World briefs

World briefs

Vuvuzelas banned from bull run

The Spanish city of Pamplona has banned World Cup vuvuzela trumpets on the eve of its famous bull run, with the deafening instrument already popular ahead of Spain's football semi-final.

"The municipality has banned the sale of vuvuzelas in the stands set up for the San Fermin festival, due to the noise disturbance they produce," the mayor of the northern town said in a statement.

The trumpets would produce "unpleasant and dangerous noise for neighbours," the mayor said, on the eve of the annual San Fermin festival which started yesterday, the festival involves the famous bull run through the streets of Pamplona.

Bored soldiers dance on patrol

A bunch of bored Israeli troops may have to face the music over a YouTube clip showing them doing a flash mob-style dance in full combat gear while on patrol in the West Bank city of Hebron.

The footage shows six soldiers, assault rifles at the ready, prowling the deserted streets as the Muslim call to prayer echoes around the walls of the biblical city.

Suddenly, the punchy chorus of Kesha's Tik Tok cuts in and the soldiers break into a carefully-coordinated dance routine, stepping in sync and gyrating, somewhat clumsily, with moves more often used to cult Spanish track Macarena. Just as suddenly as they started, the soldiers immediately resumed their positions and continued patrolling Hebron.

The video can be found at:

Porn movie shot inside hospital

A "big budget" porn film was shot inside a London hospital which hired out one of its unused wards in return for a substantial sum of money, a British lawmaker has revealed.

The unnamed film, described by Conservative MP Penny Mordaunt as a "big budget" porn movie, was filmed in a hospital in the British capital several years ago.

"When I was director of Kensington and Chelsea Council, I discovered that one of our local hospitals was hiring out one of its closed - but fully-equipped wards - to a film company to use as a film set, Mr Mordaunt told the House of Commons on Monday. "To add insult to injury, the movie was a pornographic one."

Python joins traffic jam

Russians stuck in a traffic jam watched in astonishment as a two-metre-long python slithered into a neighbouring car, Russian news agency Interfax said yesterday.

The snake had apparently escaped from the home of its owner in Samara, a southern city on the Volga, when it joined the traffic on Monday, the agency said citing zoo officials.

"During a traffic jam on Novo-Sadovaya street a python slipped into the engine of a foreign-made car. The passengers of neighbouring vehicles saw this and alerted the driver," the zoo management was quoted as saying.

The zoo sent specialists to retrieve the heavy-set reptile - a rare breed of reticulated python - but the provenance of the animal had them baffled until his owner came to claim the pet a day later.

'Lucky' sweater

Football-mad Germans have snapped up the "lucky" blue cashmere sweater that German coach Joachim Loew gives partial credit for his side's World Cup winning streak, a retail chain said yesterday.

The jumpers have flown off the shelves, upscale clothier Strenesse said, with fans having to travel to the neighbouring Netherlands, home of the Germans' fellow semi-finalists, to get their hands on the talisman Mr Loew has worn at three German victories.

The 50-year-old's backroom staff have demanded Mr Loew wear the cobalt cashmere in the semi-final against Spain today, as he has every time Germany have scored four goals in a match at the finals in wintry South Africa.

Hippo shipped out of sewer works

A young hippo has been shipped out of a Cape Town sewerage works, where he made his home after fleeing a nature reserve where he had clashed with his father, an official said yesterday.

The four-year-old - nicknamed Zorro - fled the Rondevlei Nature Reserve outside Cape Town in February 2009 for the lush grass and abundant water of the sewerage waterworks.

Thieves had made off with part of the reserve's fence, creating an opening for 1,200-kg Zorro to escape.

Revenge attack

A disgruntled man in central China has confessed to stabbing to death five people, including a baby, in the latest grisly knife attack to strike the nation, state media said yesterday.

Wang Haiyin said the killings in the village of Shangboshu village in Henan province on Sunday were motivated out of revenge over the refusal of the village chief to dole out a pension and allocate land, Xinhua news agency said.

Besides killing village head Wang Chengguo, Mr Wang also stabbed to death four of his family members, including a five-month-old infant, the report said. A six-year-old was also critically injured.

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