NewsQuirks 564

Curses, Foiled AgainBrent Bailey, 19, boarded a bus in Pleasantville, N.J., pulled out a semiautomatic Glock pistol and began taking it apart and cleaning it. A passenger who got off the bus notified the police, who arrested Bailey and discovered he was wanted for a parole violation.Ups and DownsA panel of medical advisers to the federal Food and Drug Administration recommended, 9-3, that Uprima, a new pill to help men get erections, be permitted on the market, even though during tests one in 30 men fainted or suffered seriously low blood pressure and one crashed his car into a fence. "There will be some people who will probably lose their lives," one of the advisers, Philadelphia cardiologist Dr. Peter Kowey, said, "because they pass out at the top of stairs or are operating a car" when they faint.Whom Do You Trust?When Sheila Johnson-Moore applied for a job with the Buffalo, N.Y., School District overseeing the district's grant program, she wore a locator bracelet on her ankle, and the U.S. Probation Service advised the district that she was on probation for embezzlement. She was hired anyway and in February pleaded guilty to diverting $26,000 in grant money for her own use.Eight town officials in Cliffside Park, N.J., including a police sergeant and a volunteer firefighter, were charged with stealing furniture, a furnace and a car from the house of a dead man, then setting the house on fire.Daniel Fretes Ventre, Paraguay's official anti-corruption chief, was charged with corruption. He is accused of blackmailing officials after his investigators uncovered evidence of their wrongdoing, then laundering the money through a private university that he ownedOverreactionWhen German traffic police stopped a 45-year-old man north of Frankfurt for going 80 miles per hour in a 63-mph zone, the driver approached the police car on foot and fired once, killing one officer and wounding a second officer in the arm. The driver, who was arrested the following month, explained he fired because he was afraid that he would lose his license if he accumulated any more penalty points for speeding.Thwarted AmbitionPierre Navelot, 23, who told French authorities he aspired to become a serial killer, was arrested after murdering his first and only victim and sentenced to 30 years in jail. "You can't live just being nobody at all," Navelot admitted to the court in Metz, explaining his goal of killing to become famous stemmed from low self-esteem caused by his having been incontinent until he was a teenager.Pity Juan ValdezColombia, the world's second-largest producer and exporter of coffee, announced that due to a poor crop it will have to import coffee beans next year to provide for its domestic consumption.Rite-Thinking RulingA council for eastern Oslo announced it was taking a step toward religious freedom in Christian-dominated Norway by allowing a Muslim mosque to use a loudspeaker to broadcast a prayer call into the streets for three minutes every Friday, the Muslim holy day. The council also ruled that atheists can use a megaphone to shout from a rooftop once a week that God does not exist.Gone But Not ForgottenA 7-year-old girl in Peabody, Mass., spent a night sleeping in her dead mother's arms after a teacher apparently ignored the girl's claim that the woman had died and sent her back to her seat in the classroom. The girl finished the day at school, then went home on the bus and spent the night with the body.A 6-year-old boy in Grand Rapids, Mich., lived for nearly three weeks in an apartment with the decomposing body of his dead mother before school officials noticed the boy showing up for school underweight and acting withdrawn and notified the authorities.A 9-year-old boy in Memphis, Tenn., lived with his mother's corpse for a month, fixing his own meals and attending school every day, even cutting his own hair, because he was afraid that if anyone found out he would be put in a foster home. The boy covered her body with her coat and placed sheets of notebook paper over her face.An elderly woman in Munich, Germany, lived at home with her 76-year-old husband lying dead in bed for four months after the man's worried sister alerted police. The sister said the wife repeatedly told her the husband did not want to see visitors.Police accused a 65-year-old woman in Ladson, S.C., of storing her 70-year-old roommate's corpse in a freezer in her garage for more than a year after he died of natural causes. Investigators said Wynema Faye Shumate concealed the death so she could live off the man's money. The incident came to light after Shumate posted some pictures on herself taken 30 years ago on the Internet and attracted a 28-year-old man from Britain who came to the United States to marry her. She told her fiance about the body in the freezer, and he notified the police.Russian workers discovered the skeleton of a man who had been dead for five years in a room in a Moscow communal apartment without the other residents knowing he was there. Several families had rooms in the apartment, sharing a kitchen and bathroom, but nobody ever inquired what was going on in the room with the remains.Teeny WieniesAfter the European Union established a standard size for condoms, a study concluded that it is often too big for German men. Focus magazine reported the study by the German condom maker Condomi found that standard-sized condoms fell off half the men surveyed, noting, "The average German penis is about 3.5 to 4 millimeters (0.13 to 0.15 inches) too narrow."Nomads Go HomeHoping to curb crime by keeping adults from wandering the streets at night, the Cloverport, Ky., City Council passed a law forbidding anyone from being out between midnight and 5 a.m. without a destination.Lucky FindBritish archaeologists discovered an Egyptian sculpture from the seventh century B.C. depicting the Cushite King Taharqa. The priceless 3,000-year-old stone was found in a store room in the basement of God's House Tower, a museum in Southampton, England. "It was being used by museum attendants to lean their bicycles against," said Karen Wardley, curator of archaeological collections for the Southampton city council. "No one had a real clue about its value."Compiled by Roland Sweet from the nation's press. Send clippings, citing source and date, to P.O. Box 8130, Alexandria VA 22306.

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