World scene

Updated: 2013-12-01 06:49

(China Daily)

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Eminem and ex to reconcile?

The on-again-off-again relationship between US rapper Eminem and his ex-wife, Kim Scott Mathers, may be on again as reports surfaced last week that the pair is moving toward reconciliation. Scott's mother, Kathy Sluck, reveals to that the rapper and her daughter see each other "all the time" and "get along better than ever". "I think they might (get back together soon)," Sluck is quoted as saying. The report also states the rapper is building his ex-wife a mansion just 8 kilometers from his own house on Mile Road in Macomb, Michigan. Eminem, 41, and Scott when they were just teenagers. They married in 1999 but divorced two years later, only to remarry in 2006 and divorce again that year.

Frogs named after Darwin croak

Scientists believe a deadly amphibian skin disease is behind the extinction of a species of frog named after the "father of evolution" Charles Darwin. The English naturalist discovered the frogs in 1834 in Chile during his voyage around the world on the ship HMS Beagle. They are notable for having evolved to escape predators by looking like dead leaves, with their pointy noses. The males carry young tadpoles inside their vocal sacs. Researchers believe the northern Darwin's frog, one of two species, has been killed off completely by a fungal disease called chytridiomycosis that infects their skin. The related southern species' numbers have plunged dramatically. The scientists' findings were published online on Nov 27 in the journal PLOS ONE.

Couple receives marijuana in the mail

A couple in the United States was mistakenly shipped 5 kilograms of marijuana at a rental home in Louisiana. The husband told authorities the same package had been delivered to their home in Louisiana back in July, but he instructed his cleaning lady to return it to UPS. But the package was sent back to the rental home once more while the couple was away. Thinking it was lost luggage, they put the suitcases in the back of the truck and decided to deal with it when they got back to the Florida Keys. When they got home, they cut the locks off the suitcases and found two sealed bags full of marijuana inside that weighed a total of 5 kilograms. The couple called the sheriff's office and turned in the marijuana, which will be destroyed.

Book with a $14.2 million price tag

An American businessman and philanthropist has become the proud owner of the first English-language book printed in the United States. And the most expensive. The Whole Book of Psalmes, or the Bay Psalm Book as it is commonly known, was auctioned off at Sotheby's last week for $14.2 million, making it the most expensive book in the world. The tiny tome was translated directly from Hebrew to English and printed by Congregationalist Puritans in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1640. The sale set a new record, beating John James Audubon's Birds of America, which sold for $11.5 million in 2010, according to the New Yorker. There are 10 other surviving copies of the Bay Psalm Book. The new owner of the 15-cm-by-13-cm book plans to lend it to libraries around the US.

No new island for Brad Pitt

It was the romantic buy of the year that never happened. Owners of a heart-shaped island have scotched rumors that Hollywood star Angelina Jolie purchased the $19.7 million Petra Island for fiance Brad Pitt for his 50th birthday. According to the New York Post, owners of the retreat, located about 80 kilometers north of Manhattan, New York City, listed the huge piece of land four months ago, but no one has made an offer. "I don't have any idea where that (report about Jolie) came from," Donna Massaro, daughter of owners Joseph and Barbara Massaro, tells a gossip column. "The family threw it out there to see if anyone was interested, and so far no (potential buyers) have (come forward)."

Dog predicts polar bear pregnancy

A 2-year-old beagle named Elvis is being dubbed the pregnancy whisperer following its uncanny ability to predict pregnancies in polar bears. So far, Elvis has tested 17 polar bears across the United States and Canada, including one at SeaWorld San Diego. SeaWorld says 18-year-old polar bear Szenja recently took a breeding trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo. However, as conventional polar bear pregnancy tests are inconclusive, SeaWorld called Elvis, along with scientists from the Cincinnati Zoo and a professional dog trainer, for answers. After taking a sniff of fecal samples, Elvis indicated that Szenja was indeed pregnant. Since then, SeaWorld says Szenja has been showing signs of pregnancy, including weight gain, picky eating and "nesting" in her den. Scientists hope this new testing method could help preserve the threatened polar bear species.

Shopping woman gets lost for days

An American woman who went missing for four days had taken a wrong turn on her way to a department store and accidentally driving to Mexico where she ran out of petrol before having her car and money stolen, leaving her stranded. What was meant to be simple shopping expedition turned into a four-day nightmare for 60-year-old Anne Terhune, from San Diego, California, on Nov 19. "I was just enjoying driving and it started raining and I guess my vision was impaired," says Terhune, who doesn't own a mobile phone. Her car and remaining money were stolen when she walked to a gas station to collect a can of fuel. She was finally escorted home by police.

Boy struck in the head by meteorite

A 7-year-old boy in the United States was reportedly struck by a shower of tiny meteorites while playing in the driveway of the family home in Loxahatchee, west of Palm Beach in Florida. The boy's father, Wayne Lippard, says Steven had been playing in the driveway when suddenly "he comes to the window screaming. The gash looked pretty bad, but it wasn't bleeding a lot so we didn't panic." The wound later took three staples to close. Lippard had later noticed a bunch of small rocks on the driveway. Tests on the rocks at Florida Atlantic University confirmed they were magnetic. Lippard says Steven thought the idea of being hit by a meteorite was "cool".


(China Daily 12/01/2013 page4)