Dateline: England--Apparently, the best way to get an upgrade to first class is to die. A first-class passenger on a recent flight from Delhi to London awoke to find the corpse of a woman who had passed away in the economy cabin being placed in the seat next to him. The economy section of the flight was full, and the cabin crew needed to move the woman and her grieving family out of the compartment to give them some privacy, British Airways said on Monday. The first-class passenger, Paul Tringer, told the Sunday Times newspaper that he was sleeping during the February flight from India and woke up when the crew placed the dead woman in a nearby empty seat. “I didn’t have a clue what was going on,” said Tringer. “The stewards just plonked the body down without saying a thing.” British Airways said in a statement that about 10 passengers die each year in flight and that while each situation is dealt with on an individual basis, safety is the primary concern. “The deceased must not be placed in the galley or blocking aisles or exits, and there should be clear space around the deceased,” a statement from the airline said. “We apologize to passengers in the first cabin who were distressed by the situation--our cabin crew were working in difficult circumstances and chose the option that they believed would cause the least disruption.”
Dateline: England--A drinker has been barred from his local pub for uncontrolled flatulence. Stewart Laidlaw, 35, has been shown the door for good by Thirsty Kirsty’s in Dunfermline, Fife, for “basking in the glory of his smells,” reports London’s The Sun. Landlord John Thow told the newspaper, “the smell is disgusting and when he drops one he'll shout and wave his arms so everyone can smell it.” Shop worker Stewart was said to be “very angry” with the decision. A fellow drinker agreed with the ouster, however: “He’s a smelly guy, and no mistake.”
Dateline: China--He may be lonely, but at least he won’t be lonely for all eternity. A Chinese bachelor is advertising on the Internet for a tomb-mate so he won’t be single in the afterlife. “I was chatting with friends in a bar, and we were talking about life and death. They said it’s sad to be all alone, even after death,” Mr Li, 45, of Nanjing City, said. “That night I came back home, and thought about it seriously, and came up with the idea of finding a tomb-mate.” Li posted a message online, saying he is single but sociable and wants a female to share his tomb. Li left his mobile phone number. Though he has yet to receive any serious offers, Li is hopeful that he will find just the right dead girl. “I don't want a relationship with her. I just want to find someone to share the lonely tomb.”
Dateline: Hong Kong--Police in Hong Kong are investigating an elaborate device found embedded in the turf at a world-famous horse track apparently designed to shoot poison darts at the animals at the start of a race. A track supervisor unearthed the device last Wednesday morning while making routine checks of the starting points for races scheduled that evening at the Happy Valley racetrack, the Hong Kong Jockey Club said in a statement. The remote-controlled shooter included 12 metal tubes, each a foot long, filled with darts buried in the grass under the spot where the starting gates would be situated for 3,937-foot races on Wednesday night. A police source said the shooter was almost certainly related to betting and could be linked to organized crime syndicates, known as triads.
Dateline: New Jersey--It was one hell of a panty raid. Three New Jersey shoplifters made off with nearly $12,000 worth of women’s underwear by stuffing the goods into bags designed to foil antitheft equipment at a Victoria’s Secret store while the shop was open for business, police said. Store surveillance cameras captured two men and one woman jamming undergarments into large bags and walking past customers and staff into the Newport Centre Mall in Jersey City. Police said the trio snatched more than $6,900 in panties and more than $4,900 in bras. No arrests have been made since the crime was reported last Tuesday night, said Lt. Edgar Martinez, spokesperson for the Jersey City police department. “This isn’t something we’ve seen before,” said Martinez. “It’s a lot of underwear to take.”
Dateline: Virginia--The pride of the Newport News Fire Department--a brand-new, state-of-the-art $385,000 fire boat--sank last Wednesday. While it was still tied up to the dock. Before it had ever been launched. The boat, which was moored at a marina by the James River Bridge, was discovered with its stern sitting on the river bottom and the bow sticking up out of the water. The fire department had not even taken ownership of the 33-foot boat because it was waiting for the manufacturer, MetalCraft of Canada, to finish installing electronic equipment, department spokesperson Dana Perry said. Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the sinking.