AUSTRIA

Intestines found in luggage

Austrian customs officials are used to finding unusual items in travelers’ luggage. But human intestines were not on their list — until now. The Austrian Press Agency reports that the organ parts were found packed tightly in plastic containers and formaldehyde in a Moroccan woman’s baggage during a recent check at the airport of the southern city of Graz. It said Monday that the woman told police that she had brought the intestines of her dead husband to Austria to have them examined because she thought he had been poisoned. The tissue is being subjected to a pathological analysis.

PHILIPPINES

Duterte seeks closer ties

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday he has decided to “cross the Rubicon” in his ties with the United States and will open trade alliances and offer long-term land leases to “the other side of the ideological barrier,” China and Russia. The U.S. State Department responded that it wouldn’t stand in Manila’s way of seeking deeper ties with Beijing and Moscow. But it maintained that the U.S.-Philippine alliance endures despite the barrage of negative commentary from Duterte since he took power in June. Duterte told reporters he was “not really” breaking ties with the U.S., but will open all areas of trade and commerce to China and Russia.

IRAN

Detained professor is freed

A Canadian-Iranian retired professor was released from prison on “humanitarian grounds” and flown out of Iran on Monday, Iran’s state-run news agency said, ending her months of detention alongside other dual nationals swept up by hard-liners in the security services. Homa Hoodfar was flown to the Arab Gulf nation of Oman, the brief report from the IRNA news agency said. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hailed her release in a statement, thanking Italy, Switzerland and Oman for their help in the matter. Hoodfar, 65, was questioned and barred from leaving Iran in March after traveling to the country to visit family. Her family said she has been held in Tehran’s Evin Prison since June.

JAPAN

Snake discovered on train

A passenger spotted a snake curled around the armrest of another passenger’s seat on a Japanese Shinkansen “bullet” train on Monday, forcing the train to make an unscheduled stop. No one was injured in the incident. The train’s operator, JR Tokai, or Central Japan Railway Co., said the passenger sitting in the reserved seat was unaware that the snake was wrapped around his armrest for about 50 minutes until the person behind him saw it and notified a conductor.

Compiled from wire reports