FOOLED: Australian media indulged in some April Foolâ€™s Day humour on Tuesday, carrying hoax reports of Sydney residentsâ€™ brains shrinking due to mortgage stress and ads for â€œno chairâ€ airfares.
Sydney radio station 2UE reported that the Pope would conduct a special mass for homosexuals during his visit Down Under in July and that the Catholic Church may enter a float in next yearâ€™s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper said that a new Japanese restaurant was controversially offering a 10-course whale tasting menu as an April 1 special.
And in Melbourne, the Herald-Sun tabloid said that cars would be ferried down the Yarra River during peak times to ease traffic congestion.
Meanwhile, the Australian Broad-
casting Corporationâ€™s website revealed that Sydneysiders had smaller brains than their Melbourne counterparts because their grey matter was shrinking due to mortgage stress caused by high house prices.
Internet search firm Google announced a new feature which would allow computers to see into the future and provide headlines on share prices and sports results in advance (http://www.google.com.au/intl/en/gday/index.html)
And Richard Bransonâ€™s budget airline carrier Virgin Blue advertised â€œno chair faresâ€ in which passengers paid half the normal ticket price to stand for the duration of a domestic flight.
The ads, which were run on the front page of newspapers, added that passengers would be entitled to a free calf massage for flights over two hours. â€” AFP.
CONTEST: More than 10 000 camels from across the Gulf will be competing for millions of dollars in prize money at a beauty pageant for the â€œship of the desertâ€ in Abu Dhabi this week.
The contest is part of a camel festival being staged from Wednesday in the capital of the United Arab Emirates which aims to celebrate and preserve the regionâ€™s cultural heritage.
Camels from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will strut their stuff before a panel of expert judges who will decide which owners should be awarded prize money totalling around US$9,5 million. One hundred cars are also up for grabs.
â€œPreserving the rich heritage of the UAE and passing it on to future generations constitutes one of the most important missions which people of the UAE wish to undertake, by connecting our culturally rich past with our aspired bright and prosperous future,â€ the official WAM news agency quoted festival organiser Mohammed al-Mazrouei as saying earlier this week.
Oil-rich Abu Dhabi, one of seven emirates that makes up the UAE federation, produced the worldâ€™s first test-tube purebred camel and has begun using remote-controlled robot riders in its camel races. â€” AFP.
SORRY: US transport officials expressed regret over a woman who was forced to remove her nipple rings before boarding a flight in Texas.
A statement from the Transportation Security Administration said that while screeners were right to raise the alarm over Mandi Hamlinâ€™s piercings, in future passengers would be allowed to board after a visual inspection.
Hamlin, a 37-year-old graphic artist from Dallas, has complained of being humiliated by airport staff after being ordered to remove her nipple rings with a set of pliers before boarding a plane in Lubbock, Texas.
â€œIt was just total humiliation in front of people I had no earthly idea who they were,â€ Hamlin said earlier this week. â€” AFP.