Saturday, November 22, 2014

It's the weekend

Knock knock

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Gorilla doesn't take kindly to being filmed

This apparently camera-shy gorilla at Berlin zoo expressed its displeasure to these visitors from Ireland.

Contains NSFW language.

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Would-be shoplifter fled store wearing only his boxer shorts after fight with owners

A 21-year-old man who allegedly tried to steal two bottles of beer from a convenience store in Beaverton, Oregon, ended up wearing just his boxer shorts after the store owners wrestled with him.

The co-owners of Best Mart grabbed hold of Solomon Yemane-Berhane soon after one prevented him from walking out the front door late on Nov. 9. The three tussled for about three minutes as the store owners attempted to detain him, while at least two customers stood and watched.

Yemane-Berhane eventually managed to slip out of the grip of the husband and wife owners, after losing his jacket, hat, shirt and shorts in the process, and sprinted out of the door. He came back moments later to pick up his jacket and again left. The owners had followed Yemane-Berhane out the door after he managed to elude them. The two other people in the store left soon after, as well.

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Broken beer bottles, overturned displays and merchandise were strewn throughout the store after the scuffle. Police arrested Yemane-Berhane nearby. Yemane-Berhane was indicted last Friday by a Washington County grand jury on charges of resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer, third-degree robbery, third-degree criminal mischief, third-degree theft and fourth-degree assault.

Crucifix and Virgin Mary Statue unscathed in fire that destroyed 100-year-old church

Parishioners of a San Jose Catholic church destroyed by a huge fire last Sunday are calling it a miracle that both the church’s crucifix and Virgin Mary statue both somehow survived the inferno relatively unscathed.

The ornate crucifix of Holy Cross Catholic Church appeared to not even have any soot or singe marks, even as the rest of the church’s interior was in ruins.

The beloved Mary statue, the Virgin of Guadalupe, was also intact.

Devastated parishioners were elated after the discovery, saying it was a sign from above. “It’s like a miracle to give us hope that it’s still there and we can rebuild,” said Cecilia Rodriguez.

Plumber zapped on private parts before being impaled on pipe says he now believes in God

An Argentinian plumber who fell 5 metres and was impaled on a water pipe after being zapped on the private parts by a high voltage cable says he now believes in God. And to make matters worse, Juan Ramon Monzon, 26, found his boss had been employing him without any medical insurance which meant he almost did not get the hospital treatment he needed to keep him alive.

He had been forced to rely on colleagues to take him to hospital with the pipe still attached, and after being discharged after 24 hours was only given aspirin for the pain. He said: "I didn't know I didn't have medical insurance or indeed any work insurance, and as a married man with the young son, I don't know how I'm going to get by because of the moment I just can't work. But I believe in God - who couldn't believe in God after experiencing what I have and still be alive."

Amazingly the pipe missed all of the vital organs of Ramon, who added: "I was working from the top of the tower installing the plumbing system, which meant putting a huge water tank into place. But I got too close to a provisional connection for the mains electricity coming into the building." In fact he had lent over the electricity supply and been zapped on the private parts burning a hole in his clothing and leaving him with severe burns.

He had also been thrown backwards, and out through an open doorway leading onto a balcony that had not yet been completed where he fell 5 metres onto the ground in the city of Obera, in the northern Argentine province of Misiones. A medic said: "As well as the fact that his body was pierced by metal pipe he also had severe burns mainly to his private parts, a broken nose and a fractured forehead." His sister Roxana Monzon, 28, said: "We couldn't believe it when we realised he didn't have any medical insurance, and we had to put a lot of pressure on the hospital to get him treatment. And even after that they discharged him after a day which is incredible, and gave him aspirin for the pain."

Police in toasted sandwich mercy dash to elderly lady

Police in New Zealand rushed to the rescue of an elderly woman who had not eaten in three days. The 90-year-old from Wanganui was trying to get a toasted sandwich delivered to her home last week and, in desperation, called the police. Her call went out over the police radio and was picked up by an enthusiastic patrol, who ordered a toastie from a fish-and-chip shop and delivered it.

Sergeant Colin Wright said the call came in about 9.30pm after the woman, who lived alone and had been unwell, became "distressed and desperate" when she could not order a toastie to be delivered. "She hadn't eaten, the previous three days," Mr Wright said. "I don't know how many places or who she'd phoned.

"She had obviously tried a couple of fish and chip shops and probably there was nobody else to call." He said police "absolutely" enjoyed doing those types of jobs when a person needed their help. "We're forever going to victims of burglaries, assaults and car crashes. This is someone who's vulnerable who we can help.

"One of our roles is to look after vulnerable people, be that mentally, physically or age-wise. That's why officers jumped to it. We could even have gone back to the police station and cooked one up ourselves." Mr Wright felt the tale epitomised what police stood for "in terms of serving the community". He called the hospital and they were arranging for social services to help the woman. "It's an opportunity for people to see we're human, believe it or not."

Employment tribunal rules that performing the chicken dance isn't grounds for dismissal

A operator for Sydney Ferries in Australia was ordered to rehire an "alpha male" employee who was fired for allegedly performing the chicken dance in a mocking move to his colleague.

The workplace tribunal ordered Sydney Ferries operator Harbour City Ferries to reinstate Timothy Redden, 51, after finding that performing the chicken dance was not a valid reason for dismissal. Harbour City Ferries terminated Mr Redden's employment when it discovered he called his colleague a "dog" and, when his colleague ignored him, performed the chicken dance at him to imply he was a chicken for not retaliating. One of the two dances was captured on a CCTV.

Fair Work Commissioner Ian Cambridge found the employee, who he described as an "alpha male", was unfairly dismissed and should have been given a final warning instead. "In particular, one major aspect of the reasons for dismissal which involved a finding that the applicant performed the "chicken dance" as an intentional act to intimidate, harass or otherwise harm another employee, was simply fanciful and did not represent valid reason for dismissal," he said.

The commissioner also said the workplace investigation was flawed in that the employer readily accepted the words of others and rejected Mr Redden's, perhaps due to the sacked employee's "somewhat disagreeable demeanour". "Even unpleasant people are entitled to justice," he said.

Tourists in Venice risk €500 fine for loud luggage

Tourists to Venice in Italy, could face a €500 (£400, $630) fine if they wheel noisy suitcases around the watery city, under new proposals outlined on Thursday.

Venetians are tired of being kept awake at night by throngs of tourists, wheeling their luggage through the city’s narrow streets and over its famous bridges.

Now the city’s special commissioner, Vittorio Zappalorto, has come up with a plan to let his citizens get their 40 winks, by banning the suitcases. Under new anti-noise pollution proposals, tourists will be barred from bringing luggage with plastic or full rubber wheels to Venice.

But bicycle-style tyres, made from rubber and filled with air, will be allowed. If Zapalorto’s plan gets the go ahead, tourists will be fined between €100 and €500 if they break the suitcase rule. Venetians, however, will be free to continue to use whichever luggage they please.

Police called to help escort pod of whales away from shoreline

Police officers from Essex were called in to help escort a pod of whales away from the shoreline to prevent them from being stranded on beaches or sandbanks. Officers from the marine unit and the helicopter were called in after the pod of forty 16ft long pilot whales was seen entering the River Blackwater on Tuesday. Members of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue charity called police and Coastguard when the whales were close to shallow water at St Lawrence Bay. The Special Branch Marine Unit used a high-speed RIB (rigid-hulled inflatable boat) to reach the scene and, with local boats, managed to turn the pod back towards the open sea. The mammals, which were believed to be following and eating shoals of herring, were later seen heading towards the shore between St Osyth and Jaywick.

Marine officers then called in a helicopter from the National Police Air Service. Also on board the aircraft was a technician from a mapping contractor who had previously served In the Royal New Zealand Air Force and had experience in marine surveillance and monitoring whales in Antarctica who was able to provide valuable information. PC Kevin Flinn, observer on the helicopter, said: "Our passenger was certainly an expert on using aircraft to shepherd the pod of whales. We hovered between the beach and the pod and were able to move closer to them until they turned and went back to deeper water. The whales were about five metres long and in very shallow water and with the tide receding.

"There certainly was a risk of them beaching on the sandbanks, but we moved them away from danger. The marine unit boat and other vessels then took over and escorted the pod further offshore.” At one point the helicopter descended to about 200ft to ‘flag down’ a fishing boat that was heading straight for the whales. The officers used their Sky Shout broadcasting system to alert the crew. The vessel stopped and the skipper was asked by the marine unit to steer clear of the whales. PC Simon Lofting from the Special Branch Marine Unit said: "We've had small numbers of dolphins and porpoises off Essex but this is the first time so many whales have been seen. We'd been out the previous day on the Thames when there were sightings off Southend and Kent, but we didn't find them.

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"But on Tuesday, following sightings in the River Blackwater, we were contacted by British Divers Marine Life Rescue and asked to assist. We had an expert from BDMLR on board our boat and he had real concerns that the whole pod could strand themselves. The helicopter did an amazing piece of work, not only moving the whales from shallow water but counting them accurately when the pod had split. We were told the previous day that there were 29 whales so the helicopter was a great resource in giving us accurate information. I would also like to thank the assistance of Inshore Fisheries and the river bailiff. Between the three vessels we managed to bring the whales together when the pod split and we moved to deeper water. It was certainly one of our more usual operations and we all worked closely to ensure that the whales were not stranded in shallow water while chasing shoals of herrings.”

Friday, November 21, 2014

Problem solved

Ferret limbers up before big jump

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Crocodile attacks young lion crossing river

Filmed near Lower Sabie in the Kruger National Park, South Africa.

All ended well.

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Man allegedly became violent when asked to share his eggnog

An Upper East Tennessee man who was allegedly driven to violence by an unwelcome request to share his eggnog on Sunday evening is to appear in Hawkins County Sessions Court charged with two counts of domestic assault. Dennis Joseph Saxe, 45, of Mount Carmel, has been held in the Hawkins County Jail without bond since his arrest on Monday morning. At around 6:23pm Police Department Officer Luke Jarnigan was dispatched to Saxe's residence which he shares with his girlfriend Christina Wyant.

Wyant told Jarnigan that Saxe became violent when her teenage daughter asked for a glass of his eggnog. "Mr. Saxe got mad and punched a hole in the wall, screaming at (the daughter) for wanting some eggnog," Jarnigan said. "Christina stated she told Saxe to stop, and that it was just eggnog. (The daughter) stated she went into the living room and told Saxe that if he did not want her to have the eggnog, she wouldn't get any."

Saxe then allegedly ran up to the daughter, "got in her face," and started screaming at her. Wyant reportedly tried to get Saxe to stop, at which time Saxe allegedly pushed her down onto a couch. When Wyant got back up, Saxe allegedly began choking her. "Christina stated that at some point they all ended up on the floor, and Christina was yelling for Saxe to stop because he had his arms around (the daughter)," Jarnigan said. "Saxe stood up to punch Christina, and (the daughter's boyfriend) pushed Saxe onto the couch."

The daughter then called 911, and Saxe left the residence. MCPD Officer Cody Bussell arrested Saxe on Jarnigan's warrant for two counts of domestic assault after Saxe returned to his home. Jarnigan said there was no indication that anyone in the household was under the influence at the time of the alleged assaults, nor was the incident preceded by any other arguments or altercations. "Based on the witness accounts, she (Wyant's daughter) asked for a glass of eggnog, and he (Saxe) went off," Jarnigan said. "He didn't want to share his eggnog."

Unhappy cyclist arrested after being rejected at Taco Bell drive-through for not being in a car

A drunken cyclist in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, whose drive-through order at Taco Bell was rejected because he wasn't in a car refused to leave the restaurant then tussled with police.

Gabriel Harris, 33, was charged with resisting an officer with violence in the late-night incident and was out of the Volusia County Branch Jail on $1,000 bail. Taco Bell workers called police at 3:10am on Sunday after Harris and a woman, both intoxicated, would not leave the restaurant.

Police found Harris on a bicycle by the menu speaker. Aron Tobler, the employee, said he refused service to Harris and Sarah Haliburton because “they placed an order on bicycles” in the drive through window. Haliburton was not charged. Police said Harris got to the restaurant after it closed at 3am.

As police were asking Harris to leave, they spotted a red Swiss Army knife on Harris' belt loop and tried to reach for it. Harris grabbed the officer's wrist and Harris was wrestled to the ground and handcuffed. Harris suffered a scraped forehead, police said.

Grandmother called nutcase during clash with police still traumatised

A grandmother in Australia who was labelled a 'nutcase' and told 'she had no rights' by police during a roadside confrontation says she is still traumatised by the incident. Linda Milazzo refused to stop at a police roadblock in South Yarra, Victoria, in May 2012. Instead, the 63-year-old drove through the roadside operation, clipping an officer as she passed. Three police officers pursued her vehicle and a screaming match broke out when she refused to turn her engine off and get out of her car.

The run-in was recorded on an officer's vest-mounted camera, later presented as evidence at the County Court. In the video, a police officer demands Mrs Milazzo, who had recently suffered a heart attack, step out of the car, but she refuses, claiming she is having another cardiac arrest, to which the officer replies: 'You don't look like you're having a heart attack'. Threatening Mrs Milazzo with an attempted murder charge, an officer continues: 'You have just attempted to run over a policeman.

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'You just attempted to run down a policeman'. An officer then turns to a colleague, labelling Mrs Milazzo a 'f*cking nutcase', followed by laughter. Mrs Milazzo received a $1,000 fine and was disqualified from driving for six months, but it was the actions of police that concerned her most. "I'd like to see them go and do some courses on how to deal with people," she said.

Two years on, Mrs Milazzo said police conduct must change. "I want them to learn from it. I want them to learn that this is not acceptable behaviour." Embarrassed by the video, Victoria's senior police say they will investigate the incident, with the officers involved facing possible disciplinary action. "We don't condone that sort of behaviour and we continually instruct our officers and guide our officers about being as polite as possible and courteous to the public when they're executing their duties," said Deputy Police Commissioner Graham Ashton.

Half-naked Winnie-the-Pooh no longer candidate for being public face of children's playground

Councillors in Poland have blocked a plan to have Winnie-the-Pooh used as the public face of a children's playground because the British bear is of "dubious sexuality" and "inappropriately dressed" for children because he is "half naked".

Officials in the small town of Tuszyn, in central Poland, were meeting to decide upon a new patron for a children’s playground when Winnie-the-Pooh was brought up. But the suggestion was quickly rounded on by more conservative members. Councillor Ryszard Cichy, 46, said: "The problem with that bear is it doesn’t have a complete wardrobe.

"It is half naked which is wholly inappropriate for children." He then suggested a Polish fictional bear, saying: "Ours is dressed from head to toe, unlike Pooh who is only dressed from the waist up." The meeting, which was recorded by one of the councillors, then turned on Winnie-the-Pooh’s sexuality. One official was heard saying: "It doesn’t wear underpants because it doesn’t have a sex. It’s a hermaphrodite."

Councillor Hanna Jachimska then began criticising the Winnie-the-Pooh author Alan Alexander Milne. She said: "This is very disturbing but can you imagine! The author was over 60 and cut his [Pooh's] testicles off with a razor blade because he had a problem with his identity." The councillors have yet to make a formal decision about which bear will be the patron of the children’s playground. But Winnie-the-Pooh is not a candidate, they said.

Controversy after Welsh Assembly member told by Presiding Officer to remove hand from hip

An MA was told to take her hand off her hip while speaking in the Welsh Assembly. Presiding Officer Dame Rosemary Butler called Liberal Democrat Eluned Parrott to order and then said: "Will you ask the question and take your hand off your hip please?"

It happened during noisy exchanges in the chamber about cuts in funding for music lessons in schools. South Wales Central AM Ms Parrott did as she was asked, then carried on grilling Education Minister Huw Lewis. The Liberal Democrats have condemned Dame Rosemary's behaviour.

"It is not the presiding officer's place to tell assembly members how they should stand," a spokesman said. "Eluned was asking legitimate questions of the minister and at no point did she use unparliamentary language. It's therefore disappointing that this intervention was made, especially as the minister failed to properly answer the questions asked of him."

The spokesman added: "It is the presiding officer's role to enable assembly members to hold ministers to account." Responding to the criticism, Dame Rosemary said she did not think the incident was "worth talking about". "I kept order in the chamber, I asked Eluned Parrott to remove her hand and she did and she carried on," she said.

School strive to solve riddle of missing spoons

Staff at St Peter's Primary School in Darwen, Lancashire, are trying to solve the riddle of the missing spoons.

According to the school, catering manager Laura Marrs ordered 200 new spoons at the start of the school year, but only 135 are left.

A school spokeswoman said: "Children often borrow spoons for packed lunches.

"Please check your child's lunch box each day and return any school cutlery."

Woman who walked 50 miles wearing Garfield onesie in search of beloved cat reunited with him

A ginger cat who went missing four months ago sparking a huge campaign has been found. Marmie disappeared from his garden in Barming, Kent, in July. His plight prompted owner Tracy Brewster, 52, to organise a march through the centre of Maidstone and wear a Garfield onesie to complete a 50-mile walk to Essex to raise awareness.

Posters and T-shirts with Marmie's face on were printed and Miss Brewster even lost her job as a housekeeper as she led the 24-hour, seven-day-a-week quest to bring him home. Miss Brewster sobbed with joy on Tuesday night when she received a call to say her beloved pet had been found.

The puss had been taken in by Mike and Jane Lille who live 35 miles away in Surrey and were completely unaware of the Mrs Brewster's campaign to find him. Mr and Mrs Lille first spotted Marmie on wasteland near their home in July, the same month the cat went missing, and gradually gained his trust by leaving food out.

They finally managed to coax him into their house last week and took him to a vet in Merstham a few days later. Marmie could be traced back to his owner by the contact details on his microchip. "Miracles never happen to me," Miss Brewster said. "But this is nothing short of a miracle."