An extremely rare Austrian postage stamp showing the face of the Dalai Lama is to be auctioned in the German city of Dusseldorf this week. It is said to be one of only 30 of its kind.
The Austrian post office designed the stamp to mark the 70th birthday of the Tibetan leader in 2005, but the stamp did not go into large-scale production.
"There were only a few test prints made by hand, because a new color was being tested," a spokesman for the Austrian post office told German news agency dpa.
The Austrian post office denied reports that political pressure from China had prevented the stamps from going into production. "Many designs are tested and not pursued," the spokesman said.
Auctioneers Felzmann maintain there are only 30 of the stamps in existence. The stamp had never before been offered at auction, they said. The starting price for Thursday's auction was put at 4,000 euros ($6,200).
EU parliament chief Schulz has called for swift action to end the Crimean crisis before a March 16 referendum. His proposal: guarantee Russia's naval bases in Crimea and put more economic pressure on Moscow to negotiate.
Japanese media say the nation's fisheries agency has decided to boost protection for juvenile bluefin tuna by halving Japan's northern Pacific catch. Studies show a dramatic decline in tuna prized by eaters of sushi.
The Turkish premier's phone calls keep appearing on the Internet. Now Erdogan has announced that he intends to block the Internet platforms YouTube and Facebook. A restriction of free speech - but an ineffective one.