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World briefs

Giant panda goes for snowman

Giant panda Tian Tian has been joining in the winter fun after zoo keepers built a snowman in her enclosure.

She made short work of the figure at Edinburgh Zoo, eating its carrot nose and rolling away the snowballs making up its body.

According to her keepers, many people do not realise that giant pandas enjoy playing in the snow whenever it appears in their native habitat, the Chinese mountains and forests. They believe it may have been Tian Tian’s first encounter with a snowman.

British man wrestles with shark

A British man on holiday in Australia grabbed a shark by its tail and tried to drag it away from people playing at the edge of the sea.

The man, named as grandfather Paul Marshallsea, was on a beach north of Brisbane in Queensland when a siren was sounded to warn of a shark in the water. Mr Marshallsea, 62, from South Wales, ran to the shoreline and grabbed the shark by the tail.

The incident captured by a local news crew, shows him wrestling the fish in the shallows and trying to guide it towards deeper water. But as the shark thrashed to free itself, Mr Marshallsea fell into the waves, and the creature turned and snapped its jaws just inches from his leg.

Michelle Obama’s top tresses

President Barack Obama has given his opinion on what he called the most significant event of his inaug-ural weekend: his wife’s new haircut. He said: “I love her bangs. She looks good. She always looks good.” First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled the new do in a White House photo released last Thursday, her 49th birthday.

Woman saved from tight spot

US firefighters used an air bag to spread walls to free a woman who fell part of the way down a 20-foot wall and got herself stuck between two buildings.

The woman spent about four hours in a space eight to 10 inches wide. In addition to the air bag, rescuers also cut a hole and used a soapy substance to lubricate the concrete block walls. After the woman emerged, she raised her face, clenched her fists and shouted, “Oh, my God.”

Witnesses in Portland, Oregon, said she had been seen smoking or walking on the roof of a two-storey building before she fell.

Pacemakers help memory

Scientists are attempting something dramatically different in the quest to stave off the creeping memory loss of Alzheimer’s disease – they’re using “brain pacemakers”.

Brain surgery for Alzheimer’s may sound radical but the first US experiments with these implants are getting under way. Surgeons must drill holes into a patient’s skull, then they implant tiny wires that shoot out mild jolts of electricity.

By constantly zapping certain brain circuits, scien-tists hope to bypass some of Alzheimer’s damage and keep neural networks active for longer.

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