Turkey dismisses vote to block attempt to join
EU ISTANBUL • Turkey's European Affairs Minister Omer Celik yesterday dismissed a European Parliament vote in favour of freezing accession talks with Ankara as "null and void" and not to be taken seriously.
The minister branded the vote as an "undemocratic" and "narrow-minded" decision after the European Parliament's motion was approved by 479 votes to 37, with 107 abstentions.
Drone smuggles saw blade into Danish prison
COPENHAGEN • A drone flew a load of illegal items to an inmate's cell on the fourth floor of a Danish prison, the Danish Prison Union said, presumably to help the inmate escape.
The drone carried two mobile phones, a saw blade and various bolts across the Nyborg Prison's wall on Wednesday before being discovered by prison guards, who managed to seize the items but not the flying device.
Waiter gets $1k tip for trip home to Ireland
HOUSTON • An Irish waiter working in Texas was given a US$750 ( S$1,074) tip by a diner after mentioning he had not seen his family in Northern Ireland for more than two years, the BBC reported yesterday .
Mr Ben Millar, 22, said the tip came on Saturday from a customer called Jeffery who often visited Ireland. Jeffery reportedly left a note on the receipt: "Hopefully, this can get you back to Ireland for the holidays."
Storm triggers pollen allergy asthma attacks
MELBOURNE • A storm in the Australian city of Melbourne triggered thousands of pollen allergy asthma attacks which killed at least four people and was labelled a health emergency of "unprecedented scale" yesterday.
Heavy rain and winds on Monday, just as spring peaks in the southern state of Victoria, allowed rye grass pollen to absorb moisture and burst into smaller particles that sent the pollen count soaring.