International News Briefs

140-year-old lobster will not be on the menu

NEW YORK: City Crab & Seafood restaurant will set free a 140-year-old lobster it has been keeping in a tank for the last two weeks.

Named George, the lobster weighs 20 lbs and was caught off the cost of Newfoundland at the end of December.

City Crab & Seafood paid $100 for the crustacean and have used it as a mascot to drum up business. The owner stated they never intended to serve it, but simply wanted to draw some attention to the eatery. PETA commended the restaurant for its decision.

The BBC reported the lobster will be released into the waters at Kennebunkport, Maine, where lobster trapping is prohibited.

Art masterpieces now on Google Earth

MADRID, Spain: Spain’s national art museum, the Prado, revealed 13 masterpieces from its collection as seen through Google Earth.

The museum and Google Earth Spain collaborated to provide high-resolution pictures of Prado paintings online. Captured at 14,000 mega pixels, the resolution is so fine a viewer can observe crack in varnish and the seams of the canvasses. The Prado used special cameras to take over 8,200 photographs of the paintings, produced using the same layering technique as Google Earth.

The technology allows viewers to zoom into the paintings, available at, and see intricate details.

New banknote makes Zimbabweans trillionaires

HARARE, Zimbabwe: The central bank issued the first 100 trillion Zimbabwe dollar bill last week.

The banknote converts to approximately CAD$40.

Hyper-inflation has forced the central bank to keep issuing new notes to meet demands of the continually de-valued currency. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe also issued Z$10, Z$20, and Z$50 trillion dollar notes.

It was less than a month ago that the bank issued a Z$500 million bill.

Prices for food and fuel double on a daily basis in Zimbabwe. Citizens buy most of their groceries in neighbouring countries like South Africa, Zambia and Botswana, driving up the prices more at home.

The International Herald Tribune reports banks cannot keep up with the demand for cash.

Despite the inflation rate of 231 per cent and a cholera epidemic with over 2,000 reported dead, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai still insists on working with President Robert Mugabe towards a power-sharing government.

Recession? Time for a cooking class

SINGAPORE: A senior official in the Singapore Environment Ministry found an original way of handling the city-state’s economic meltdown: a five-week cooking class in France for him and his family.

According to Reuters, Tan Yong Soon admitted the story to a local newspaper, saying that a good leader with a good team could afford the time off.

Soon’s family holiday at the esteemed Cordon Bleu cooking school cost over CAD$38,000.

Now Singapore bloggers are speaking out on the bureaucrat’s spending at a time when other residents of the city are trying to make ends meet.

Singapore is one of Asia’s wealthiest countries. It was one of the first to be hit by recession last year.

Published in Volume 63, Number 17 of The Uniter (January 22, 2009)

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