World Topics

Vatican admits Sistine Chapel frescoes 'whitened'

Oct 31, 2014

Vatican admits Sistine Chapel frescoes 'whitened'

The Vatican revealed a closely kept secret Thursday: The Sistine Chapel’s precious frescoes were starting to turn white from the air pollution caused by so many visitors passing through each day to marvel at Michelangelo’s masterpiece. Officials first noticed the whitening patina in 2010 ...

Oct 30, 2014

Scientists grow world's first 'mini-stomachs' from stem cells

Scientists using stem cells said on Wednesday they had built the world’s first “mini-stomachs” — tiny clusters of human gastric tissue that could spur research into cancer, ulcers and diabetes. Called gastric organoids, the lab-dish tissue comprises buds of cells that are “a miniature ...

Darth Vader runs into trouble in Ukraine election

Oct 27, 2014

Darth Vader runs into trouble in Ukraine election

Darth Vader is in trouble in Ukraine — again. A candidate posing as the iconic villain from the “Star Wars” movies already had his Ukrainian presidential ambitions thwarted by suspicious authorities in May. But the scary man from the dark side of the Force ...

Napoleon's two-cornered hat up for grabs at French auction

Oct 25, 2014

Napoleon's two-cornered hat up for grabs at French auction

Rarely have a man and his hat been so linked in the collective imagination as Napoleon and his black, two-cornered hat. Next month, a “bicorne” felt hat thought to have belonged to the French emperor will be up for auction in Fontainebleau in what ...

Oct 23, 2014

Huge gold nugget going up for sale in California

One of the biggest gold nuggets found in modern times in Northern California’s historic Gold Country is going up for sale. Weighing in at more than 6 pounds (2.8 kilograms), the Butte Nugget is expected to carry a price tag of $350,000. The San ...

Oct 23, 2014

Switzerland to nix 'stripper' visas

Switzerland announced Wednesday that it would stop issuing special work permits for foreign strippers, who hail from countries such as Russia, the Dominican Republic and Thailand. The government said that the eight-month permits would no longer be granted after the end of 2015, on ...

Australian finishes 126-km swim in Bahamas

Oct 23, 2014

Australian finishes 126-km swim in Bahamas

Dehydrated and exhausted, Australian swimmer Chloe McCardel successfully completed a 78-mile (126-km) swim Wednesday between two islands in the Bahamas. McCardel’s support team says the 42½ hour effort is the longest open-water solo, continuous marathon swim in history, though such claims come with complications. ...

Oct 21, 2014

'Armed clowns' spread panic in northern France; teen convicted

The party is over for a fake clown who received a six-month suspended jail term Monday for threatening passers-by while in full circus garb, a disturbing trend terrifying towns in northern France. Whether brandishing a rubber chicken at a children’s party or starring as ...

U2's Bono says glaucoma is reason for trademark sunglasses

Oct 18, 2014

U2's Bono says glaucoma is reason for trademark sunglasses

U2 frontman Bono has revealed the mystery behind his trademark sunglasses: The Irish rocker has glaucoma. Bono told British TV chat show host Graham Norton he had suffered from the condition for two decades, according to a preview clip released on Friday ahead of ...

Oct 18, 2014

Ebola-themed plush toys doing brisk sales

It may be the only time you will find these words in the same sentence: “Ebola” and “Add to Wishlist.” Giantmicrobes Inc., which makes a line of plush toys based on viruses and other microscopic organisms, has sold out its entire Ebola stock, including ...