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Mammoth tusk jewellery, the latest must-have

A roundup of the bizarre and offbeat news of the week.

Russia has become a major source of the world's ivory by exporting mammoth tusks. With the trade in elephant ivory now banned, it is estimated there could be as many as 150 million dead mammoths trapped under the ice in Siberia. The shaggy creatures were slow-moving and served as food for humans and other animals.

Tusks are found every year as the tundra melts, with 60 tonnes exported this year to China, the main market for ivory. Michelle Obama, the first lady of the US, has been seen wearing mammoth ivory jewellery.

Status update: I'm in jail

After boasting "I'm now a bank robber" on his Facebook page, Ryan Homsley was arrested by the FBI. Two days earlier, Homsley, 29, told staff at the bank in Oregon that he was carrying a bomb, and fled with cash. He was caught on CCTV cameras and dubbed the "Where's Wally robber" because of his striped T-shirt and thick glasses. He later copied the image for his profile photo and was subsequently detained by the FBI.

Among the comment posted was one from a friend, who wrote "turn yourself in."

Elgar was a Wolves fan

Sir Edward Elgar has been identified as the composer of the world's first football chant. Sir Edward wrote "He Banged The Leather For Goal" in 1898 after watching a game between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Stoke City. Better known for his Enigma Variations and Land of Hope and Glory, the composer is said to have been inspired by the Wolves' striker Billy Malpass.

The title is taken from newspaper reports about Malpass's exploits in the game.

What rays in Vegas

Guests at a new hotel in Las Vegas have complained of being burnt by an intense ray of sunlight caused by the building's design. The curved glass exterior of the Vdara hotel acts like a magnifying glass and directs a powerful beam of sun at guests in certain parts of the pool area. One guest, Bill Pintas, a lawyer from Chicago, said: "It felt like I had a chemical burn. I couldn't imagine why my head was burning."

A hotel spokesman said it was working with designers to come up with a solution.

GPS leads driver to the top

The driver of a delivery van was rescued by helicopter after following GPS directions that led him to the top of a Swiss mountain. Robert Zeigler, 37, drove up what was described as a "glorified goat track" and found himself unable to reverse or turn around. Emergency services removed the van using a heavy lift helicopter.

He told police: "I was lost and I kept hoping that each little turn would get me back to the main road. In the end it told me to turn around but of course I couldn't by then."

RAF paratroopers upset

A training exercise that involved a parachute drop of Britain's elite SAS regiment by the Royal Air Force left nine soldiers injured when they landed in trees. The incident is being blamed on the RAF's navigational skills and the equipment used by 40-year-old Hercules aircraft, which lacks GPS satellite positioning.

Two of the SAS men were treated for serious injuries caused by branches.


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 A view of a defaced portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during an anti-North Korean rally on the 102nd birthday of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung in central Seoul. Kim Hong-Ji / Reuters

Best photography from around the world, April 15

The National View's photo editors pick the best images of the day from around the world.

 The Doha-based Youssef Al Qaradawi speaks to the crowd as he leads Friday prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt in February, 2011. The outspoken pro-Muslim Brotherhood imam has been critical of the UAE’s policies toward Islamist groups, adding to friction between Qatar and other GCC states. Khalil Hamra / AP Photo

Brotherhood imam skips Doha sermon, but more needed for GCC to reconcile

That Youssef Al Qaradawi did not speak raises hopes that the spat involving Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain might be slowly moving towards a resolution.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 An Afghan election commission worker carries a ballot box at a vote counting centre in Jalalabad on April 6. A roadside bomb hit a truck carrying full ballot boxes in northern Afghanistan, killing three people a day after the country voted for a successor to President Hamid Karzai. Eight boxes of votes were destroyed in the blast, which came as the three leading candidates voiced concerns about possible fraud. Noorullah Shirzada / AFP Photo

Two pressing questions for Afghanistan’s future president

Once in office, the next Afghan president must move fast to address important questions that will decide the immediate future of the country.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP cheer as they follow the election's results in front of the party's headquarters in Ankara on March 30. Adem Altan/ AFP Photo

Erdogan critic fears retaliation if he returns to Turkey

Emre Uslu is a staunch critic of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now, with a mass crackdown on opposition expected, he is unsure when he can return home.


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