NewsQuirks 456

SplitsvilleThe Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that Jeffrey Kendall, who became a fundamentalist Christian after divorcing Barbara Zeitler, cannot share his new-found religious beliefs with his three children if doing so alienates them from their Orthodox Jewish mother. The court said Kendall can have pictures of Jesus on the wall, but he cannot take the children to church where they would be told that non-Christians such as their mother are "destined to burn in hell."Curses, Foiled AgainFive armed men accosted Sandra L. Bailey, 51, outside a shopping mall in Virginia Beach, Va., and ordered her out of her Mercedes. When they tried to force her into the trunk, she resisted and started screaming, causing them to panic and flee. Police were able to track down the men after one of them, Lloyd T. Sawyer, left behind a job application with his name and address on it, and police found his fingerprints on the woman's car.Police investigating an incident at a home in Tamworth, England, found videotapes made by two men in their 20s who are accused of committing more than 30 burglaries. The London Independent newspaper reported the tapes, which the pair took of each other committing the crimes, were edited, captioned and dubbed with music.After robbing a Dunkin' Donuts store in Northbridge, Mass., of $1,400, a man tore a bag of coins while fleeing, leaving a trail of change that police followed to a nearby apartment, where they found the suspect, the loot and the ski mask and weapons he used.A customs inspection at Brazil's Sao Paulo airport turned up 50 pounds of a poor quality Bolivian cheese in a suitcase belonging to Gerardo Gallo. When the inspectors noticed Gallo's destination was Switzerland, they wondered why anyone would take an inferior cheese to a place famous for its top-quality cheese. Suspicious, they opened the cheese and discovered 22 pounds of cocaine.When Tony Charles Garley, 17, announced a hold-up at a gas station in Albuquerque, N.M., the clerk threatened to call police. Garley reportedly grabbed the phone himself and told the clerk, "You want to call the cops? Here, I'll call the cops." A patrol car arrived instantly, and the officer shot Garley dead after he pointed his shotgun at the officer.Double-Play CombosSergei Fedorchenko, director of a medical center in Perm, Russia, announced that Siamese-twin sisters Dasha and Masha Krivoshlyapov, both 48, finally agreed to stop smoking and drinking to stop each other's suffering. The women are joined at the trunk and share a circulatory system. Whenever Dasha drank, Masha also felt the affects. When Masha smoked, Dasha felt it, too.Los Angeles fertility specialist Dr. Michael Vermesh disclosed that a 44-year-old patient had twins -- with an age difference of 7 1/2 years. Vermesh explained the eggs for both children were taken from the then-36-year- old woman and fertilized. One embryo was implanted in the woman's womb; she gave birth in 1990. Three unused fertilized embryos were placed in deep-freeze storage, unknown to either the parents or Vermesh until last year, when the laboratory keeping them notified the woman they were being relocated. The couple, deciding to try again, had the leftovers thawed. One survived and was implanted, resulting in an 8-pound, 15-ounce boy born this February. "So," Vermesh said, "they are fraternal twins, born almost eight years apart."Sure BetCalifornia's Fair Political Practices Committee charged that a casino controlled by the U.S. government spent more than $1 million to finance anti- gambling campaigns statewide to assure its near-monopoly status. The Bicycle Club, located in Los Angeles County, is the most valuable asset ever acquired by federal law enforcement, generating more than $30 million in profits for the government since 1990, when it became part owner after the Justice Department seized a share of it in a money-laundering case.Getting Any?Americans with college degrees have sex less that those who only finished high school, according to a 10-year study by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. The survey, reported in American Demographics magazine, also noted that people who went to graduate school are the least sexually active educational group. It also found that people who said they had the least free time, especially those working at least 65 hours a week, have the most sex. What's more, about 15 percent of adults have half of all the sex. Finally, the most sexually active Americans are jazz fans, gun owners and people who lack confidence in the president.Men's Fitness magazine cited studies conducted in California that found married men who quit smoking cigarettes and cigars have twice as much sex as smokers. A statistical study of villagers in Caerphilly, Wales, found that men who have more sex seem to live longer and that having regular sex reduces the risk of death by about half. Reporting their findings in The British Medical Journal, the researchers, headed by Dr. George Davey-Smith, suggested that their findings might inspire a campaign to promote the benefits of an active sex life.Crime Doesn't Pay, It CostsThe Linn County, Iowa, jail installed an automated teller machine in the lobby to make it easier for inmates at the Cedar Rapids facility to pay for their stay. State law requires county inmates to pay $60 a day for room and board. Sheriff Don Zeller said in December that of the $25,000 in jail fees collected since the law took effect in July 1996, some $15,000 has come in since the ATM was installed last May.It HappensA U.S. Senate study revealed that the amount of manure produced by livestock and poultry in the United States is 130 times greater than the amount of human waste -- a total of five tons for every man, woman and child. "The numbers are staggering," said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), whose Senate Agricultural Committee compiled the study. "Some operations produce more waste than a city or large town. Compiled by Roland Sweet from the nation's press. Send clippings, citing source and date, to POB 8130, Alexandria VA 22306. Fans of quirky news will enjoy the newest collection, "More Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest," by John J. Kohut & Roland Sweet (Plume paperback).


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