Prague

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Zoo Says It's Got Earth's Longest Salamander

Oh, you know, just a normal 5-foot-2 amphibian

(Newser) - Prague Zoo says it likely has the longest Chinese giant salamander now on Earth. The critically endangered animal is the largest amphibian on the planet. In a statement Sunday, the zoo says Karlo, a Chinese giant salamander it received 19 months ago from the State Museum of Natural History in... More »

Thief Hides in Restaurant, Eats Unbelievable Feast

He could face 2 years in prison for the epic meal

(Newser) - Six 11-pound geese, 13 pounds of goose fat and liver, three ducks, a one-gallon jar of pickles, butter, and a package of poppy seeds. These are not lyrics to a Christmas carol of yore but rather the food items enjoyed by an alleged thief, accused of hiding in a restaurant... More »

Mystery Deepens Around Diplomat's Explosive Death

Palestinians release conflicting statements about the safe

(Newser) - The plot thickened today around the mysterious explosion that killed Palestinian ambassador Jamal al-Jamal in Prague. Initially, reports had indicated that Jamal had opened a booby-trapped embassy safe—one that the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said hadn't been opened in more than 20 years. But an embassy spokesperson has since... More »

Palestinian Ambassador in Prague Killed in Blast

Jamel al-Jamal killed while moving safe in his apartment

(Newser) - Police say an explosion in Prague has killed the Palestinian ambassador in the Czech Republic. Ambassador Jamal al-Jamal was in his apartment with his family at the time of the explosion today, according to Palestinian Embassy spokesman Nabil El-Fahel. Al-Jamal was seriously injured and rushed to a hospital, where he... More »

Huge Blast Shakes Prague

Dozens injured; gas leak suspected

(Newser) - A powerful blast shook central Prague this morning, shattering windows in buildings hundreds of feet away and causing the evacuation of a large area. Up to 40 people were injured in the explosion, which police say was probably the result of a gas leak, the AP reports. The explosion badly... More »

Man Honors Protester by Setting Fire to Himself

Czech man commemorates one immolation with another

(Newser) - A man set himself on fire in Prague today, apparently to commemorate a student who died by self-immolation there some 44 years ago, Reuters reports. Today's incident occurred in front of the National Museum in Wenceslas Square, where a Czech 36-year-old set fire to his jacket and had it... More »

Metal Singer Faces Charges in Fan Death

Randy Blythe out on bail in Prague after bust before concert

(Newser) - Randy Blythe, frontman of the metal band Lamb of God, has been released on bail after his arrest in Prague for the death of a fan. The 19-year-old fan died two years ago from head injuries he suffered after Blythe pushed him off a stage and onto concrete during a... More »

Diary of Teen Who Survived Auschwitz to Be Published

Helga Weiss narrowly escaped death at the hands of Nazi doctor Josef Mengele

(Newser) - Anne Frank was not the only teen to record her harrowing Holocaust account in a diary—or to have the chronicle of her ordeal published. Helga Weiss, now an artist in her 80s, kept her journal as a young girl, beginning in 1939. Her family's Prague apartment was taken... More »

Researchers Unearth 'First Gay Caveman'

Position of body suggests 'different sexual orientation,' say researchers

(Newser) - The first known "gay caveman" has been unearthed in a dig outside Prague, researchers believe. Archeological team members based their conclusion on the fact that the male body was interred in a ritualistic way reserved for females. "We know people from this period took funeral rites very seriously... More »

Obama Smackdown: 'Sarah Palin's No Expert'

Who's getting punched in the face now?

(Newser) - Sarah Palin might think Barack Obama's asking for a "punch in the face," but she's the one who was smacked down by the president in an interview yesterday. "Last time I checked, Sarah Palin's not much of an expert on nuclear weapons," said Obama in a... More »

Obama, Medvedev Sign Historic Nuke Pact

Treaty reduces the number of long-range nuclear weapons

(Newser) - Barack Obama and Dmitri Medvedev today agreed to trim their nuclear arsenals to the lowest level in 50 years, reports the New York Times . If ratified, the treaty would limit each country to 1,500 strategic warheads. The Treaty of Moscow, signed in 2002, limited them to 2000 apiece. Each... More »

Europe's Sleaziest Tourist Destinations

From Paris to Athens, avoid (or enjoy) these sex-and-drugs zones

(Newser) - Ah, Europe, home of landmark cafés, glorious historic churches—and stinking, dangerous red-light districts rife with hookers, drug dealers, and pickpockets. Correspondents for the Times of London highlight the continent's most tawdry areas.
  • Reeperbahn, Hamburg: Germany's decorous port town turns as seedy as it gets here. Pimps fight turf
... More »

Obama's Becoming a Windbag

Obama's European speeches fail to impress one listener

(Newser) - President Obama's European speeches are starting to sound repetitious and long-winded to Iain Martin of the Daily Telegraph. His London speech had flashes of brilliance but was too often "interminable, windy and not very impressive," Martin grumbles, and the president hammed it up in Prague yesterday with oh-puhlease... More »

Obama Pitches Nuke Drawdown, Slams Korean Launch

Pledges 'concrete steps' from US; says new treaty in the works

(Newser) - President Obama laid out his vision for a worldwide nuclear drawdown before a vast audience in Prague today, the New York Times reports, taking the opportunity to lambaste North Korea's rocket test yesterday and urge the UN Security Council to punish Pyongyang. “This provocation underscores the need for action,... More »

Super Spas (for the Still-Rich)

Less waiting perhaps, too, at these top-flight pushers of relaxation

(Newser) - From ancient minerals and monasteries to herb-infused wraps and waterfalls, sit back, relax, and enjoy Vanity Fair’s list of the world’s poshest spas:
  • Amangani, Jackson Hole, Wyoming: Jet-setters can get a taste of the Old American West, where “wildlife runs wild.”
  • The Spa at Gleneagles, Scotland:
... More »

As Potent Sex Trade Fizzles, Czechs Look to Legalize

Czech Republic, hotbed of sex tourism, sees numbers drop

(Newser) - In the Czech Republic, prostitution is somewhere between legal and illegal—which has made Prague one of the biggest sex tourism hotspots in Europe. But a global recession, coupled with a strong local currency, has led to a sharp drop in the world's oldest profession. The hotel industry is so... More »

Vivaldi Opera Revived 278 Years Later

Czech musician tracks down long-lost work in Germany

(Newser) - A long-lost opera by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi has resurfaced nearly 280 years after its Prague premiere, BBC reports. Argippo, a tale of love and deception set in an Indian maharaja’s court, was first performed in 1730 but vanished soon after, leaving only a libretto. But that was enough... More »

Protesters Thwart Neo-Nazi Rally in Prague

'I don't like these idiots with their shaved heads,' says one

(Newser) - Neo-Nazis marching on the anniversary of the infamous 1938 Nazi pogrom Kristallnacht ran into a wall of more than 1,000 counter-protesters bearing the Star of David in Prague's old Jewish quarter yesterday, the BBC reports. Czech police had earlier detained some of the skinheads, members of the Young Nationalist... More »

US Plays Down New Terror Attack Warning

No specific evidence, Homeland Security Chief maintains

(Newser) - Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff has minimized reports of an al-Queda terrorism "spectacular" this summer, described in a secret US law enforcement document. There is no "specific, credible evidence" of an impending attack on the US, Chertoff says, according to the Boston Herald. But one senior official notes... More »

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