x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Island man's green message in 130,000 bottles

Plus a "running of the sheep" even is cancelled amid protests, a street in Texas is named for the teen singer Justin Bieber and more news you can lose.

A floating island made entirely from recycled plastic bottles is ready to set sail on to the high seas.

Richart Sowa has collected about 130,000 empty bottles to create "Joysxee Island", which is berthed in a lagoon at Isla Mujeres on Mexico's Caribbean coast.

His original island was destroyed by Hurricane Emily in 2005, but Mr Sowa has since rebuilt it on a grander scale.

The island features a small house with solar panels and is planted with mangrove trees, the roots of which bind the structure together.

He has also planted lemons, tomatoes, melons and herbs to provide food. He now hopes to float around the world using a wave-powered propulsion system, while teaching the value of recycling and sustainability.

 

Sheep stampede fans fleeced

Plans to stage a "running of the sheep" through the streets of a New Zealand city have been abandoned after protests from animal rights activists.

As part of celebrations for the Rugby World Cup, up to 1,000 sheep were to have been driven though Auckland city centre.

Animal welfare organisations called the proposal inhumane and accused the organisers of using the animals for entertainment. The Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it had received "a barrage" of complaints.

A similar event staged two years ago led to a woman being knocked unconscious when sheep leapt over fencing and trampled her.

 

A waste of a stamp

The mystery of why an elderly man's letters never arrived has been solved after it was discovered that he had been posting them in a red container for the disposal of dog waste.

Alf Spence, 91, who has poor eyesight, confused the box with a post box that was of almost the same size and colour, but on the other side of the road near his Yorkshire home.

After two years, his error was finally revealed when a passer-by stopped him putting a birthday card to his grandson in the waste bin. Mr Spence's daughter, Susan May, told the British newspaper Sunday Sport: "Every time I asked dad if he'd remembered one of the kids' birthdays, he'd say, 'Yes, there's a cheque in the post'.

"When they never showed up we thought he was either losing his marbles or was just plain lying.

"So it's nice to know he was at least trying, bless him."

 

Next stop Hannah, Montana

After allowing an 11-year-old girl to be mayor for a day, a town in Texas now has its main street named after the popular teen singer Justin Bieber.

Caroline Gonzalez was the winner of competition to become the mayor for a day in Forney, Texas and promptly ordered the name change.

"I just really like Justin Bieber and I thought it would be cool if we had a street in our town named after him," Caroline said.

Town officials say they will change Justin Bieber Way back to Main Street next week.