Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Global Bizarre

Brazil prompts Portugal to update Portuguese

Do as Brazilians do

Portuguese to amend their native tongue

Lawmakers in Portugal have approved a measure to standardize their language — Portuguese — to make it conform with language as it is used in Brazil. Under the agreement, which was hotly contested, the spelling will more closely match the way words are pronounced by removing silent consonants. Also, the alphabet expands to 26 letters with the introduction of k, w and y, and there are new rules on the use of hyphens and accents. Portuguese is the official language of seven countries other than Portugal and is spoken by about 230-million people worldwide. About 190-million of those are in Brazil. More than 33,000 signed a petition opposing the move.

Animal kingdom

Decorative fish have terrible view

A restaurant in Changchun, China, is getting less-than-stellar reviews for its unique display of ornamental fish. According to Eastern Asian Economic and Trade Daily, experts are condemning the trough of 20 fancy carp, which is in the men's room. The main problem is that the 13-foot trough is a multitasker, serving as the home to the fish and, well, it is a rest room ... a urinal. Experts say it is harmful to the fish and "disrespectful to China's fish culture." A spokesman for the restaurant says the water is changed twice a day, and that the waste-to-water ratio is not harmful to the fish. "It's not much different than a fish tank," the spokesman said. Ick. Also, the spokesman assured that the fish are strictly decorative, and not — NOT — on the menu.

Save newts, even if there are none

The county council in Leicestershire, England, took great care in building a new road, setting aside $2-million to protect the rare great-crested newt on the site. Environmental experts said that evidence suggested there were anywhere from one to 10 of the protected species on the sight, so fences and traps were added to the project to protect them, reports the Daily Telegraph. But it turns out, the evidence lied. There were none. "It's completely unacceptable. I've written to the minister concerned, and all he can say to me is that it's because of European Union regulations," said council leader David Parsons, who probably could've found something to do with the money. The project manager reports that the project protected several regular newts, but none of the rare newts were found.


GED dad

Brian Gegner, who was jailed last week when his 18-year-old daughter failed to earn a high school equivalency diploma, will be released if the daughter attends a GED prep class and schedules the test before the next court date, the judge in the case has ruled. Gegner received a 180-day sentence for contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a minor. Brittany was in trouble for truancy issues but said her father should not pay for her mistakes.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at

Brazil prompts Portugal to update Portuguese 05/16/08 [Last modified: Monday, May 19, 2008 1:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)


    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]
  2. Florida softball returns to World Series; FSU baseball in ACC title game


    GAINESVILLE — Florida defeated Alabama 2-1 Saturday to win the deciding Game 3 of their softball Super Region, putting the Gators in the Women's College World Series for the eighth time in program history.

    ’NOLE POWER: FSU’s Dylan Busby, right, is congratulated by teammate Taylor Walls after Busby’s homer against Duke.
  3. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Christian to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a perfect 30-0 …

    Matheu Nelson of Calvary Christian celebrates scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning.
  4. Mayor: Men stabbed after anti-Muslin rant died as 'heroes' (w/video)


    PORTLAND, Ore. — Police said Saturday they'll examine what appears to be the extremist ideology of an Oregon man accused of fatally stabbing two men who tried to intervene when the suspect yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim on a Portland light-rail train.

    A sign of thanks rests against a traffic light pole at a memorial outside the transit center on Saturday in Portland, Ore. [Associated Press]
  5. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”