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Anybody out there?

THE European Space Agency says it plans to launch a satellite to hunt for planets outside our solar system by 2024.

The mission will be called Plato, short for Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars. The satellite will be equipped with 34 telescopes and cameras trained on one million nearby stars to search for signs of orbiting planets.

IDEA IS SURE TO STICK

A SELF-cleaning adhesive tape inspired by the feet of geckos has been developed that stays sticky even on dusty surfaces.

Scientists followed nature's lead to come up with a dry material covered in clinging microscopic hairs. In future, the tape could be used as an alternative to Velcro, or to produce bandages that can be opened and closed several times, say the researchers.

MURAL A REAL BANKSER

ONE of Banksy's most famous murals has been sold at auction in the US after being removed from the wall of a Brighton pub.

'Kissing Coppers', a life-size black and white graffiti work of two policemen kissing, was sold to an anonymous buyer in Miami for $575,000 (€418,000). It was spray-painted on the side of the Prince Albert pub in Trafalgar Street near Brighton city centre in 2004.

URINE FOR IT NOW

HEALTH officials have temporarily shut down a West Virginia pizza restaurant after a manager was caught on CCTV urinating into a sink.

Pizza Hut released a statement saying it was "embarrassed" by the manager's actions. The company said it had "zero tolerance" for violations of its operating standards. The employee, whose name was not released, was fired.

GLO WITH THE FLOW

RUDOLPH the reindeer is having a glittering antler makeover to halt some of the thousands of road deaths of the roaming caribou in the wilds of Finland.

The antlers of 20 reindeer have been painted with various fluorescent dyes to see how the animals react and whether the paints are resistant to the harsh Arctic climate. If successful, animals with glittering antlers will be free to roam Lapland.

SNOOZE YOU LOSE

A FLORIDA woman says she awoke to find an intruder asleep on her couch.

Police charged the man in connection with some recent business burglaries. The woman said she found him asleep on her couch, covered with a blanket, and that he had helped himself to a beer from her refrigerator.

PA Media