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World Briefs

Chimps in love with puzzles

Just like human crossword addicts, chimpanzees love having their brains teased and enjoy getting stuck into a puzzle, research has shown.

Scientists at Whipsnade Zoo, Bedfordshire, set up a game for six chimps that involved moving red dice through a network of pipes until they fell into a container. Players had to prod sticks into holes in the pipes to change the direction of the dice. The same task was also carried out using brazil nuts instead of dice, so that success led to a tasty treat.

Researcher Fay Clark, from the Zoological Society of London, said: “We noticed that the chimps were keen to complete the puzzle regardless of whether they received a food reward.” (AP)

Escape is foiled

Greek prison guards have foiled an escape attempt by helicopter involving at least four inmates.

Authorities yesterday identified one of the prospective escapees, Panagiotis Vlastos, a convicted murderer and racketeer serving a life term.

They said at least three other prisoners, all Albanian nationals, were involved in the escape attempt, but did not release their names.

The Justice Ministry announ­ced that a helicopter carrying four passengers approached the prison in Trikala and someone inside opened fire on the guards. The helicopter was forced to land outside the prison wall and its occupants were arrested. Vlastos was shot in the leg by guards during the escape attempt. (AP)

Iron Lady’s bus

An armour-plated bus believed to have been used by “Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher has sold for nearly £17,000 (€19,500).

The 28-tonne “battle bus” is thought to have been built in the 1980s for the former Prime Minister’s Northern Ireland tour. It beat the estimate of £10,000, selling for a final £16,940 to a vehicle collector, said Jonathan Humbert, of Northamptonshire-based JP Humbert Auctioneers.

“There was immense interest in the bus,” he said.

The bus, which has just 28,000km on the clock, has a blast-proof floor and armour-plated glass throughout, as well as a bomb-proof armour-plated body. (PA)

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