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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.

jlangton@thenational.ae

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