There's no doubt that many people around the world need a reassuring hug during these fraught times. And while that's not physically possible for many due to physical distancing rules, Facebook has launched a new emoji to help bridge the gap. The pictogram depicts an emoji hugging a heart and is intended to portray the concepts of caring and solidarity when commenting on posts. “This idea of a hug reaction came back consistently as one of the emotions and feelings that were missing from reactions. So that’s something that was always on our minds,” Fidji Simo, head of the Facebook app, told USA Today. “And with the crisis that we are going through right now, there is no doubt that people need more compassion, more support.” The new emoji starts rolling out shortly.

Australia Adelaide kangaroo

A kangaroo hops through empty streets during the lockdown restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease in Adelaide, Australia, on 19th April in this screen grab obtained from social media video. PICTURE: South Australia Police/via Reuters

In the latest on how animals are enjoying the shutdowns taking place around the world, police in the Australian city of Adelaide recently spotted a "suspect" wearing a "grey fur coat" bounding through city streets. Officers spotted the restless animal around government buildings in the central district and decided to follow it virtually, watching its urban journey through their screens and then seeing him head back to surrounding parkland. "It's just unheard of, we sometimes spot kangaroos in the suburbs but never in the city," a police media officer in South Australia state told Reuters on the phone. "Normally it's bustling with cars but to have no vehicles - it's quite eerie at the moment - there was only one vehicle which nearly collided but managed to miss it." Other recent unsual animal sightings include a pride of lions who were spotted lounging in the middle of a road in South Africa, a goose that settled down to lay an egg at a deserted train station in the UK, and a monkey spotted flying a kite in India.

It's a catalogue of culinary disasters. Hundreds of thousands of people in Vietnam have joined a Facebook group where they're sharing cooking disasters they've created during self-isolation. The group, which reportedly has hundreds of thousands of members, features images of burnt bread and deflated cakes as well as pictures of children refusing the eat their parents' kitchen catastrophes. Dinh Duc Thanh, a videographer from Hanoi who founded the group, said he decided to do so in response to the ever increasing multitude of images on social media showing perfect cooking outcomes. "[W]e should also have some place where people can share their failures so that people feel more comfortable being themselves," he told AFP.

- with PAULINA DURAN, Reuters