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Since 1st March, 1999
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Planet found

London, Sept. 17 (Reuters): Astronomers scanning southern skies in search of distant solar systems have discovered a Jupiter-like planet 100 light years away circling a star similar to our own sun.

The planet — the 100th to be found outside our solar system — was found by a team of astronomers using the Anglo-Australian Telescope in New South Wales. “Now our searches have become precise enough to find many planets in orbits like those in our solar system, we are seeing clues which may help us understand how planets are formed,” British team leader Hugh Jones said.

Jones said it was another step forward in the search for planetary systems similar to earth’s which might eventually reveal whether mankind is indeed alone in the universe. The new planet has a mass similar to that of Jupiter and circles its star Tau1 Gruis in the Grus or Crane constellation once every four years.

Dame step

Singapore (Reuters): Dame Kiri Te Kanawa said on Tuesday she will take a step back from a hectic opera career spanning more than three decades but has no plans to retire. “I’ve done all the operas I want to do,” New Zealand-born Dame Kiri, 58, told reporters ahead of a concert on Saturday with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra led by British conductor Robin Stapleton. “There’s no stopping doing certain things. As you get older, you slow down but what you don’t do is you don't die.” The soprano, whose international career took off after her debut as the Countess in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro at the Royal Opera House in 1971, looked every inch the diva dressed in black with discreet diamonds.

Skippy hop

Milan (Reuters): A kangaroo briefly joined Milan’s hip crowd on Tuesday after hopping away from a nearby circus. Police found “Skippy” — 1.6 metres tall and sporting only a pouch — heading for Corso Como, a trendy street lined with bars and boutiques. “We were all very surprised. He’d never done anything like that before,” circus troupe member Paolo Miletto told Reuters. Surrounded by a dozen police officers, Skippy was led quietly back to the circus.

Sour Joose

Sydney (Reuters): Prospects have turned sour for “Moo Joose”, Australia’s first alcoholic milkshake, which has been banned by licensing authorities and slammed by health groups as encouraging under-age drinking. Victoria-based Wicked Holdings is set to appeal against the ban, saying its chocolate, strawberry and banana flavoured milk drinks were aimed at 18- to 35-year-olds.

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