AFRICA

Population of Uganda's mountain gorillas rises

The number of mountain gorillas in Uganda has grown to 400, up from 302 in 2006, according to a just-released 2011 census, giving hope to conservationists trying to save the critically endangered species.

Uganda is now home to nearly half of the world's 880 mountain gorillas remaining in the wild, a source of confidence for a country that has come to depend heavily on the popular apes for substantial tourism revenue. The rest of the surviving gorillas are in Congo and Rwanda.

Uganda's gorillas live primarily in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a network of forested jungle deep in the country's southwest that is recognized by UNESCO as a heritage site of world value.

EUROPE

Poland first in Europe to fly the Dreamliner

Poland's national airline LOT has welcomed the first of eight Boeing 787 "Dreamliner" jets into its fleet, becoming the first European carrier to get the new plane.

The plane has been hailed for a state-of-the art design that makes it more fuel-efficient and comfortable for passengers than an earlier generation of aircraft.

Many in this ex-communist country celebrated its arrival as a symbolic step in the country's speedy economic and technological development.

The tabloid Fakt declared the plane a "Technical miracle from America" in a front-page headline. "In Europe only Poland has such a super modern airplane," the paper boasted.


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Marijuana cafes staying open in Amsterdam

Amsterdam's world-famous dope-selling coffee shops won't be shutting their doors to foreign visitors, a huge relief to the hundreds of thousands of tourists who enjoy a toke or two in the Dutch capital alongside their excursions on the canals and to the museums.

Netherlands Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten told Parliament he was scrapping a nationwide rollout of the so-called "weed pass" that was designed to keep non-Dutch residents out of coffee shops.

Amsterdam welcomed the policy change, which allows tourists to continue frequenting the city's 220 cafes that sell prerolled joints alongside cups of coffee.

UNITED STATES

Smithsonian explores food, wine in gallery

Julia Child's kitchen -- first donated to the Smithsonian in 2001 -- has returned to public view as the National Museum of American History opens its first major food exhibit.

In the gallery, Child's kitchen shows her influence on culinary arts and food television.

Curator Paula Johnson says the second half of the 20th century brought rapid changes in America's relationship with food. One exhibit explores the influence of immigrants from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America who introduced flavors that are now part of everyday life.

The museum also looks at the science of food production and the rise of winemaking.

-- Compiled from Associated Press reports.