Every Friday journalists from euronews’ various language teams choose a selection of stories from Europe and beyond which did not reach the international headlines.
Wingsuit Flyers Soar With the Perseid Meteor Shower in Canary Islands
The Perseids are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Swift–Tuttle, which occurs annually in August where up to 500 meteors can be seen in an hour. The natural phenomenon brought Norwegian Jokke Sommer, Austrians Marco Waltenspiel and Georg Lettner and Spaniard Armando del Rey to the Spanish island of La Palma to become part of Le lacrime di San Lorenzo (The tears of Saint Lorenzo).
The four athletes wanted to pay tribute to this spectacular astronomical occurrence with their wingsuits. The idea was to be a part of the meteor shower under the cleanest Northern Hemisphere sky — La Palma was the perfect location for this as it’s a key location for astronomical observation.
Watch the video:
Billionaire John Catsimatidis Takes on Ice Cream Thieves in NYC
John Catsimatidis, the billionaire GOP donor who owns the Gristedes supermarket chain, is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the capture of a Bonnie and Clyde duo who’ve stolen dozens of containers of ice cream from his stores.
And it’s not just Gristedes that’s being plagued by ice cream-grabbing crooks. Catsimatidis, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for New York City mayor in 2013, complained on Twitter:
Ice cream bandits are wreaking havoc on NYC supermarkets— John Catsimatidis (
JCats2013) <a href="https://twitter.com/JCats2013/status/764052666213277697">August 12, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Gristedes $5000 Dollars Reward arrest & Prosecution<br>of Ice Cream Thieves Below see NY Post Story<br>email jacragny.com pic.twitter.com/3fyEI2jqfH— John Catsimatidis (@JCats2013) August 12, 2016
Police told WPIX-TV there have been 250 complaints of ice cream thefts in 2016 and more than 130 arrests. “They keep stealing it because it’s an easy item to sell,” Catsimatidis told The New York Post, noting the pilfered pints are sold cheaply to neighborhood bodegas which jack up the price for a hefty profit.
Unwanted goldfish growing to the size of a football in Australia
It is a “common misconception” about goldfish is that they live for five years and grow to 12cm in length. Researchers from Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia, have tracked unwanted goldfishes, released in natural waters.
“The fact is they’re known to live for up to 25 years and some can reach over 40cm,” the charity says. The team found many goldfish which weighed in at over one kilogram, while the biggest was measured at 1.9kg. Tish, the record-breaking goldfish from Thirsk, North Yorkshire, died in 1999 at the age of 43.
The unwanted pet goldfish growing to the size of footballs https://t.co/3HlEauJMGspic.twitter.com/TjHBIEzmPQ— BBC Newsbeat (@BBCNewsbeat) August 17, 2016
Goldfish are native to eastern Asia but are now a common pet around the world and considered one of the worst invasive aquatic species. So if you get fed up with your fish, professional advises to contact the place where you got the pet from in the first place, if you are no longer able to care for your goldfish. If they are unable to help, then look for a charity which specialises in rehoming fish.
Do you save a pedestrian’s life if it endangers yours? And a machine?
From self-driving cars on public roads to self-piloting reusable rockets landing on self-sailing ships, machine intelligence is supporting or entirely taking over ever more complex human activities at an ever increasing pace. The greater autonomy given machine intelligence in these roles can result in situations where they have to make autonomous choices involving human life and limb. This calls for not just a clearer understanding of how humans make such choices, but also a clearer understanding of how humans perceive machine intelligence making such choices.
So an MIT project made a platform for gathering a human perspective on moral decisions made by machine intelligence, such as self-driving cars. It shows moral dilemmas, where a driverless car must choose the lesser of two evils, such as killing two passengers or five pedestrians.
Recent scientific studies on machine ethics have raised awareness about the topic in the media and public discourse. This website aims to take the discussion further. Once you’ve started the game, you can then see how your responses compare with those of other people or you can also design your own scenarios.
New Baywatch star on Spanish beaches
Spain has a new type of life guard: a float equipped drone. Cunit is one of several coastal villages in Spain that are testing drones for beach rescue operations. It is the first village in the country to permanently adopt a surveillance and emergencies scheme using the drone. The drone’s three batteries allow for up to one hour of flight and it can reach a speed of 70 km/h.
The idea comes from a local policeman, Daniel Olmo, who handcrafted a float adapted to the special characteristics of the drone. The design is a work in progress, but tests so far have been very positive.
He took first his heart, than walked with his daughter to the aisle
A bride in Pennsylvania has been given away by the man who received her father’s donated heart. Jeni Stepien’s father was murdered in September 2006, when he was walking home from work. Mr Stepien’s heart was donated through a group which allows donor families and the recipients to keep in touch. The heart went to Arthur Thomas, a father of four who lives in the town of Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and who had been within days of dying. He told The New York Times: “Once I had my transplant, I, of course, decided I would write a thank-you to the family.”
But the families had not thought about meeting in person until Miss Stepien became engaged. “One of my first thoughts in that following week was, ‘Who will walk me down the aisle?’” she told the paper. “I was thinking, ‘Oh, my gosh, it would be so incredible to have a physical piece of my father there’.”
The wedding took place on Friday, Mr Thomas and the bride formally met one day earlier, and he suggested she grip his wrist, where his pulse is strongest. At the church, the bride was photographed touching Mr Thomas’s chest. At the reception, they danced together, and guests mingled with Mr Thomas and his wife, Nancy. “I felt wonderful about bringing her dad’s heart to Pittsburgh,” he said. “If I had to, I would’ve walked.”
Turkey’s first earthquake museum
On the day of Aug. 17, 1999, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.9 wiped out most of İzmit in northwestern Turkey and destroyed the surrounding area including the districts of Gölcük, Adapazarı and the Yalova province in 37 seconds. Casualties extended to as far as Istanbul, Bolu, Eskişehir and Bursa. It claimed the lives of 17,127 with many not on record since the bodies were taken to their home cities to be buried there.
In Sakarya, Turkey’s first earthquake museum keeps the sorrowful memories alive, urging authorities and the public to be better prepared for earthquakes. The museum director, Veysel Çalış, said that it is human nature to forget after a certain time.
The intention of this museum is to keep the memory of those who lost their lives alive. A rare museum concept, the building’s interior architecture was designed like an art gallery and the exterior side was designed as if the building were damaged by an earthquake. There is also an earthquake simulator set up in the setting of a lounge room to give you an idea of what to expect in the event of an earthquake.
Merkel’s deputy flips bird at far-right protesters
A top German politician has received applause — and some criticism — after making an unambiguous gesture of disdain toward far-right protesters. A video posted online late Tuesday shows Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel flipping the bird at a group of neo-Nazis in the central German town of Salzgitter on Friday.
The clip shows about 10 far-right protesters holding placards accusing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s deputy of being a “race traitor” and praising Gabriel’s late father, a committed Nazi.
At first, the leader of the center-left Social Democratic Party is seen laughing at the demonstrators before raising his middle finger and turning away. While some on social media criticized Gabriel for his coarse reaction, many praised the gesture, with one user on Facebook commenting: “I can’t like that often enough.”
Opera in the Argentine metro
Metro, favela, psychiatric hospital… a young Argentinian conductor is trying to
bring opera to these “not so usual” places to familiarize this kind of music with ordinary people. That’s why he sett a scene of a baroque opera in the corridors of the Buenos Aires metro.
Members of the Buenos Aires Opera, including a soprano and a baritone also participated in the project, and surprised the passengers who took the metro on Tuesday. The first of the two scenes was realised in a metro station, then the musicians arranged their instruments seven stations away to finish the play.
Bride given away by the man who received her father’s donated heart
Merkel’s deputy and far-right protesters