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 V.15 No.36 | September 7 - 13, 2006 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Canada--The pilot of a Canadian airliner found himself locked out of the cockpit after going for a bathroom break last Saturday. The incident occurred aboard a flight from Ottawa to Winnipeg. A spokesperson for Air Canada’s Jazz subsidiary said that with 30 minutes of the flight to go, the pilot went to the restroom, leaving his first officer in charge. But when he tried to get back into the cockpit, the door would not open. A report in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper said that, for about 10 minutes, “passengers described seeing the pilot banging on the door and communicating with the cockpit through an internal telephone, but being unable to open the door.” Eventually, the plane’s crew had to remove the door from its hinges to get the pilot back into the cockpit. The airline spokesperson stressed that at no time were the plane or passengers in any danger.

Dateline: Turkey--An enterprising Istanbul businessman is banking his fortune on a new line of Islam-inspired swimsuits. Mehmet Sahini has designed what he says is the world’s first Islamic swimwear--head-to-ankle bathing gear marketed to rich but devout Muslims. “We are the preferred firm for the conservative politicians’ wives,” Sahini told Reuters news service. Turkey has been a traditionally secular Middle Eastern nation, but the pro-Islamist AKP (Justice and Development Party) came to power in 2002 and is now the ruling party of Turkey’s legislative body, the Great National Assembly. Sahini’s brightly colored women’s swimming costumes look like shiny tracksuits with stretchy hoods, while racier models are like crinkly catsuits with a separate overall to hide curves. The company sold 40,000 of the ultra-modest swimsuits last year and is hoping to unload 50,000 this year.

Dateline: Australia--The owner of a Sydney brothel is hoping to help customers impacted by high gas prices--by offering fuel reimbursements. Madam Kerry’s brothel in western Sydney offers clients a discount of 20 cents a liter if they use one of if its “service providers.” Kerry said high gasoline prices were hurting the sex service market as much as any industry. “We wanted to think outside the box,” Kerry told reporters. “We have gone quieter with the high petrol prices and we wanted to find a way to give something back to our clients.”

Dateline: China--According to China’s official Xinhua News Agency, a woman in Hohhot, the capital of the country’s Inner Mongolia region, crashed her car while giving her dog a driving lesson. The woman, identified only by her surname of Li, said her dog, “was fond of crouching on the steering wheel and often watched her drive.” Naturally, “she thought she would let the dog ‘have a try’ while she operated the accelerator and brake.” The report concluded, “They did not make it far before crashing into an oncoming car.” No injuries were reported to either human or canine, although both vehicles were slightly damaged.

Dateline: California--You’re a loose cannon, Beemer! An overeager police dog is accused of biting the leg of Ventura Police Chief Pat Miller. Miller, 53, was on his way to a meeting when he got involved in the pursuit of a white Ford Explorer last Tuesday. SUV driver Jason Donner, 24, of Ventura was being chased by a Ventura squad car at the time. The chase led into neighboring Oxnard, where Donner pulled onto a side street, jumped from his moving vehicle and ended up in a Mandalay Bay channel. Miller, who was wearing plain clothes, drove to the other side of the channel and helped chase Donner into a garage. Oxnard police officers then arrived and released Beemer, a Belgian Malinois Shepherd. Beemer, not knowing who the suspect was, went straight at the plain-clothed police chief, chomping down on the cop’s left hamstring. “It hurt. The dog literally picked me off the ground. He ripped my pants and bloodied my leg up pretty good,” Miller said on Wednesday. Donner was later captured and booked for investigation of evading police and trespassing.

Dateline: Idaho--A 20-year-old man wanted on felony warrants in California figured out the perfect scheme to avoid jail--by hiding out in jail. Prosecutors claim that Evan Wesley Williams, 20, said he was his brother, 22-year-old Jedidiah James Williams of Spokane, Wash., when police came to arrest the elder brother for failing to appear at a probation violation hearing. According to court documents in the case, Williams allegedly bragged to another inmate that he was hiding out in the Kootenai County jail under his brother’s name “in order to avoid being arrested for warrants out of California.” According to the Coeur d’Alene Press, Kootenai County jailers discovered the not-so-smart switcheroo last Wednesday after realizing that Jedidiah Williams was already serving a year sentence in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., under his own name. On Friday, the younger Williams was charged with nine counts of forgery for allegedly signing jail documents in his brother’s name. Williams also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of false impersonation in connection with the case and was sentenced to five days in jail. Although Evan Williams has spent six weeks in jail already, he won’t get any credit for that time served, because he was booked under his brother’s name, officials said.

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. E-mail your weird news to devin@alibi.com.

 

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