NewsQuirks 346

Curses, Foiled Again Police in Golden, Colo., arrested James Daly, 28, after they reported he was confronted during a burglary by the homeowners. He fled, scaled a fence, tumbled down a hill, fell under the wheel of a moving car and crashed into a bicycle ridden by a police officer. The suspect resumed running, but officers spotted him trying to hide behind a bush they said offered little cover.All in the Family New York University student Ruben Huaman, 20, shot his 17-year-old brother in the neck with an arrow from a crossbow because he refused to take part in a plot to kill their mother, police said. Huaman explained that he wanted to murder the deeply religious woman because he felt he could never live up to his mother's expectations. A Hawaiian appeals court overturned the conviction of James G. Kahoonei, declaring that his bedroom was searched illegally. Kahoonei's mother had conducted the search, but the Intermediate Court of Appeals decided that she wasn't acting as a mother when she looked for weapons but as an agent of the government.Money Matters In Dothan, Ala., U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson granted $2 million in legal fees to the 19 lawyers it took to win a $1 judgment on behalf of consumers in a gasoline price-fixing case. Citing a drain on the budget caused by increasing longevity, German President Roman Herzog ended the tradition of awarding $178 a year to citizens who live to be 100 or older. The newspaper Bild said the move will affect about 600 centenarians but added that once they reach 105, they again will be entitled to the annual "jubilee money" gift.Shooting Her Mouth Off Raemy Barnowsky, 35, was driving from Florida to New Jersey with her boyfriend when they stopped at a restaurant outside Alexandria, Va., so she could use the restroom. A waitress heard an explosion and found Barnowsky's body on the restroom floor, according to authorities, who said the woman committed suicide by putting an M-80 explosive, the equivalent of a quarter stick of dynamite, in her mouth and lighting the fuse.Oops! Timothy O'Brien killed himself after thinking he had missed out on winning $3.2 million in Britain's National Lottery when he and his gambling partner forgot to place their weekly wager and their regular number came up. Coroner Roy Barter explained that O'Brien misread the numbers and actually would have won only $43. Percy Sledge, whose record "When a Man Loves a Woman" was a hit in 1966, told Musician magazine that he wrote the song while he was an obscure singer in his 20s after a friend came to see him to tell him that his longtime girlfriend had left him for another man. During that night's performance, he broke down on stage and began crying for his lost love. A record producer in the audience suggested Sledge write a song about his feelings. "When a Man Loves a Woman," launched Sledge's career. Later, he discovered that his girlfriend hadn't left him for another man at all. She had just moved to Newark, N.J.Martyr Complex Palestinians seeking to inflate their religious status are insisting that any relative who passes away, even from natural causes, died a martyr's death. Muslims believe that martyrs go straight to paradise, so increasing numbers of surviving family members are claiming martyrdom for the deceased. One Palestinian journalist told the Wall Street Journal, "It's not easy to come to a family and say, 'Your relative is not a martyr. He's just dead.'"Read It and Weep Australia's Griffith University announced that first-year nursing students are required to read The Bridges of Madison County, Wuthering Heights and other tearjerkers to understand the sorrow of death and loss. Program coordinator Wendy Moyle explained, "Being a good nurse is not just being able to push a button."Food Fight Zambian President Frederick Chiluba was touring drought-stricken southern Zambia last fall when he learned just how hungry villagers were. They stole much of the food prepared for his welcoming rally. Authorities called off the rally near the town of Monze after villagers grabbed all the food they could carry and ran off into the bush. When the Raleigh, N.C., city council indicated it would approve rezoning land to allow a restaurant to open, only one potential neighbor objected: the North Carolina Restaurant Association. The trade group cited parking and unspecified other problems as reasons it didn't want the restaurant next door. Delegates to the first World Pasta Congress in Rome last October were warned of a global spaghetti famine as a result of pasta's popularity and a shortage of the hard-grained durum wheat used to make it. Noting that Europe was facing a 1.5-million-ton shortfall in durum wheat, Jose Morancho Claveri of Spain's Commercial Gallo company added, "There is a shortage all over the world." Mickey Skinner, president of the Hershey Pasta Group, said American pasta producers were also facing supply problems at a time of unprecedented demand because of three successive crop failures. After a man at a cafe in Opeinde, Netherlands, bought a meal and a round of drinks for the locals, he confessed that he had no money to pay the tab. Cafe owner Jetske van der Heide-Hento said he noticed the deadbeat had false teeth, so he told him, "If you don't want to pay, then give us your teeth as a deposit." The unidentified man, who the newspaper De Telegraf reported had a long history of freeloading, returned four days later to pay his $36 bill and claim his dentures.Contemplative News The number of bellybutton-reconstruction operations in Japan more than tripled in the past year, according to the Wall Street Journal, which identified the ideal Japanese navel as "vertical, very narrow and absolutely symmetrical."Compiled by Roland Sweet from the nation's press. Send clippings, citing source and date, to POB 8130, Alexandria VA 22306.


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