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Feline good: Cats counter stress at Tokyo firm

Toukyo - Workaholic Japan is known for long office hours and stressed out employees, but one company claims to have a cure: Cats.A total of nine fluffy felines eat, sleep and walk freely in the small office of IT firm Ferray in Tokyo.

Eastern taste: Latvian crowned Europe's top sommelier

Vienna - After a week of rigorous tests ranging from blind tastings to expertly pairing wines with sumptuous meals, a Latvian has beat out 37 rivals to become Europe's top-rated sommelier.

Japan university to set up ninja studies centre

Toukyo - A Japanese university is planning what it says will be the world's first research centre devoted to ninja -- the black clad assassins known for secrecy and stealth.

Japan university to set up ninja studies centre

Toukyo - A Japanese university is planning what it says will be the world's first research centre devoted to ninja -- the black clad assassins known for secrecy and stealth.

Japan university to set up ninja studies centre

Toukyo - A Japanese university is planning what it says will be the world's first research centre devoted to ninja -- the black clad assassins known for secrecy and stealth.

Sydney Opera House to get largest-ever upgrade

Sydney - Australia's world-renowed Opera House is to undergo its first major renovation since being opened in 1973 to help tackle sound problems that have haunted the building for years.

Mobile phones ring changes for Nigeria's music industry

Lagos - Phizbarz is only 23 but hopes to become the next Nigerian Afropop star to be famous across Africa -- and to get himself known and earn a living, he's using his mobile phone.

Jamie Oliver sparks fish fuss in Iceland

Reykjav - "What a view!!" Britain's celebrity chef Jamie Oliver exclaimed under a photo he posted on Facebook of a salmon farming cage nestled in a snowy fjord.

Afghan beauty parlours are a sanctuary for city women

Kabul - The photos in the window promise much: languorous, kohl-rimmed eyes and bright, bold nails -- but once you enter the beauty parlours of Kabul, it becomes clear the images outside are a pale reflection of the vibrant reality inside.

'Smart' denim promises touchscreen tech clothes

Paris - A young man in a white t-shirt pulls on a dark blue denim trucker jacket, tucks his smartphone in an inside pocket and puts in-ear headphones in his right ear.He mounts a fixed-gear bike with flat, slightly curved wide handlebars.

Fashion's feather master tickles up a storm

Paris - Serkan Cura was first tickled by the possibility of feathers when he was just 13."I found a bird of paradise feather in a street market in Brussels," he told AFP. "It was love at first sight." The thrill has never quite left him.

Facebook adding 3,000 people to screen out violent content

Washington - Facebook said Wednesday it is hiring an extra 3,000 staff to remove violent content like the gruesome killings and suicides broadcast on its video platform.

Facebook steps up fight on state-led propaganda

Washington - Facebook said Thursday it is stepping up its security to counter efforts by governments and others to spread misinformation or manipulate discussions for political reasons.

Uber sets 'flying car' launch for 2020

San Francisco - Uber said Tuesday it wants to launch a system of flying cars to move people around cities, with a goal of putting demonstration projects in place by 2020.

For Chinese fans, popular teen band are mama's boys

Bejing - Liang Shanshan considers herself a mother of two: one child is her biological son, the other is a 16-year-old Chinese teen pop star she has never met.

S.Africa winemakers on quest for quality and prestige

Stellenbosch - Looking out at his 50-hectare (124-acre) estate in a valley nestled below the Helderberg mountains, winemaker Ken Forrester beams with pride in his achievements over 20 years in the business.

Bugs for dinner? New Aussie food trend has legs (and wings)

Sydney - With a twist of lime and a dash of salt Sydney chef Nowshad Alam Rasel flavours a hot pan full of crickets, tossing them over a flaming stove.

Bugs for dinner? New Aussie food trend has legs (and wings)

Sydney - With a twist of lime and a dash of salt Sydney chef Nowshad Alam Rasel flavours a hot pan full of crickets, tossing them over a flaming stove.

Bugs for dinner? New Aussie food trend has legs (and wings)

Sydney - With a twist of lime and a dash of salt Sydney chef Nowshad Alam Rasel flavours a hot pan full of crickets, tossing them over a flaming stove.

'Microdosing' trend has Americans tuning in with psychedelics

Washington - After a litany of prescriptions failed to control her stormy mood swings and deep depression, writer Ayelet Waldman finally found relief in a blue vial of diluted LSD.

Taggers' delight: Vietnam city turns into graffiti canvas

Ho Chi Minh - Shrouded by fumes and surrounded by spray cans, Vietnamese graffiti artist Kong conjures his latest masterpiece, a monkey clutching an aerosol, a colour-splashed act of rebellion in a communist country where the youth are expected to follow strict soci...

Taggers' delight: Vietnam city turns into graffiti canvas

Ho Chi Minh - Shrouded by fumes and surrounded by spray cans, Vietnamese graffiti artist Kong conjures his latest masterpiece, a monkey clutching an aerosol, a colour-splashed act of rebellion in a communist country where the youth are expected to follow strict soci...

Taggers' delight: Vietnam city turns into graffiti canvas

Ho Chi Minh - Shrouded by fumes and surrounded by spray cans, Vietnamese graffiti artist Kong conjures his latest masterpiece, a monkey clutching an aerosol, a colour-splashed act of rebellion in a communist country where the youth are expected to follow strict soci...

Living in Cuban time

Havana - In Cuba, it sometimes seems time stopped in the 1960s.Despite a succession of sweeping changes in recent years -- rapprochement with the US, Fidel Castro's death -- the rhythm of life on the island remains as languid as ever.

US model Bella Hadid 'proud to be a Muslim'

New York - US model Bella Hadid has spoken out against President Donald Trump's attempted travel bans, saying she is proud to be a Muslim and the daughter of a refugee.

New York's Eleven Madison Park named world's best restaurant

New York - The contemporary New York restaurant Eleven Madison Park was crowned 2017's winner of the annual World's 50 Best Restaurants list, only the second US establishment to win the influential if controversial award.

'Pink Star' diamond fetches record $71.2 million in Hong Kong

Hong Kong - A giant diamond named the "Pink Star" broke the world record for a gemstone sold at auction when it fetched $71.2 million in Hong Kong on Tuesday.The 59.

'Pink Star' diamond fetches record $71.2 million in Hong Kong

Hong Kong - A giant diamond named the "Pink Star" broke the world record for a gemstone sold at auction when it fetched $71.2 million in Hong Kong on Tuesday.The 59.

A slice of luxury: Hong Kong's high-end fruit fad

Hong Kong - It might be a healthy food choice, but Hong Kong's latest fruit fad is doing serious damage to shoppers' wallets. From luxury supermarkets to outdoor stalls, expensive premium produce is increasingly on show and sought after by customers.

A slice of luxury: Hong Kong's high-end fruit fad

Hong Kong - It might be a healthy food choice, but Hong Kong's latest fruit fad is doing serious damage to shoppers' wallets. From luxury supermarkets to outdoor stalls, expensive premium produce is increasingly on show and sought after by customers.
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