World briefing: Leopard scare at zoo

An aerial view of the in-progress installation 'The Floating Piers' by Bulgarian artist Christo Vladimirov Yavachev known as Christo, on the Lake Iseo, northern Italy. Photo / AP
An aerial view of the in-progress installation 'The Floating Piers' by Bulgarian artist Christo Vladimirov Yavachev known as Christo, on the Lake Iseo, northern Italy. Photo / AP

Walking on water: It's taken nearly 2000 years, but regular folks will soon get to feel what it is like to walk on water thanks to a project by the artist Christo, who may or may not have had his namesake in mind when envisioning his latest project: "The Floating Piers" at the picturesque Lake Iseo in northern Italy. Christo and his team have been overseeing the assembly and anchoring of 220,000 floating polyethylene cubes to create a 3km undulating runway connecting the mainland with a pair of islands.

A photograph of an Amur leopard is shown at it's enclosure at the Utah's Hogle Zoo. Photo / AP
A photograph of an Amur leopard is shown at it's enclosure at the Utah's Hogle Zoo. Photo / AP

Escape for a snooze: Hundreds of Salt Lake City zoo visitors took shelter inside buildings after a rare leopard named Zeya escaped and fell asleep on a beam just above where visitors would have gathered to watch her. A visitor spotted the 4-year-old female snoozing about half a metre from the exhibit, Hogle Zoo spokeswoman Erica Hansen said. An emergency team tranquilised the Amur leopard, packed her into a crate and took her to a holding area.

Drone donation: Rangers protecting the lions, elephants and leopards of Rwanda's Akagera National Park often patrol on foot, and venture only with difficulty into its swamps to keep an eye on rare birds. A Denver teen who visited the park last year has built a drone to donate to Akagera. Max Alger-Meyer and Nathan Lepore, both 18, made the drone themselves. Akagera manager Jes Gruner said the donation will be useful for spotting brushfires. The drone will also allow Akagera to do surveys more often of animals.

Cold case: Queensland detectives investigating a 30-year-old cold case have cleared two stormwater drains and will now sieve through 100 cu m of soil. The search began last week at a pocket of council-owned land at Carole Park, southwest of Brisbane, following information from a "credible witness" about the disappearance of Sharron Phillips in May 1986. The 20-year-old was last seen waiting for her boyfriend after running out of petrol and using a public phone near Wacol, not far from the search site.

President's men targeted: Brazil's top prosecutor has asked the country's highest court to arrest senior political allies of acting President Michel Temer for allegedly obstructing a corruption probe into state oil company Petrobras. TV Globo said that Attorney General Rodrigo Janot is seeking the arrests of former president Jose Sarney, former planning minister and current Senator Romero Juca, lower house Speaker Eduardo Cunha and Senate head Renan Calheiros. All four politicians belong to Temer's centrist Brazilian Democratic Movement Party and performed key roles in suspending President Dilma Rousseff from office in early May. The Supreme Federal Tribunal Justice Teori Zavascki will decide on the request. Only the high court can arrest or try elected officials.

Brazil' acting President Michel Temer. Photo / AP
Brazil' acting President Michel Temer. Photo / AP

Bondi search: The search has resumed for a 20-year-old American man believed missing off Bondi Beach after jumping into rugged surf. Emergency services including PolAir, Marine Rescue and Surf Life Saving NSW have searched from dawn until dusk since being called to the beach on Monday afternoon as the weekend's storms subsided. The man, who was reportedly studying at the University of Sydney, has been missing for more than 40 hours.

Reaction to a stare: A former chief at New York's notorious Rikers Island jail complex and four of his underlings were convicted of criminal charges after authorities said they beat an inmate at the chief's behest because the man had stared him down during a search of his cell. Former Assistant Chief for Security Eliseo Perez and the four officers were convicted of attempted gang assault and other charges in connection with the June 11, 2012 attack on inmate Jahmal Lightfoot.

Drink raised in rape case: Court documents show a Massachusetts college is alleging a student who was raped is partly responsible because she was drinking and chose to follow a stranger onto a rooftop. The Boston Globe reports Worcester Polytechnic Institute made the arguments in a response to a civil lawsuit filed last year in which the victim alleges the college failed to provide a safe environment for students. The college's president says the legal document was prepared by an insurance carrier and wasn't approved by the college. President Laurie Leshin says the college would never blame a victim for being raped. The woman in the case says she was assaulted by a security guard in 2012 at a college-leased apartment building in Puerto Rico.

Lightning strike: A man and his two children were taken to hospital after being struck by lightning and several motorists were rescued from submerged cars as the UK was battered by torrential rain and thunderstorms. The 37-year-old man and his 5-year-old son were left critically ill after being hit outside a primary school in Northern Ireland. The man's 7-year-old daughter was also seriously injured in the incident which happened as he collected his children from school.

A woman protests in front of a line of Bolivarian National Police during an opposition demonstration in Caracas, Venezuela. Photo / AP
A woman protests in front of a line of Bolivarian National Police during an opposition demonstration in Caracas, Venezuela. Photo / AP

Conflict in Caracas: Police in Venezuela's capital clashed with thousands of protesters demanding that election authorities allow to move forward a recall referendum on cutting short President Nicolas Maduro's term. Demonstrators tried to march to the electoral board's downtown Caracas headquarters but were turned back by long lines of police in riot gear. It is at least the fourth in as many weeks. Each time, police have stopped protesters from reaching downtown.

Rio fraud probe: Brazil's federal police searched the offices of a construction consortium behind one of Rio de Janeiro's main Olympic sites as part of a probe into potential fraud, the police said. Officials are looking at possible fraud in the transport and disposal of debris from construction at the massive Olympic site in Rio's Deodoro neighbourhood, where the equestrian, field hockey, canoeing and other events are to be held during the August 6-22 Games. The alleged scheme may have included the falsification of documents and price inflation, the statement said, without providing further details.

Peru count: The nail-biter race for Peru's presidency remained tight as the daughter of imprisoned ex-president Alberto Fujimori gained ground on her rival thanks to votes trickling in from remote rural areas and embassies abroad. Former World Bank economist Pedro Pablo Kuczysnki's razor-thin lead over Keiko Fujimori shrank to fewer than 47,000 votes before widening slightly later in the day to over 57,000. With tallies from more than 97 per cent of polling stations counted, Kuczynski had 50.2 per cent of the votes compared with Fujimori's 49.8 per cent.

Thai first: Thailand has become the first country in Asia to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis, the World Health Organisation announced. The number of babies contracting HIV dropped from more than 3000 in the late 1990s to 86 in 2015, a figure that was validated to meet WHO's criteria for elimination - mother-to-child transmission rates of less than 2 per cent and fewer than 50 new infections in 100,000 births. Cuba became the first country to reach the goal last year. Along with Thailand, Belarus eliminated the mother-to-child spread of HIV and syphilis, Armenia did for HIV and Moldova did for syphilis, the WHO announced.

Assad defiant: President Bashar al-Assad vowed his troops would "liberate" every inch of Syria, just like they recaptured the ancient town of Palmyra from Isis (Islamic State), in a speech that reflected his renewed confidence as the military pressed on toward Raqqa, the extremists' self-styled capital.

- agencies

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