Friday 19 December 2014

In brief: Royal rocker's Rolls

Published 09/01/2013 | 05:00

A Rolls-Royce owned by former Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury is to go under the hammer. The 1974 Silver Shadow was bought by Mercury's managing company Goose Productions Ltd in 1979 for his personal use.

A letter in the car's file confirms it was bought for the star and used by him until his death in November 1991. The silver car, which has just 62,000 miles on the clock, is expected to sell for between £9,000 (€11,000) and £11,000 (€13,500).

More Christmas jeers

A woman in Louisiana wants a court to let her keep displaying roof-mounted Christmas lights that give an extended middle finger to her neighbours.

Sarah Childs has asked for an injunction barring the removal of the display. She put up the message in November because she believed a neighbour stole her dog.

Hybrid cars 'too quiet'

A US government safety agency wants electric and hybrid vehicles to make more noise when travelling at low speeds so pedestrians can hear them coming.

The cars and trucks, which are far quieter than conventional vehicles, do not make enough noise at low speeds to warn walkers, cyclists and the visually impaired.

Downton domination

Downton Abbey drew nearly eight million viewers for Sunday's much-anticipated US season premiere. PBS and WGBH announced that the third-season premiere of the show attracted 7.9 million viewers.

This audience doubled the viewership of the series' second-season premiere, and quadrupled PBS' average prime-time audience.

Giant squid filmed

A Japanese-led team of scientists has captured on film the world's first live images of a giant squid, journeying to the depths of the ocean.

The images of the silvery, three-metre long cephalopod, looming out of the darkness nearly 1km below the surface, were taken last July near the Ogasawara islands, 1,000 km south of Tokyo.

Court frees gay men

A Cameroon appeal court has overturned the convictions of two men found guilty of homosexuality and sentenced to five years in jail for cross-dressing and wearing make-up.

Homosexuality is illegal but recent incidents have highlighted tension between a largely conservative society and a younger generation less concerned by the issue.

Irish Independent

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