In brief: Popemobile 'must be leather-free'
AN animal rights group has urged Pope Benedict XVI to "truly go green" and insist that the next popemobile is made without leather.
PETA said it had written to the Pope with the request following the Vatican's confirmation on Wednesday that Mercedes-Benz was making a study of a hybrid, energy-saving popemobile.
'Batphone' app tracks night fliers
SCIENTISTS have created a 'batphone' by designing a smartphone app to help people capture the ultrasonic calls of bats in their area, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has said.
The iBats app for iPhones and Android phones aims to make it easier to monitor local bat species by replacing three pieces of recording kit with just a phone and an ultrasonic microphone. Researchers say it will help a network of more than 700 volunteer bat-trackers around the world, who are part of a monitoring programme called iBats, to record bat calls in the UK, Eastern Europe, Ukraine, Russia and Japan.
Warning, zombies dead ahead . . .
DRIVERS in Kentucky have been spooked by an unusual road sign. Instead of the usual message about roadworks, the electronic sign on Interstate 71-75 said: "Nightly lane closures, zombies ahead."
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokeswoman Nancy Wood said officials have turned off the sign until it can be fixed. She said they were not amused by the prank.
Man fined after touching rare seal
A MAN who touched an endangered Hawaiian monk seal has had a $100 (€70) penalty imposed by a magistrate in Honolulu.
Cameron Cayaban (19) has pleaded guilty to harassing, harming or pursuing an endangered species. He was charged with slapping the seal at Kalaeloa's White Plains Beach. His lawyer says Cayaban was overcome when he saw the seal, ran up to the endangered animal and touched it.
Syrian snipers kill 15 after prayers
SYRIAN forces opened fire on protesters as they spilled out of mosques yesterday, killing at least 15, as the Assad regime defied new sanctions to visit more bloodshed on its own people, on the 101st day of revolt.
In familiar violence that has accompanied protests after Friday prayers, loyalist snipers positioned on rooftops shot worshippers as they left services. The worst violence came in Damascus, where six people were killed in two of the capital's suburbs.