x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Oprah maybe, but avoid appearing on Home Front TV if you value your life

If you're a celebrity in Bulgaria who values his life, you don't want to appear on the Home Front TV show ... and other news you can lose.

A television chat show in Bulgarian has been described as cursed after the death of six guests in just two years.

Most recently, a herbalist who appeared on Otechestven Front, which translates as "Home Front", died in a fire at his home.

The rumours of a curse were fuelled by the fact that the man died attempting to save his black cat.

Other guests on the show include a reputed gangster whose mysterious death was attributed to black magic and the owner of a religious icon said to shed real tears who died of undisclosed cancer. Broadcasters have promised to investigate the claims of a curse.

Bin Laden? Who he?

Only one country in the world failed to report the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of US special forces.

Citizens of the Central Asian republic of Uzbekistan were kept in the dark after the country's government news agency said it was not initially aware of bin Laden's death because they did not have a working internet connection.

The Uzbek national news agency added that it thought the story was "unlikely to be of interest to its readership" even though the US used a military base in Uzbekistan during its war in Afghanistan. Instead, it headed the daily bulletin with a UN report that "headaches were the most common health disorder around the world, but widely untreated".

Darwin award candidate

Police in South Carolina received an emergency call from a man who complained he had been short-changed by his drug dealer.

Dexter White, 41, asked officers to investigate why he had only been given US$20 (Dh73) worth of crack cocaine despite handing the dealer $60.

He was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct and sent to a local detention centre.

Badger rhapsody

Brian May, the guitarist with the rock group Queen, has launched a campaign to protect Britain's badger population.

May, 63, is calling on the UK government to abandon plans for a mass cull of badgers, which are blamed by farmers for spreading a form of tuberculosis among cattle.

He said: "I don't really love badgers because they are furry and good-looking. It's not about that.

"To me they are fascinating and rather mysterious because they have been in the British Isles longer than humans."

Thief tracked down

An officer in the Russian navy has gone on trial accused of stealing half a kilometre of railway track.

Investigators said Alexei Gusev and an accomplice hired a gang of five men to remove a section of the line from Yantarni to Primorsk. Gusev, an officer in the Baltic fleet, was said to be short of money and planned to sell the track, which weighed 30 tonnes, for scrap.