News and Blues

Weird and funny news from around the nation

Curses, Foiled Again
Gregory Dike, 38, received 11 years in jail for robbing 10 banks across England. Police arrested him after he booked a taxi for his getaway, but the driver realized what was happening and refused to wait. “He was undoubtedly a beginner,” Detective Constable Darren Brown said. “We found robbery ‘self-help’ downloads on his phone,” including one called ‘How to Rob a Bank.’” (BBC News)

Car, Where’s My Dude?
Ride-hailing service Uber announced it is teaming up with Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University to research driverless vehicles. Uber boss Travis Kalanick said not having to pay a driver would make Uber so cheap that users wouldn’t need to own a car. (The Economist)

Boom Market
Shares of contraceptive companies soared in South Korea after the country’s highest court ruled that a law banning adultery was unconstitutional. The law was enacted in 1953, but the five-judge Constitutional Court decided the law “infringes people’s right to make their own decisions on sex and secrecy and freedom of their private life.” After the ruling, shares of latex-maker Unidus Corp. rose 15 percent. Hyundai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., which makes morning-after birth control pills, saw its stock rise 9.7 percent. Prosecutors said the ban had resulted in 892 people being indicted on adultery charges last year, although none went to jail. (Reuters)

Chips Ahoy
Andrew McMenamin opened what he claims is the world’s first potato-chip sandwich café in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Simply Crispy (“crisps” are what the British call chips, which is their word for fries) offers 35 flavors. The sandwiches are served with soup (topped with crisps croutons) and fries. McMenamin got the idea from a spoof website article by Billy McWilliams and Seamus O’Shea, who observed, “Not only did people believe it, but people wanted to believe it, and the story went viral.” (Britain’s Daily Mail)

Grand Dupery
Two convenience store employees almost destroyed the premises after receiving a call from someone claiming to be the store’s security company. Police in Globe, Ariz., said the caller told the workers the silent fire alarm was going off and that to stop it, they had to discharge fire extinguishers in the store, throw the extinguishers through the windows and then destroy merchandise, computers, registers and security televisions, all while customers were shopping. It was when they were told to destroy the computers that the pair suspected the call was a prank. Damage amounted to $30,000, and the store closed for 12 hours to clean up the mess. “They thought they were acting righteously,” police Sgt. A.J. Castaneda said. (Phoenix’s KSAZ-TV)

Litigation Nation
Sharlene Simon, 42, acknowledged plowing into three bicyclists on a country road outside Innisfil, Ontario, killing one of them, but is suing the victim’s estate, his parents, the County of Simcoe and the two other bicyclists, one of whom was seriously injured. Simon claims the three teenagers were negligent riding their bikes in the middle of the road at 1:30 a.m. Labeling them “incompetent bicyclists,” the suit claims the crash, which occurred while Simon was driving 56 mph in a 50 mph zone, caused her $1.35 million (US $1.07 million) worth of emotional trauma. Her husband, who was following her, is also suing, claiming emotional trauma. (Canada’s QMI Agency)

Second Amendment Follies
A 4-year-old boy was shot in the leg in Wasilla, Alaska, when his mother’s .357-caliber handgun accidentally fell out of its holster, struck the pavement and fired. State troopers said the bullet went through the boy’s leg. (Associated Press)

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