LIMA (Reuters) - Pope Francis may have divine inspiration but not divine inflation: on Friday he suffered what millions of ordinary people have to deal with -- a flat tire. While the pope was being driven into Lima from the airport, one of the wheels of the Fiat 500 that was taking him into the city began losing air on the highway. After his motorcade came to a halt, he calmly exited the car while his security detail surveyed the damage. Without missing a beat, he got into a black, unmarked security car behind him and continued the ride to the presidential palace, television footage showed. ...
Delta Air Lines is tightening the requirements for passengers traveling with onboard service and emotional support animals, the carrier said on Friday, following a sharp uptick in pet-related safety issues in recent years. Effective March 1, Delta, the second largest U.S. airline by passenger traffic, said it will require passengers seeking to fly with pets to present additional documents outlining the passenger's need for the animal and proof of its training and vaccinations, 48 hours prior to the flight. This comes in response to what the carrier said was a 150 percent increase in service and support animals - pets, often dogs, that accompany people with disabilities - carried onboard since 2015.
Tobacco smugglers are using river iceflows and GPS technology to transport their goods into Lithuania, where an estimated one in every six cigarettes smoked in 2016 was illegally imported. The Baltic country's border guard said on Friday it had found thousands of packets of cigarettes attached beneath blocks of ice on the river Neris, which runs into Lithuania from Belarus, since the ice began flowing two weeks ago. The iceblocks carried GPS trackers to aid retrieval.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A former leader of the Montana House of Representatives who once supported funding for an anti-drug campaign was sentenced to 18 years in prison Thursday for his central role in a methamphetamine trafficking ring.
Black-clad protesters in southern Athens have torn down a red sculpture shaped like an angel and broke its wings in a fresh act of violence against an artwork critics liken to Satan. It was displayed in early December in a busy area in the coastal suburb of Palaio Faliro. Protesters have included some residents, religious conservatives and supporters of far right political groups.
IQUIQUE, Chile (Reuters) - Pope Francis ordered his popemobile to stop on Thursday after a mounted Chilean policewoman was thrown off her frightened horse, which had reared up as the pontiff passed by. Francis stepped from his vehicle and waited several minutes on the pavement, at times talking to the woman, until an ambulance arrived to take her away. She was not seriously injured, officials said. (Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
By Nate Raymond BOSTON (Reuters) - A self-proclaimed psychic was sentenced on Wednesday to 26 months in prison after admitting that she tried to avoid paying taxes on over $3.5 million that she received from an elderly Massachusetts woman seeking to cleanse herself of demons. Sally Ann Johnson, 41, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Denise Casper in Boston, who said the evidence suggested the psychic took advantage of the Martha's Vineyard resident as the woman began to suffer from dementia.
By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former personal assistant to Goldman Sachs Group Inc Co-Chief Operating Officer David Solomon has been charged with stealing hundreds of bottles of wine worth more than $1.2 million from his former boss. U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday said Nicolas DeMeyer's theft scheme ran from 2014 to October 2016, when he allegedly stole seven bottles from the famed French estate Domaine de la Romanee-Conti in Burgundy that his boss had bought for $133,650. Using the alias Mark Miller, DeMeyer would sell stolen bottles to a North Carolina wine dealer, who would have them picked up at Solomon's Manhattan apartment, the indictment said.
Peruvian shamans said on Wednesday they expect good news from the visit of Pope Francis to the Andean nation, and held rituals on a beach near Lima to give him strength to fight against accusations of sexual abuse that have plagued the Roman Catholic Church. Dressed in ponchos, the shamans passed rue leaves - believed to ward off evil and bring good luck - over photos of the Argentine pontiff, and stood by the ocean playing percussion instruments.
LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Spanish and Portuguese police say a joint operation resulted in the seizure of 745 kilograms (1,642 pounds) of cocaine, much of it allegedly concealed inside pineapples shipped from Latin America.
By Diego Oré MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A fossilized dinosaur tail discovered in Morocco will be auctioned on Tuesday night in Mexico to raise funds for the reconstruction of thousands of schools damaged by two earthquakes that struck the Latin American nation in September. The 4-metre-(13-foot)-long, 180-kg (396-pound) tail will be offered at a reserve price of 1.8 million Mexican pesos ($95,805), according to organizer Morton's Auction House. Anything raised above the reserve price will be donated to the BBVA Bancomer Foundation to help finance the reconstruction of some 5,000 damaged schools.
MOSCOW (AP) — Even thermometers can't keep up with the plunging temperatures in Russia's remote Yakutia region, which hit minus 67 degrees Celsius (minus 88.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in some areas Tuesday.
Australians often joke that tourists expect to see kangaroos hopping across the Sydney Harbour Bridge but the joke was on police on Tuesday when a wayward wallaby led them in an early-morning chase across the famous landmark. Police said they chased the mysterious marsupial on foot and in a car over the bridge before dawn before catching it in a downtown park and taking it to the city's Taronga Zoo. "Officers took the startled macropod into police custody ... with the police mounted unit arriving on scene soon after to take it to the zoo for veterinary assessment," New South Wales Police said in a statement.
A wallaby hopping across the Sydney Harbour Bridge held up early-morning traffic in Australia's biggest city on Tuesday, before being caught downtown by police officers. "Officers took the startled macropod into police custody near the Conservatorium of Music, with the police mounted unit arriving on scene soon after to take it to the zoo for veterinary assessment," New South Wales Police said in a statement. Video filmed from a pursuing patrol car showed a wallaby, about a meter high, hopping at a clip across the famous arch-span bridge, and a policeman stifles a laugh as he drives along behind it.
The law prohibits flying a drone with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher, the same as for driving a vehicle, or while drugged. The measure, which passed the Democratic-controlled state legislature earlier this month, also bars flying a drone near a prison or in pursuit of wildlife. The drone measure was among 109 bills that Christie signed into law on his last full day in office, spokesman Brian Murray said by email.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Ritz Carlton in Saudi Arabia's capital may be reopening its doors in times for Valentine's Day, after serving for several months as a prison for the country's elite caught up in what the government has described as a crackdown on corruption.
LUBEC, Maine (AP) — A fishing-industry building on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places is half-submerged in waters near a Canadian island, and conservationists fear it could disintegrate before legal tangles are resolved.
PARIS (Reuters) - A Frenchman who drank excessive amounts of alcohol and then drove 17 times round a roundabout said he had not heard the sirens when police finally brought him to a halt. The dizzying drive was not the 73-year-old's first offence of its kind, Ouest France newspaper, which reported the tale, said of the incident in Brittany, western France. The driver's license was confiscated, it said. (Reporting by Brian Love; editing by Mark Heinrich)
The digital economy's big annual trade show, CES, suffered a brief, disruptive plunge into darkness on Wednesday because of a power outage the show's organizers blamed on a glitch caused by heavy rains the day before in usually sunny Nevada. The irony of a partial blackout at a trade show dedicated to the latest electronic technology did not escape social or industry media. Large swaths of the sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center lost power at about 11:15 a.m. local time, shutting down brightly lit company booths and darkening rooms used by hundreds of journalists covering CES.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The spruce tree destined to serve as the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was carefully selected from a Montana forest and hauled across the country in a special truck to preserve its freshness.
A man rammed an armored personnel carrier into a shop window before climbing through the rubble to steal a bottle of wine in a town in northern Russia on Wednesday morning, according to local media and video posted on social media. The man had swiped the vehicle from a privately-run motorsport training ground nearby, driven it through a forest and into Apatity, a small town just south of the Arctic circle, local news agency Hibinform said. Footage shared on social media showed the man subsequently exiting the vehicle through its hatch, briefly inspecting the damage, and entering the shop through the broken window.
Switzerland has banned the common culinary practice of throwing fresh lobsters into boiling water as part of an overhaul of its animal protection rules. "Live crustaceans, including the lobster, may no longer be transported on ice or in ice water. Aquatic species must always be kept in their natural environment.
Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai, on a mission to the International Space Station, apologized on Wednesday for saying he had grown 9 cm (3.5 inches) while in space and expressing concern about whether he'd be safe on his return to Earth. "My height's been measured here in space and somehow, somehow, I've grown 9 cm! In only three weeks I've really shot up, something I haven't seen since high school," he tweeted.