Britain: Highly insured schnoz
LONDON His schnoz is not to be sniffed at.
A Lloyd's of London syndicate said Tuesday it is insuring the nose of winemaker Ilja Gort for $8 million.
The Dutch winemaker and taster took out the policy after hearing about a man who lost his sense of smell in a car accident.
"I thought it must be a horror to lose your smell," Gort said. "It would mean that you cannot taste wine anymore. Tasting wine is something you do with your nose, not your mouth."
Germany: Swan finds new love
BERLIN A long love story is over at a German zoo: Petra the swan and her swan-shaped paddleboat are parting ways.
Petra, a black swan, became a minor celebrity in 2006 when she became so attached to the boat which is shaped like an oversized white swan that she refused to leave its side.
Officials in the western city of Muenster decided to let her stay with it over the winter, bringing both bird and boat into a city zoo.
However, Petra met a live swan this winter. Zoo director Joerg Adler says she and her new mate a white swan are building a nest together.
Israel: German leader praised
JERUSALEM German Chancellor Angela Merkel earned a standing ovation from Israel's parliament Tuesday after pledging to stand by Israel's side against any threat, particularly from Iran, and paying tribute to the victims of the Holocaust.
In an emotional speech, Merkel said Germans are still "filled with shame" about the Nazi genocide of 6 million Jews. Yet her extraordinarily warm reception by the Jewish state also signaled that the two nations are increasingly willing to look to the future.
Kosovo: Serbian complicity?
PRISTINA The United Nations accused Serbian officials Tuesday of complicity in the violence in northern Kosovo that left a U.N. policeman from Ukraine dead and dozens of people hurt.
Larry Rossin, the deputy U.N. administrator for Kosovo, told reporters in Pristina that "it is clear to us that the violence ... was orchestrated."
At the very least, Rossin said, Serbia's government failed to use its influence to prevent ethnic Serbs in Kosovo from launching the attacks, which left more than 60 U.N. and NATO forces and 70 Kosovo Serb protesters wounded.
Sri Lanka: Noted author dies
COLOMBO Arthur C. Clarke, a visionary science fiction writer who won worldwide acclaim with more than 100 books on space, science and the future, died Wednesday in his adopted home of Sri Lanka, an aide said. He was 90.
Clarke, who had battled debilitating post-polio syndrome since the 1960s and sometimes used a wheelchair, died at 1:30 a.m. after suffering breathing problems, aide Rohan De Silva said.
Co-author with Stanley Kubrick of Kubrick's film "2001: A Space Odyssey," Clarke was regarded as far more than a science fiction writer.
He was credited with the concept of communications satellites in 1945, decades before they became a reality. Geosynchronous orbits, which keep satellites in a fixed position relative to the ground, are called Clarke orbits.
United Arab Emirates: Violence
DUBAI Police arrested hundreds of South Asian workers on Tuesday who smashed office windows and set fire to cars during a strike for higher wages.
One diplomat described the unrest as the worst violence at a labor camp in the Arab Gulf in years.
Police said that at least 500 workers carried out "subversive acts" at a work camp in the emirate, or state, of Sharjah, according to the official state news agency, WAM.
Yemen: High school attacked
SAN'A Three mortar rounds that may have been meant for the U.S. Embassy crashed into a high school for girls next door Tuesday, killing a Yemeni security guard, an Interior Ministry official said.
A statement from the ministry said the shells fired by unidentified attackers in the downtown San'a district of Sawan also wounded five soldiers and 13 schoolgirls. Three of the girls were described as in serious condition and were being flown to Jordan for treatment.