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88-year-old man becomes the oldest graduate with bachelor degree in China

Two seniors in their 80s have graduated from east China's Jiangsu Open University, the first batch to receive their bachelor degrees as part of a program of continuing education for the elderly in China, the Yangtse Evening Post reported on Friday. Zhang Guohuan and Xu Hesheng, 88 and 86, both gained a degree in Culture Industry Management from Jiangsu Open University on October 21. They become the oldest college graduates to receive a bachelor degree in China. Along with Zhang and Xu, 17 others with the same major also graduated from the university, which has enrolled 196 elderly people since April 2014. Zhang noted excitedly that the bachelor degree is recognition of his love for learning and his commitment to lifelong learning. During their time at the university, the senior students also learned how …

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Australian officials fly to Paris to discuss saving money

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia's foreign department, searching for ways to shrink its spending, flew 23 bureaucrats business class from Canberra to Paris to attend a three-day conference and discuss ways to save money, officials said Thursday. A Senate committee quizzed senior Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials on whether a video conference or a less expensive city had been considered as cheaper alternatives when the department was trying to reduce its spending by 12.6 million Australian dollars ($9.7 million) a year. The official who chose Paris, John Fisher, told the committee the agenda of the in-house conference in September included ways to save money. "We flew people to Paris to talk about how we might do things in a more effective way," Fisher told the committee. Fairfax Media on Thursday conservatively estimated the …

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Guinness declares massive Michigan ice cream sundae a record

LUDINGTON, Mich. — Guinness World Records says a roughly half-mile-long ice cream sundae that was gobbled up in Michigan this June was the longest ever. The Ludington Daily News reports that the sundae measuring a little over 2,970 feet in length and fed thousands of people lining eight blocks in the Lake Michigan town. House of Flavors organized the ice cream event in Ludington, 100 miles northwest of Grand Rapids. According to Guinness, the previous longest ice-cream dessert was created in 2015 in Manurewa, New Zealand, and it was 1,957 feet and 1 inch. Ludington's record may be short-lived, however. MLive.com reports Moo-ville Creamery and others in Nashville, Michigan, tried to break the record Sept. 17, making a dessert that spanned 3,656 feet.

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Church to LGBT ‘sagala’: We respect you

He waves at the excited crowd, smiles when he sees a familiar face cheer for him, and poses for the blinking cameras. He walks with poise on his three-inch heels, unmindful of the uneven pathways. Quite unsurprisingly, 58-year-old Bing Custodio has been taking part in this Mayflower tradition for the past 44 years, as he is among the pioneers of the annual Santacruzan for the members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in Barangay Sta. Elena in Marikina, dubbed “SaGAYlahan.” “Residents here have always been so welcoming,” Custodio said. “We’ve never had any issue in terms of their acceptance and appreciation of gays like us.” Second-timer Potch Sacramento, 27, agreed, saying that it’s the “good feedback” from the community that inspired him to join the tradition again this year. “One of …

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Thai students caught using ‘Mission Impossible’ exam spy glasses

A top Thai medical college has caught students using spy cameras linked to smartwatches to cheat during exams in what some social media users on Monday compared to a plot straight out of a Mission Impossible movie. Arthit Ourairat, the rector of Rangsit University, posted pictures of the hi-tech cheating equipment on his Facebook page on Sunday evening, announcing that the entrance exam in question had been cancelled after the plot was discovered. Three students used glasses with wireless cameras embedded in their frames to transmit images to a group of as yet unnamed people, who then sent the answers to the smartwatches. Arthit said the trio had paid 800,000 baht ($23,000) each to the tutor group for the equipment and the answers. "The team did it in real-time," Arthit wrote. Thailand's Channel 3 news …

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‘Louis Vuitton fried chicken’ owner fined in S. Korea

A South Korean court has ordered a fried chicken restaurant owner to pay 14.5 million won ($12,500) for refusing to comply with a ban on using the luxury Louis Vuitton brand name for his outlet, a report said Tuesday. The owner, identified only by his surname Kim, had called his restaurant in Seoul, "LOUIS VUITON DAK" -- a play on the word "tongdak" which means whole chicken in Korean. He also ran up a logo very similar to that of the French fashion house and had it printed on his napkins and fried chicken take-out cartons. None too pleased with Mr. Kim's ingenuity, Louis Vuitton filed a suit in September last year, saying the use of the company's name to sell fried chicken was damaging to the brand. A district court in Seoul agreed …

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Spain sells off ‘ghost airport’

Spanish judicial authorities revealed Friday that the "ghost airport" of Ciudad Real, a symbol of the country's financial excess in the boom years, had been sold off for 56 million euros ($62 million). Spain's construction and property sectors boomed until the downturn hit seven years ago and one victim was the airport, initially touted as an alternative international airport to Madrid's Barajas. Located around 240km (150 miles) south of the capital, however, the idea never took off. Ciudad Real cost around a billion euros and opened in 2008 with putative capacity of 2.5 million passengers per year. But a wholesale lack of flights saw it go bankrupt in 2010 and close in 2012. A bankruptcy auction last year attracted scant interest and finally the facility has been sold off for 56.2 million euros to an …

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Goat wanders away from home, goes on Starbucks run

ROHNERT PARK, California — Police say a goat apparently needed a caffeine fix when it wandered into a Starbucks in Northern California. Rohnert Park police Sgt. Rick Bates says dispatchers received several calls Sunday morning about a goat named Millie wandering around a strip mall on the city's eastern edge. Bates says employees who were opening the Starbucks tried to give Millie a banana, but she kept walking into the coffee shop and started chewing on a box. Bates took the goat into custody and brought it to the animal shelter — but not before snapping photos of her sniffing around the Starbucks and posting them on the police department's Facebook page. He says word spread to Millie's owner, and the animal has made it home. He says Millie didn't travel far; she lives around …

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Seagull poo posing problem at Dublin beach

A surge in seagull droppings is fouling up the water at a popular Dublin beach, Ireland's Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday. Peter Webster, a senior scientist at the EPA, said seagull poo was a significant contributory factor to the poor water quality at Merrion Strand beach in the south of the Irish capital. "We have a possible combination of impacts from surface waters but also from an increasing number of seagull droppings on a daily basis," he said following the release of the agency's annual report into bathing water quality. "Seagull poo has 10 times more bacteria than human poo," he told Newstalk Radio. The proliferation of seagulls has wreaked havoc in Dublin in recent years. Last July, senator Denis O'Donovan called for a cull of the "vicious" birds, branding them a danger to society. City …

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What’s in a name? China paper blasts foreign nomenclature

For many aspiring Chinese, living in a chateau would be a dream come true. But bourgeois apartments with foreign names are the latest victims of a wide-ranging crackdown on "Western values" by Communist authorities. A state-run newspaper lashed out Tuesday at the widespread adoption of foreign names in China. Many traditional local place names, such as those for streets, fell out of favour after Mao Zedong's Communists won China's civil war. They were replaced with identities more reflective of the new government's political leanings, such as "People's Road". Even so, they have largely shied away from the personal aggrandisement of a Stalingrad or a Ho Chi Minh City. More recently, as the economy has boomed, many developers have put foreign names on their new buildings even though the government banned the practice in 1996. "Almost …

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