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Granny grit

Buenos Aires, Dec. 10 (AFP): British woman Jennifer Murray has become the first person to cross the South Pole in a helicopter adding to a string of aviation records she has claimed since becoming a grandmother, Argentinian air force monitors have said.

The 63-year-old Murray is trying fly to both poles in her Red Bell 407 craft having already become the first woman to fly around the world in a helicopter. Accompanied by co-pilot Colin Bodill, Murray flew 1,000 km from the southern Argentinian port of Ushaia across Antarctica to the Marsh Base. The pair had to cross the Drake Passage, which is frequently swept by frozen gale force winds. Murray intends to fly the helicopter along the American coast back up to the North Pole. Murray and Bodill left New York in the Bell-407 on October 22.

Wine bags

Bordeaux (Reuters): French restaurants have started offering diners a “doggy bag” for any leftover tipple to stem a drop in wine sales as drink-driving controls get tougher. Wine sales in French restaurants have dropped by 10-15 per cent in the last year as the conservative government cracks down on bad drivers.Some 500 restaurants across France are now offering to repackage any unfinished wine bottles by recorking the wine using a special pump to extract air, ensuring it keeps for several days, and slipping the bottle into a discrete bag. French diners normally turn up their noses at the Anglo-Saxon tradition of pocketing leftovers, shunning the “doggy bag” which is common practice stateside. “It’s not in the French or Latin spirit, so this is a good way of taking away the guilt and guaranteeing a discrete exit,” a wine council spokeswoman said.

Drug drag

Berlin (Reuters): German police charged a man with drugs possession after officers spotted a small quantity of heroin concealed in his ear when he entered a police station to check if he was on their wanted list. “I suppose he may have heard he was wanted for some offence and just wanted to see if the police had anything on him,” Volker Pieper, a spokesman for police in the central city of Kassel, said on Tuesday. “It didn’t go quite as he had planned.” As the 33-year-old man, a known drug abuser, questioned police, an officer noticed a suspicious lump stuck in his ear which turned out to be a gram of heroin, said Pieper. Police confiscated the drug before filing charges.

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