In brief: New year's confusion
CYPRUS' public broadcaster inadvertently played the opening seconds of an old new year's message from the country's former leader Demetris Christofias, instead of current president Nicos Anastasiades, prompting an embarrassed apology.
The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation said it realised its mistake within seconds and halted the transmission.
FOX RUINS DONKEY DISH
AMERICAN superstore Walmart has recalled its 'five spice' donkey product from some stores in China amid fears the meat, a regional speciality, has been contaminated with fox.
Walmart admitted it found traces of DNA from other animals when it tested its meat, after food regulators in Shandong province said the product contained fox.
NO GOLDFISH, NO TAXES
THE UK's taxman has compiled a list of the most "bizarre and flimsy" excuses for sending in a late tax return, including a builder mourning his goldfish's death.
Also, an accountant said he had been too busy submitting his clients' returns to get his own in on time, while another man said he was cruising the globe on his yacht and only picked up post when in port.
STRONG THIEF LUGS VAULT
US POLICE are searching for a strong-armed thief who carried a 113kg safe out of a restaurant. Kevin Hynes says a man walked out of his restaurant in Massachusetts, lugging the vault.
Surveillance tape shows the man entering the building, heading down stairs and coming back carrying a large object wrapped in a rubbish bag. Mr Hynes has now bought a heavier safe.
'FRAPPICINO' PUT ON ICE
A SMALL US brewery has sent Starbucks coffee chain a cheque for $6 (€4.40) in response to a cease and desist letter to cover what it calls the profit gained from the use of the word "frappicino".
Exit 6 Pub and Brewery in St Louis, Missouri, named one of its beers the Frappicino, using one 'c' instead of the two Starbucks uses. A Starbucks lawyer wrote complaining Exit 6's use of Frappicino "is likely to cause confusion". Exit 6 renamed its beer, "F Word".
AUTHOR DIES BY SUICIDE
CELEBRATED young adult fiction writer Ned Vizzini, whose 2006 semi-autobiographical novel 'It's Kind of a Funny Story' won plaudits for its portrayal of teen depression and became a Hollywood film, has died aged 32. New York City medical examiner spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said Vizzini died by suicide.