APRIL 17, 2014 -- quicklist: 1
title: Italian 'Haunted Island' Poveglia Up for Sale
text: Buying a Venetian island may not be as romantic as it sounds. The Italian government is auctioning off Poveglia, an uninhabited island in Venice, but the buyer should know it was also the former dumping site for thousands of bodies of people who died as a result of the plague and home to a former mental institution, according to the UK Telegraph.
The government is aiming to pay off some of its crippling state debt from the sale of real estate on the island this year, for which it hopes to gain 500 million euro (about $693 million), according to Reuters.
title: Zoo Builds Park to Cheer Up Sad Panda
text: Zoo workers in China have built an amusement park to cheer up a depressed panda, according to Chinese media.
When Sijia the panda lost her best friend, Meixi, who was sent to another wildlife facility last month, she became despondent. In order to cheer her up, staff at Yunnan Safari Park decided to build a wooden playground in her enclosure, and added a plasma television and life-sized fake companion, which seemed to do the trick.
title: Biden Joins Instagram
text: Vice President Joe Biden joined Instagram Wednesday and within hours won over the Internet with his first post. Biden's (who's handle is simply @VP) first act on the photo sharing website was to post a pic of himself at his desk, pair of aviators in the foreground, flags at the back.
title: Judge Overturns Controversial N.D. Abortion Law
text: A Federal judge overturned a North Dakota law Wednesday that banned abortions for women after a fetal heartbeat can be detected during pregnancy, reported the AP. A heartbeat can be detected in fetuses as early as six weeks, at which point some women don’t even know they’re pregnant.
The Red River Clinic in Fargo, the state’s only abortion clinic, filed a suit against the heartbeat law last July, according to the AP. But U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland ruled the law as "invalid and unconstitutional."
title: ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ to Return to Silver Screen
text: One of Robin Williams’ finest roles featured him in hosiery, and it seems the 62-year-old might once again be donning women’s garments for a sequel to the 1993 film “Mrs. Doubtfire,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The sequel is to be made more than 20 years after the first film came out, which starred Williams alongside Pierce Brosnan and Sally Field. Williams played a recently divorced man who dressed up as a female nanny to try and spend time with his kids.