Funny old world: The week's offbeat news

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jun 05 2021 12:28 AM

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From a spouting politician to cicada rolls and some head-slapping examples of human folly... Your weekly roundup of offbeat stories from around the world:

His cup overfloweth 

He may not be the first politician to forget to turn off their camera -- or the sound -- when they go to the toilet during a video call, but Canadian MP William Amos has taken home-working faux pas to a new low.

This week he was caught on camera peeing into his coffee cup during a virtual House of Commons committee meeting.

It is not the first time Amos has let it all hang out. Six weeks ago he appeared on another call with lawmakers buck naked between the flags of Canada and Quebec, his honourable member covered only by his phone.

While that incident might have been written off as a mistake with his computer's camera after a tantric yoga session -- he does after all belong to Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party -- this time there was no room for doubt.

"I am profoundly embarrassed by my conduct and the distress which it caused to those who witnessed it," Amos said.

Indeed. There are just some things one can't unsee.

He has assured colleagues that he is going to get "appropriate help". It's the least the coffee lovers of Canada deserve.

isspelling it out 

One can only marvel sometimes at humans' infinite ability to mess things up.

Take the mayor of Rome who organised a brass band and an impressive gathering of political heavyweights to name a square after the country's late president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.

But when the curtain was pulled back on the sign, Ciampi's name had been misspelled.

"As the great Italian that he was, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi would have probably had a laugh," centre-left rival Roberto Gualtieri said. "But this incredible mistake is very revealing of the carelessness of the current city government." 

The mayor, from Italy's populist Five Star Movement, has been dogged by accusations of incompetence. This won't have helped.

Night to hazily remember 

Spare a thought too for the Chelsea fan who spent a fortune to see his club win the Champions League final in Porto only never to make it to the stadium. With his £450 ($638) ticket in his hand, the aptly-named Jack Ambler went for an amble around the beautiful Portugese city, famed for its powerful port wine.

All he remembers is that did not see history being made in the stadium, but that a sweet Portugese couple took him into their home and let him watch the game on their tablet.

"They were very nice," he added.

Sick to their Seoul 

Embarrassed as Jack may be it is nothing on the people who put together the lavish promotional video for the big global climate change summit in South Korea.

With speeches from world leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the P4G meeting trumpeted the country's green push. 

Except the country featured in the big Hollywood zoom out was... North Korea.

From the Taedong River in Pyongyang the camera pulls back to reveal the giant May Day Stadium -- where Kim Jong Un often rallies his "invincible Workers' Party" -- the rest of the communist capital, the Korean peninsula, Asia and the Earth.

Such was the "diplomatic disaster" that Naver, Seoul's answer to Google, asked, "Are we promoting North Korea with our tax money?"

Flying lobsters

Remember last week how a plague of sex-mad cicadas in the United States had inspired chefs to come up with fried cicada sushi?

Now the Food and Drug Administration is warning people to think again before biting into a cicada sandwich.

"We have to say it! Don't eat #cicadas if you're allergic to seafood as these insects share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters," it tweeted.

But rather than dissuade people from cicada cuisine, the comparison with lobsters and shrimps has only further whetted appetites. Who knows, cicada rolls may soon rival lobster ones on East Coast menus.

A side of mice? 

Unfortunately Australian chefs have so far found no creative answer to the biblical plague of millions of mice ravaging homes and farms in New South Wales, producing some of the most cringe-inducing videos ever to hit social media.

Fishermen there have even been put off eating Murray cod after finding the fish have gorged on up to a dozen mice. 

She couldn't bear it 

A California teen has became a TikTok hero for taking on a black bear to save her little dog.

"I was like, 'Oh my God, there is a bear and it is taking my dog," said Hailey Morinico, who ran at the mother bear and gave it an almighty shove to knock it off the wall of her yard.

"Don't do what I did, you might not have the same outcome," the 17-year-old said. No danger, Hailey.