x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Royal room to rent with beach volleyball view

St James's Palace to welcome Olympic visitors, plus an emergency crew almost have to rescue themselves, scientists prolong battery life with simple solution and more news you can lose.

The Queen of England has joined the ranks of Londoners hoping to cash in on next year's Olympic Games in the city by renting out rooms.

Queen Elizabeth is said to have personally approved the plans to offer accommodation at St James's Palace.

The rate charged to corporations for apartments in the royal palace is expected to be up to £30,000 (Dh174,000) a day. Visitors will gain access to the Throne Room, the Tapestry Room and the Queen Anne Room in the palace, which was built by Henry VIII.

The apartments are also within walking distance of the beach volleyball finals, which will be held on Horse Guards Parade.


Chopper comes a cropper

While rescuing the victims of a car crash in East Texas, paramedics and police officers had to jump for safety when a Chevvy Tahoe driven by Matthew Mitchell ploughed through the accident scene and rammed the air ambulance helicopter waiting on the ground.

After his arrest, Mr Mitchell asked officers: "Why was the helicopter flying so low?" He was later charged with public intoxication.


Battery charges into future

A mobile-phone battery that can last a week and will recharge in 15 minutes could be in shops within five years.

Scientists at Northwestern University in America say they have redesigned the standard lithium ion battery to allow them to charge 10 times faster and hold power 10 times longer than current batteries.

The secret, the scientists say, is to drill millions of tiny holes in the battery, which allows ions to store much more efficiently.


Austen's murder mystery

According to a leading crime writer, the novelist Jane Austen, whose death at the age of 41 has never been properly explained, may have been murdered.

Lindsay Ashford says the author of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility was killed by arsenic poisoning, maybe deliberately.

She claims to have found the vital clue in a letter written by Austen shortly before her death in which she describes her appearance as "black and white and every wrong colour".

Changes in skin pigmentation are a classic symptom of arsenic poisoning.

Ashford says she has no idea why anyone would want to murder the author, who died in 1817, but that "having delved into her family background, there was a lot going on that has never been revealed and there could have been a motive for murder".


Berlusconi waxes lyrical

Silvio Berlusconi, the scandal-plagued former Italian prime minister, has released an album of love songs less than a week after leaving office as a result of the euro-zone crisis.

Mr Berlusconi, 75, has written the lyrics for the album, called True Love, which are performed by his friend, the Neapolitan singer Mariano Apicella.

The former leader, who has been linked to a number of young women and so-called "bunga-bunga" parties, has penned lyrics like "I run my hands down your side, because it's you. I adore you and I already miss you".


Hiker loses more than shirt

Switzerland's highest court has supported a ban on naked hiking in the Alps.

It rejected an appeal by a man who was fined 100 Swiss francs (Dh399) after he offended a picnicking family by striding past them with no clothes on.

The federal court said a local authority had been correct to fine the hiker on the grounds of public decency and argued that his claim that this was an infringement of his personal freedom was only marginal.

In a statement, the court added: "It is not overly high-handed to qualify naked hiking as a breach of decency customs."