google with new taxes to fund the country's culture and arts. The one percent sales tax on devices like computers, smartphones, tablets and video consoles would support French film, literature and music industries, and could raise some $112 million a year.
Reuters | May 13
Add videographer to the list of roles Chinese artist Ai WeiWei is mastering. The artist who often annoys officials picked up a camera to film a street brawl in Beijing involving ethnic Tibetan street vendors and Han restaurant workers. The fight reportedly started when security workers wouldn't let vendors sell jewelry outside their restaurant.
The Guardian | May 13
With an eye toward sustainability, innovators in Greece are turning garbage into funky new uses from a bathtub chaise longue to a suitcase chair. Members of Scoopa consider it "upcycling," not recycling. "I've come to realize there is so much usable junk material lost in landfills," said a member. "My vision is to create a city of junk."
Russia Today | May 8
South Africa's OppiKoppi music festival has found a peaceful -- though potentially still somewhat explosive -- new use for drones. In a trial program, concertgoers will be able to have beers delivered by a guided "beer drone" that will drop its payload with a parachute attached.
The Wall Street Journal | May 8
In an eye-popping, ritualistic blast from the past, Britain's queen reigned over the annual state opening of Parliament. Queen Elizabeth II, outfitted in purple crown (with 2,868 diamonds), white gown and a red robe for the ritual, traveled to the Palace of Westminster by coach with a calvalry escort.
Al Jazeera English | May 7
What's the latest Icelandic pasttime? Phone bumping. Thanks to a new app, simply bumping cell phones revelas how closely the owners are related. That's a critical piece of info for singles who want to avoid incest in a nation where nearly everyone is at least distantly related. The app also holds hope for tracking family illnesses and donors.
Citizen News Kenya | May 7
Church leaders in Kenya are blasting a Catholics for Choice "Condoms4Life" \campaign that encourages condom use for family planning and as a protection against HIV and AIDS. Church spokesmen emphasized that condoms are incompatible with Catholic "pro life" policy, and said that condoms threaten to "destroy the moral fiber" of the nation.
Newsy | May 7
In a notably tone-deaf global culture clash the Syrian Electronic Army has hacked the Onion's Twitter feed to gush about Syria's beleaguered President Bashar Al-Assad and zing Israel. One funnybone-challeged hackers told the New York Times: "We hope people take it in good humor." The not-particularly-amused Onion has deleted the tweets.
Al Jazeera English | May 6
All Germany is watching as Beate Zschaepe, known as the "Nazi bride," prepares to go on trial in Munich for a series of hate-crime police and Turkish immigrant murders. Her two alleged accomplices committed suicide. The case has sparked sharp criticism of Germany's failure policing the neo-Nazi movement.
Democracy Now! | May 6
Never ones to pass up a chance to make money, US corporations took advantage of more women in the workforce to peddle fast food, linking the eats to progressive values, notes author Michael Pollan. One ad featured a giant of Kentucky Fried Chicken labeled with the words "Women's Liberation." It was "brilliant," he explains on Democracy Now!
The Guardian | May 6
Think you can command the dragons? All it takes is a few words of Dothraki, the fantasy language of HBO's uber popular Game of Thrones. But it's not an easy language. Creator David J. Peterson says Dothraki is a rather sophisticated system that evolves as it absorbs words from other cultures. As they say in Dothraki: Dothras chek!
Vice | May 6
A bitter Lorin Holm was summoned one day two years ago and excommunicated from his Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints community by order of imprisoned child molester leader Warren Jeffs. He was forced to leave his three wives and 25 children, and talks with Vice of the pain of that and his Utah court battle to win visitation rights. "Warren Jeffs is not a prophet and never was one," says Lorin.
International Business Times | May 2
One of the world's most iconic skylines was graced by the world's biggest rubber duck today as Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's creation was towed into Hong Kong harbor. The 54-foot inflatable duck is in the sixth year of a world tour that has made a splash in nine countries.