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World briefs

Cheques at Western Wall

Jerusalem police were confused yesterday after signed cheques worth around half a billion dollars were found at the Western Wall.

The 507 cheques were discovered in an envelope at the Jewish holy site in the Old City of Jerusalem and handed in to police, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation said.

“The honest finder handed them over in accordance with the law to the police lost property office. For now the cheques are waiting for whoever lost them,” the statement said.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed the unusual discovery at the Wall, where the faithful deposit scraps inscribed with their prayers.

Deep-voiced female leaders

Even women prefer leaders in typically female roles to have a Thatcheresque deep voice, research has shown.

Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher famously had elocution lessons to lower her voice and make it sound more masculine and authoritative.

Scientists in the US tested the effect with simulated elections for two feminine leadership roles, president of a parent-teachers’ organisation and membership of a school board. Both men and women preferred female candidates with lower, more masculine voices, the study published in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE found. (PA)

Worker finds cash in trash

A worker at a waste disposal site in Japan found $120,000 cash in a stream of pulverised rubbish, police said yesterday.

“There were about a thousand 10,000 yen ($118) bills that came out of a pulveriser unscathed,” said a spokesman at the Asaminami police department in Hiroshima prefecture. He added that there were also 2,300 fragments of bills destroyed by the machine at a municipal facility that processes bulky waste, such as cupboards and mattresses, that cannot be collected by regular garbage pickup.

Police suspect the owner of the cash might have forgotten the money when they threw away some furniture. If no one comes forward within three months, the waste disposal facility will have the right to claim the money, the spokesman said. (AFP)

In the shadow of Saturn

A glorious new image of Saturn, backlit by the sun, has been delivered by the Cassini spacecraft orbiting the ringed planet.

Scientists at the American space agency Nasa deliberately positioned the probe within Saturn’s shadow to obtain the shot.

Cassini’s camera was pointed in the direction of the sun to capture the dark side of the planet surrounded by the illuminated rings.

The mosaic picture is composed of 60 images taken in violet, visible and near-infrared colours. Saturn’s moons Enceladus and Tethys appear on the left side of the planet, below the rings. (PA)

Taking stairs one at a time

Taking the stairs one at a time burns more calories than leaping up multiple steps, researchers said.

Although more energy is initially expended when taking two steps per stride, over time, more energy is burnt up by taking the stairs one at a time, researchers from the University of Roehampton said.

The research team found that, on average, when climbing five floors of stairs five times a week, 302 kcal would be burnt if taking the stairs one at a time, compared with 260 kcal if taking two steps with every stride. (PA)

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