x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Al Qa'eda to Ahmadinejad: You're not helping

Plus the truth about business trips aboard trains, why koalas can bellow like bison and more news you can lose.

Hope runs out for celebrity bear cub

A wild bear cub whose birth was broadcast to millions watching over a webcam is feared to have been shot dead by a hunter.

The black bear, named Hope, featured in a documentary that included a live stream from a concealed webcam in the den of its mother, Lily. A year later, biologists have identified Lily, who was wearing an identification collar. But Hope is missing and the team believes he may have been shot by a hunter in Minnesota, where shooting bears is legal.

 

Assange's secret life

The memoirs of the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, are reported to have sold just 644 copies. The book, described as an "unauthorised autobiography" by the publishers, has attracted controversy because Assange claims the work is a draft copy that has been published without his approval.

Assange is reported to have been paid £250,000 (Dh1.44m) as an advance for worldwide rights.

 

Train travel just for kicks

Businessmen on trains are more likely to be staring out of the window than getting on with work - despite what they may tell their offices, a survey has found.

Consultants hired by the UK Department of Transport found that business travellers rarely used the time for work, preferring other activities that included reading and people watching.

They concluded that as little as 10 per cent of the journey was spent working.

Executives admitted to sleeping because they were bored rather than catching up with emails or paperwork.

 

Koalas bellow like fellows

Koalas are able to make loud noises during the mating season because they have developed voice boxes similar to humans, scientists have discovered.

Males of the species are able to make noises making them sound as big as a bison because their larynx sits deeper in the chest than most other species.

Writing in The Journal of Experimental Biology, the team of Australian researchers believe that the cries are a way of bragging about their size to females, while intimidating rival males.

 

With friends like these ...

Al Qaeda has told Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to stop promoting conspiracy theories about the September 11 attacks on America.

The terrorist organisation, formerly headed by Osama bin Laden, is angry at claims by the Iranian president that the US government was behind the destruction of the World Trade Center. Mr Ahmadinejad recently repeated the claims at the United Nations in New York, prompting a walkout by many countries.

In an article in the latest edition of the Al Qaeda's's English-language magazine, Inspire, it calls the view "ridiculous" and accuses the president of a lack of support.

The author writes: "If Iran was genuine in its animosity towards the US, it would be pleased to see another entity striking a blow at the Great Satan but that's not the case. For Iran, anti-Americanism is merely a game of politics."

jlangton@thenational.ae