x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Martians were the original capitalist running dogs

The Venezuelan president, we're making no judgements here, says there was life on Mars, until capitalism did it in.

Life on Mars may have died out because the planet's inhabitants developed capitalism, according to Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela.

Addressing a conference in Brazil to mark World Water Day, Mr Chavez speculated that the lack of life on Mars might have been caused by "capitalism and imperialism", which "finished off the planet".

He warned that Earth could be heading in the same direction.

"Here on planet Earth, where hundreds of years ago or less there were great forests, now there are deserts. Where there were rivers, there are deserts."

 

He can just buy another one

Furious at what he saw as the Italian car maker's failure to repair his Lamborghini Gallardo, a Chinese millionaire hired a gang of men with hammers to smash the car to pieces in front of TV cameras.

The owner, identified only as a wealthy man from Qingdao, had complained that the vehicle, worth Dh2.5 million, had suffered from starting problems and that the local dealer had dented the car while transporting it for repairs.

After taking his complaint to the head of Lamborghini, the man hired a team of men with sledgehammers to destroy the car on World Consumer Rights Day. A spokesman for Lamborghini said that the owner had acted for "reasons that are unknown to us and that are independent from his relationship with Lamborghini".

 

Too big for bunny hop

The remains of a giant rabbit that would have been too big to hop have been found on the Mediterranean island of Minorca.

Fossil bones from Nuralagus rex, or "the Minorcan king of the hares", show the creature was six times the size of today's rabbit and weighed up to 12 kilos.

The creature was so large and its spine so short and stiff that it would have only been able to lumber around rather than hop, according to the team of scientists that discovered the remains.

The prehistoric rabbit probably had few predators and became extinct around five million years ago because it "got too comfortable", according to one scientist.

 

No need to change wallpaper

Alvaro Colom, the president of Guatemala, has announced he is to divorce his wife so that she can run for president after he steps down.

Guatemala's constitution bans close relatives of the president from running for office to succeed him.

With elections due to take place in September, the couple have filed for divorce by mutual consent.

Opposition groups say Mrs Colom has always wielded power behind the scenes and plan to challenge the divorce ruling in the courts.

 

Ferreting around Edinburgh

A ferret found wandering at Edinburgh's Haymarket station probably arrived on a train from London, animal welfare officers said.

Nickamed "Mickey", the animal was seen shortly after the arrival of the London train.

The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is now caring for the ferret and says it would like to find its owner.

jlangton@thenational.ae