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Top 10 winter vacation destinations, according to Instagram

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 2:10 PM

The North Korean embassy is seen on December 19, 2011 in Muri Bei Berne, Berne, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)
Harold Cunningham/Getty Images
The North Korean embassy is seen on December 19, 2011 in Muri Bei Berne, Berne, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)(Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)

Snow? Check. Breathtaking mountain views? Check. Historical city charm and Instagram-worthy photo ops? Check and check. 

Bern, Switzerland, is the city with the most Instagram posts in the world for the winter season — and it truly has it all.

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That’s according to analysts at Focus Clinic, a popular laser eye surgery clinic in the United Kingdom, who gathered the 20 most popular winter travel destinations across the world based on Google search and ranked each by the number of times a city’s hashtag was used on Instagram to determine its popularity on the photo-sharing app.

According to the research, the #bern hashtag has been used more than 1,082,440 times.

A popular destination in the Swiss city is the medieval Old City of Bern, a city center surrounded by the Aare river. Old City is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site with one of Europe’s longest weather-sheltered shopping centers.

The “gateway to the Alps” is also known for its mountain views, many fountains, walkable streets, cafes, museums and colorful weekly markets, according to MySwitzerland.com.

Rounding out the top 10 winter destinations according to Instagram are: Aspen, Colorado; the Northern Lights in Tromso, Norway; Chamonix, France; Yosemite National Park in California; Zermatt, Switzerland; Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming; Bled, Slovenia; Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic and Grindelwald, Switzerland.

>> Explore the full list at focusclinics.com/most-popular-winter-sights

Take a look at some of our favorite Instagram shots of Bern:

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WATCH: Baby elephants get exercise by playing soccer

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

Baby elephants play soccer

Two young elephants had fun with a soccer ball at an elephant rescue center in Chiang Mai, Thailand, as video obtained from Reuters shows.

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The two elephants, a male named Dok Geaw, and a female named Thong Ae, are both two years old. They were orphaned when they were young, according to Saengduean Lek Chailert, founder of the Save Elephant Foundation. 

Both elephants live in the sanctuary about 60 kilometers from Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand, where it currently houses 35 elephants rescued from Thailand's tourism and logging industries since the 1990s, according to their website. 

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There are about 3,700 wild elephants and up to 4,000 domesticated elephants in Thailand, according to British conservation organisation EleAid.

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Birdie traffic selfie: Cockatoo inspects traffic camera, wins the web

Published: Friday, June 01, 2018 @ 8:46 AM

VIDEO: Bird Inspects Highway Cam, Goes Viral

A cockatoo is winning the animal internet contest Friday, if there really was such a thing.

Traffic on a road in Cairns, Australia was going smoothly so there was nothing to see, except for the curious cockatoo that was checking out a traffic camera, 9 News reported.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads posted the video to Facebook where it is closing in on a million views within nine hours of being uploaded. 

It may not have been the camera itself that piqued the interest of the cockatoo. 

A bird expert said that it could have actually been looking at itself.

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“If it’s seeing its reflection it may be communicating in some way. They are very social creatures, and they recognize individuals. A lot of them have friendship groups like we do,” Dr. Adrian Gallagher told ABC.net.

And the bird knows where to look for his reflection. Officials told ABC that this specific bird has visited the camera before. 

“Our traffic management operators sometimes have to give the camera a jiggle to make him fly away when he chews on the camera and cables,” a spokesperson told ABC.

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Parking fail: Valet drives Porsche under SUV

Published: Thursday, May 31, 2018 @ 7:47 AM

Valet Crashes Porsche In Front of Hotel

No normal bad day of work will compare to a valet’s bad day in Sydney, Australia.

Imagine being in charge of parking a Porsche Carrera and ending up with this:

The Porsche is the crushed car, wedged under the orange SUV. 

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An eyewitness described what happened, CNN reported

“I saw the valet hit the car in from of a parked position,” Jonathan Bouzaid said. “He must have panicked and hit the accelerator causing the Porsche to go further under the orange car and pushing the white car in to the bollards.”

Bouzaid surmised that the valet didn’t realize how powerful a Porsche can be.

CNN reported that the car can go from 0 to 62 in less than five seconds.

The valet had to be cut from the soft-top luxury sports car, Time reported.

He was physically OK, but the Hyatt hotel’s sales and marketing director said the driver was embarrassed and in shock.

The Porsche had damage to the hood and front bumper and was towed from the scene, Time reported.

Some witnesses said they thought the crash was part of a stunt, 9 News in Australia reported.

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Father of child rescued by ‘Spider-Man’ was shopping, playing Pokémon Go at time of accident

Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2018 @ 11:42 AM

Real-Life “Spider-Man” Rescues Child Dangling From Paris Balcony

Where were the parents of a child who needed rescuing and was saved by a quick-thinking man, now dubbed “Spider-Man”?

French prosecutor Francois Molins says the boy’s father was caring for the 4-year-old while the child’s mother lived on Reunion Island. The boy’s father had gone out shopping Saturday, leaving the child home alone, and ended up playing Pokémon Go after leaving the store, CNN reported.

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Mamoudou Gassama, a migrant from Mali, scaled the outside of the apartment building, climbing up four stories to save the boy who was dangling from the balcony.

Molins told BFM that the father could face two years in prison for abandoning his parental responsibilities. The prosecutor said the man “is devastated by the consequences of his actions.” He also faces a 30,000 Euro fine, which translates to nearly $35,000.

The father will be in court in September, BFM reported.

Meanwhile, Gassama has been honored by French President Emmanuel Macron who met with the now-famous hero.

Avec M. GASSAMA qui a sauvé samedi la vie d’un enfant en escaladant 4 étages à mains nues. Je lui ai annoncé qu’en reconnaissance de cet acte héroïque il allait être régularisé dans les plus brefs délais, et que la brigade des sapeurs-pompiers de Paris était prête à l’accueillir. Je l’ai également invité à déposer une demande de naturalisation. Car la France est une volonté, et M. GASSAMA a démontré avec engagement qu’il l’avait ! - With Mr Gassama who saved a child’s life on Saturday by climbing 4 floors with his bare hands. I told him that in recognition of his heroic act he would have his papers in order as quickly as possible and that the Paris fire brigade would be keen to welcome him to their ranks. I also invited him to submit a naturalization request because France is built on desire and Mr Gassama’s commitment clearly showed that he has that desire!

A post shared by Emmanuel Macron (@emmanuelmacron) on

Macron offered French citizenship to Gassama, who has also been offered a job by the Paris fire brigade, CNN reported.

During the meeting Gassama told Macron about the rescue, “I didn’t think about it. I climbed up and God helped me.”

Gassama has also been contacted by the mayor of Paris, who thanked him for his bravery, CNN reported.

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