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Update May 2018


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Odds & Ends  The Associated Press
 

May 26, 2018 - June 1, 2018

Feisty kittens. (AP Photo)

Rescuers bitten after mistaking bobcats
for domestic kittens

San Antonio (AP) — Three well-meaning people suffered bites when the kittens they rescued after hearing them mewling in a San Antonio alley turned out to be ravenous bobcat cubs.

The caretakers found the blue-eyed, stub-tailed pair of young bobcats and, thinking they were Bengal kittens, took them in. They fed the bobcats milk from pet-feeding bottles, but realized something was amiss when the aggressive animals tore the bottles apart and bit them.

They called animal control officers and a wildlife rescue group took the wild cats away. Workers intended to wait in the alley hoping to find the mother and reunite her with the cubs.

Domestic dispute in Germany:
Man arguing with a parrot

Berlin (AP) —A resident in Loerrach, near the German-Swiss border, called the emergency number to report his concerns about loud shouting from a next-door apartment that had been going on for some time.

Police said that officers sent to the scene found there was a loud argument going on — but it was between a 22-year-old man and a parrot. The man told them he had been annoyed with the bird, which belonged to his girlfriend.

The parrot responded to being shouted at with loud noises of its own. Police said it couldn’t speak but could bark like a dog.

Since no one was hurt, the officers left.

Chinese tourists spark anger
in Vietnam over map on shirts

Hanoi, Vietnam (AP) — A group of Chinese tourists wearing T-shirts depicting the country’s territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea has sparked anger in Vietnam.

The tourists arrived at the Cam Ranh international airport last week and after going through the immigration, took off their coats to reveal T-shirts featuring the so-called “nine-dash line” demarcating Beijing claims to nearly the entire South China Sea. Vietnam is one of the rival claimants.

State-run Tuoi Tre newspaper reported that Vietnamese authorities confiscated the T-shirts.  Some readers commenting on the newspaper’s website called for the deportation of the Chinese tourists.

More than 4 million Chinese arrived in Vietnam last year, accounting for about 30 percent of total foreign arrivals in the Southeast Asian country.

Police praise Wisconsin students
for prank that was illusion

Cumberland, Wis. (AP) — Police had praise for students who created an illusion for a senior class prank that appeared to show a car crashed into the principal’s office.

Students at Cumberland High School in Wisconsin used a junk car, some bricks, some tape and a black tarp to make it look like the car had crashed into their school.

Police arrived on the scene only to realize it wasn’t really a wreck. The Cumberland Police Department wrote on Facebook that it was “one of the best senior pranks.”

The school district also congratulated the students for their ingenuity.

‘Joggling’ record: Man sets mark
for running while juggling

Boston (AP) — It won’t land him a spot in the Olympics, but a Massachusetts college student has run one of the fastest miles while juggling — an endeavor called “joggling.”  Zach Prescott ran a 4 minute, 43.2 second-mile while juggling three lacrosse balls.

The junior business student who is on Boston University’s track and cross country squads told The Boston Globe it’s all about focus and rhythm. Once he gets used to the speed when he’s running, “you’re pretty much just juggling in place.”  If verified, his time would beat the previous world record by 0.6 seconds.

A Guinness World Records spokeswoman says the organization is aware of Prescott’s feat and working to determine whether he beat the current record, set in 1986, a process than can take several months.


May 19, 2018 - May 25, 2018

Charleston Chew
(Sharla Wilson via AP)

Blind, howling pug’s apology to neighbor makes noise online

Pittsburgh (AP) — A Pittsburgh pug’s apology for his separation anxiety-induced howling is making some noise.

The 11-year-old dog named Charleston Chew and his owner Sharla Wilson just moved into a new apartment. Sharla said Charleston is nearly blind and since his vision started going, his separation anxiety ramped up. Since the move, he’s been bumping into walls and will meander into a corner and start howling until she rescues him.

So Wilson wrote up an apology from Charleston and taped it to a neighbor’s door. It explains he’s old and very sorry for his howling. Neighbor Megan Jones snapped a photo of the note and posted it on Twitter saying “You can howl all you want Charleston, honey!’” The tweet has received nearly 450,000 likes and launched his internet fame.

Drunken man’s choice of bed causes
Munich commuter chaos

Berlin (AP) — An intoxicated man’s ill-advised decision to spend the night on a freight train caused commuter chaos in Munich as police had to shut down all traffic at a busy station to look for him. Munich police said they received an emergency call at 5:20 a.m. from a man who said he’d woken up in a container on a train near the Pasing station, Munich’s third largest, and couldn’t get out.

But police say the 25-year-old city man was so drunk when he entered the container he wasn’t sure where it was. Police shut down all rail traffic and went train-to-train, eventually finding him at 6:20 a.m.

In total, 86 trains were affected with 1,280 minutes of delays, 37 cancellations and 21 partial cancellations. The man faces trespassing-related charges.

New way to see art? Paris museum
welcomes naked visitors

Paris (AP) — Visitors at a leading contemporary art museum in Paris didn’t leave only their coats in the cloakroom — they left all their clothes.  The Palais du Tokyo museum opened its doors to nudists for a special visit earlier this month. It’s part of growing efforts by France’s tiny nudist community to encourage acceptance of clothes-free activities, after a nudist restaurant and nudist park opened in the French capital.

The museum visit was arranged before regular opening hours so the nudists wouldn’t mingle with other visitors. They viewed an exhibit of contemporary works focused on “Discord.” Organizers said they are hoping to attract younger members and get rid of “complexes” around their nudist practices, which they don’t wanted “limited to beaches, summertime or a certain category of the population.”

A sticky mess: liquid chocolate spills onto Polish highway

Warsaw, Poland (AP) — A tractor-trailer overturned on a Polish highway, spilling tons of liquid chocolate that solidified into a huge sticky mess.

The private broadcaster TVN24 showed images of an overturned truck surrounded by brown chocolate covering six lanes on the A2 motorway, blocking traffic in both directions.

Rescue officials said the liquid chocolate was solidified as it cooled and would require large amounts of hot water to clear away.  Senior brigadier Bogdan Kowalski with the fire brigade of Slupca, a town in western Poland, said, “the cooling chocolate is worse than snow.”

Fruit’s pungent smell mistaken for gas leak, prompts panic

Melbourne, Australia (AP) — The pungent smell of the rotten durian fruit at an Australian university library was been mistaken for a gas leak, prompting an evacuation of the building.  Specialist crews wearing masks searched the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology university campus library, but all they found was rotting durian in a cupboard.

About 600 staff and students had cleared the building.

A Metropolitan Fire Brigade spokesman said the smell alarmed staff and students as it permeated the air-conditioning system.  Durian, a tropical fruit known for its strong smell, is commonly banned from hotel rooms and public transport across Southeast Asia.


May 12, 2018 - May 18, 2018

50 Shades of Neustadt? Germans’ bondage prompts false alarm

Berlin (AP) - German police say they rushed to an apartment in the southwestern town of Neustadt after receiving a call about suspected domestic abuse - only to barge in on a voluntary class on Japanese bondage. Neustadt police said Thursday a concerned neighbor called to report that two men were abusing a half-naked woman in a nearby apartment. When police arrived they instead found the tenant, a teacher of Japanese Shibari, instructing a couple in the basics of erotic bondage. In a statement headlined “Fifty Shades of Neustadt,” police said “the couple was well and in a good mood” when they inquired about their situation Wednesday night. They even offered to have the officers participate in the class, but the police politely declined.

0.5K charity road race in Texas starts and ends with a beer

Boerne, Texas (AP) - So many people have registered for a very short road race near San Antonio that no other “underachievers” are allowed to enroll. The first Boerne (BER’-nee) 0.5K took place May 5 in the city of the same name. Organizers say their city permit won’t allow more than 100 “fellow underachievers” on the 546-yard (499-meter) course. Race entry costs $25. The event is raising funds for Blessings in a Backpack, which provides foods at the weekend for underprivileged children. There’s also a VIP option: For big shots not wishing to expend any energy, a 1963 Volkswagen bus will transport them the length of the course for an extra $25. A couple of brewpubs are sponsoring the event, and participants will get free beer at the start and finish lines.

Airline passenger fined after keeping free airline apple

Denver (AP) - The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has fined a woman $500 for not declaring she was bringing a free apple into the U.S. that she received on her Delta Air Lines flight from Paris. Crystal Tadlock tells KDVR-TV in Denver that flight attendants had passed out the apples and she placed it in her carry-on to save for her flight from Minneapolis to Denver. Her bag was randomly searched by Customs. Tadlock says the agent asked her if her trip to France was expensive and when she said yes he told her it was about to get more expensive after charging her $500. Delta says it recommends all passengers comply with Customs regulations. Customs declaration forms ask passengers if they are bringing any fruits or vegetables into the country.

German cops nab pair with 130 pounds of stolen chocolate

Berlin (AP) - Two people are under investigation in Germany after being caught in possession of some 60 kilograms (130 pounds) of stolen chocolate. Braunschweig police said Thursday a 35-year-old woman was nabbed by an alert cashier at a supermarket on Tuesday as she checked out only a few items but had 9 kilograms (about 20 pounds) of purloined chocolate concealed under her floor-length skirt. Upon further investigation, police found another 50 kilograms of chocolate bars, boxes of chocolates and other confectionery stashed in five bags with her 39-year-old accomplice in a car outside. Police say “even for those with a high affinity for chocolate the amount of candy found could not be considered for personal use.” The two are under investigation for commercial shoplifting. Officers have confiscated the sweets.

2 men use signs to spread happiness

Nashua, N.H. (AP) - Two New Hampshire men are trying to spread some positivity in Nashua with their feel-good signs. NH1 reports Greg Amaral and Wendell Walker have stood in downtown Nashua with signs carrying positive messages each weekend since Easter Sunday. They say their goal is to encourage people to be happy and follow their dreams. Photographer Craig Michaud shared a picture of the pair on Facebook. Michaud tagged Mayor Jim Donchess, who later shared the post on his page. Donchess appreciates Amaral and Walker’s campaign. He says they’re helping Nashua become “a city of kindness.” Amaral says they’ve seen “an outpouring of beautiful people” since they started their mission. The duo welcomes anyone who would like to join them.

(Craig Michaud via AP)


May 5, 2018 - May 11, 2018

Mom: Preschool’s ban
of the term ‘best friend’ is silly

Georgetown, Mass. (AP) - A Massachusetts family is looking for a new preschool for their 4-year-old daughter because her current school has barred use of the term “best friend.” Christine Hartwell says her daughter, Julia, appeared sad recently when she came home from the Pentucket Workshop Preschool in Georgetown. The little girl told her mother she was upset because her teacher told her she couldn’t call one of her classmates her “best friend.” School officials did not comment. But, in a letter to the Hartwells they said, it had been their experience that the use of the term “best friend,” even when used in a loving way, can lead some children feeling excluded. Hartwell called the ban “outrageous” and “silly.” She says children should be allowed to speak from their heart.

Egypt’s mufti issues fatwa
against buying Facebook ‘likes’

Cairo (AP) - Egypt’s top mufti has issued a fatwa, or a religious decree, saying that buying Facebook “likes” is prohibited under Islam because it’s a form of fraud and deception. Grand Mufti Shawki Allam regularly issues all sorts of fatwas, usually in response to questions by Muslims seeking religious guidance in matters related to even the most trivial issues. The questions are asked of the Dar al-Ifa, the Sunni Muslim institution in charge of religious rulings, mainly based on the Muslim holy book of Quran and the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. The mufti posted on the institution’s Facebook page earlier this week that it is “religiously prohibited” to pay someone to click a “like” on a promotion. Allam says “it’s deceptive,” citing Muhammad’s saying, “He who deceives is not of us.”

Highway department apologizes
for ‘inappropriate message’

Seattle (AP) - Washington State’s transportation department has apologized for an “inappropriate message” that appeared on one of its traffic signs. Motorist Ruslan Kozlov tells KCPQ-TV he was driving on Interstate 5 south Tuesday afternoon when he spotted the message “U Suck” on an overhead sign. The transportation department said it was “clearly a mistake” that was caused by a “training error.” The agency says it’s taking steps so it doesn’t happen again.

WiFi network named ‘remote detonator’ prompts gym evacuation

Saginaw Township, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan gym patron looking for a WiFi connection found one named “remote detonator,” prompting an evacuation and precautionary search of the facility by a bomb-sniffing dog. The Saginaw News reports nothing was found in the search Sunday at Planet Fitness in Saginaw Township, about 85 miles (140 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. Saginaw Township police Chief Donald Pussehl says the patron brought the WiFi connection’s name to the attention of a manager, who evacuated the building and called police. The gym was closed for about three hours as police responded. Pussehl says there’s “no crime or threat,” so no charges are expected. He notes people often have odd names for WiFi connections. Planet Fitness says the manager was following company procedure for when there’s suspicion about a safety issue.

Headless doll triggers major police operation in Germany

Berlin (AP) - An apparent headless body that prompted a major police operation in southern Germany has turned out to be a doll. Police in Baden-Wuerttemberg state say a passer-by spotted what appeared to be a clothed but headless corpse covered in blood lying by a stream in Remstal, near Stuttgart, late Monday. Officers cordoned off the suspected crime scene and firefighters were called to retrieve the body, which was lying in an inaccessible place. In a statement Tuesday, police said that only once firefighters reached the site were they able to determine that it was, in fact, a doll.

(Kohls Sueddeutsche Mediengesellschaftdpa via AP)


April 28, 2018 - May 4, 2018

Moose stomps man’s foot in Alaska after he kicks her

Anchorage, Alaska (AP) - A man was injured north of Anchorage after a moose that he had just kicked stomped his foot in return, state officials said. KTVA-TV reported the man escaped major injuries in the encounter Thursday with the moose and her calf. “It sounds like the moose were on a trail and in this case, it sounds like the guy was trying to go through them,” State Department of Fish and Game spokesman Ken Marsh said. “That’s never a good idea.” The two moose left the area after the man had his foot stomped, said Alaska Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters. “I am not a biologist, but as a lifelong Alaskan I would advise people not to go around kicking moose,” Peters said. Moose have vast leg strength, Marsh said. “If you get into a kicking contest with a moose, guess who’s going to win?” he said. South-central Alaska has seen a number of violent incidents involving moose this spring, including a man who had a moose swipe at him with its hoof while feeding it and a cocker spaniel attacked by a moose in an Anchorage yard. Marsh said moose sightings are on the rise as females prepare for calving season in mid-May.

Police investigate reports
of ‘zombie’ raccoons

Youngstown, Ohio (AP) - Police are investigating reports of “zombie-like” raccoons in northeast Ohio. WKBN-TV reports Youngstown police have received more than a dozen calls in the past three weeks about raccoons acting strangely in the daytime. Photographer Robert Coggeshall says he was playing with his dogs outside his home last week when one such raccoon approached them. Coggeshall says the animal would stand on its hind legs, show its teeth and fall over backward. The raccoon Coggeshall saw and 14 others police responded to were euthanized. The state Department of Natural Resources says the animals were likely suffering from distemper, not rabies. The viral disease causes coughing, tremors and seizures and leads raccoons to lose their fear of humans. Authorities are asking residents to report raccoons behaving unusually to their local police station.

Cookies that made day care staff
feel high were drug-free

Bangor, Maine (AP) - Officials say cookies dropped off at a Maine day care center that staff members complained made them feel high contained no illicit substances. About a dozen staff members at Watch Me Shine day care in Bangor reported feeling intoxicated Feb. 14 after they ate Valentine’s Day cookies dropped off by a parent. The Bangor Daily News reports police seized the remaining cookies for testing. Sgt. Wade Betters said Monday that none of the cookies tested positive for controlled substances. Police don’t know what caused the staff to feel funny and say no charges are pending. The day care now prohibits outside food for children and staff, and no children ate the cookies.

Tiger reported running through
streets of New York - or not

New York (AP) - A false report of a tiger in the streets of New York has caused a social media frenzy. WNBC says the New York Police Department got a call around 8:30 a.m. Thursday about a tiger in Harlem. People on Twitter described a notification from the Citizen app that said police were responding to unconfirmed reports of a loose tiger running around the street. Shortly thereafter, police confirmed that there was indeed a wild-animal sighting. It was a raccoon.

Minnesota firehouse opens doors
during blizzard for prom

Forest Lake, Minn. (AP) - Firefighters came to the rescue for a group of Minnesota high school students when a blizzard struck during their prom. The Forest Lake Fire Department opened its firehouse for three hours on Saturday so the students could pose for prom pictures. With as much as 15 inches (38 centimeters) of snow in the forecast, the students couldn’t take photos outside for what they called #BlizzardProm. The students posed in their formal clothes on firetrucks and in the firehouse.
 


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May 26, 2018 - June 1, 2018

May 19, 2018 - May 25, 2018

May 12, 2018 - May 18, 2018

May 5, 2018 - May 11, 2018

April 28, 2018 - May 4, 2018


 



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