Rhino. Picture: REUTERS
Rhino. Picture: REUTERS

1. Desperate measures

A Dubai-based firm has a solution to the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE’s) water shortage. It thinks it can tow an iceberg 9,000km from Antarctica to its coast, a process it expects to take an entire year. It says an iceberg contains enough water for 1m people over five years, and seems to think the iceberg will create a microclimate that will bring rain to the beach of Fujairah.

UAE inhabitants don’t appear too concerned about its drought — the area is one of the world’s biggest water consumers per capita.

2. Policing Japan’s streets

A single murder by gunshot was recorded for the whole of 2015 in Japan, where crime rates have been falling for 13 years. Surprisingly, the size of the country’s police force has swelled. The Economist says beat cops, known colloquially as omawari-san (Mr Walk-around), are a fixture in neighbourhoods. Japan has 259,000 officers — 15,000 more than a decade ago. Tokyo also has the world’s biggest police force — a quarter bigger than the one protecting New York. But the force is surprisingly inefficient, solving less than 30% of reported crimes.

3. Help from Tinder

The last surviving male white northern rhino has an outside chance of finding a suitable mate. "Sudan" lives at a Kenyan conservancy with two females who are too old to breed naturally. So Kenyan authorities and Tinder have teamed up to give him a profile on the dating app to raise awareness of his plight.

"I don’t mean to be too forward, but the fate of the species literally depends on me," the rhino’s profile says. "I perform well under pressure."

The campaign hopes to raise money to pay for fertility treatment.

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