Dateline: Japan—A gold bathtub worth nearly $1 million has gone missing from a resort hotel in Kamogawa, south of Tokyo. A worker at the Kominato Hotel Mikazuki notified police that the glittering tub was missing from the hotel’s guest bathroom on the 10th floor. The round tub, worth $987,000, is made from 18-karat gold and weighs 176 pounds. Flanked by two crane statues, the tub had been a main feature of the hotel’s extravagant shared bathroom. Visitors were allowed to take a dip in the tub, but it was only available a few hours a day for “security reasons,” the hotel’s website said. According to local police, someone cut the chain attached to the door of a small section of the bathroom where the bathtub was located and made off with the fixture. “We have no witness information and there are no video cameras,” said a police official. “We have no idea who took it.”
Dateline: England—Last Tuesday, a performance artist cooked and ate a corgi dog live on the radio to protest a recent royal fox hunt. “I know some people will find this offensive and tasteless,” Mark McGowan said on the London radio station. “But I am doing this to raise awareness about the RSPCA’s inability to prosecute Prince Philip and his friends for shooting a fox earlier this year,” The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is in charge of handing over evidence to British prosecutors in cases where they believe acts of cruelty to animals have been committed. The RSPCA said they found “no evidence” that any offense had taken place in January of this year when the alleged fox hunting incident took place. “An independent post-mortem examination was carried out and found that the fox died from gunshot wounds—and no evidence of other injury or trauma was found,” the Society said in a statement. Corgis are the favorite dog breed of Prince Philip’s wife, Queen Elizabeth II, who has owned more than 30 of the dogs since she began her reign in 1952. McGowan said the dog, which died of natural causes at a breeding farm, tasted “really, really disgusting.”
Dateline: Minnesota—TMJ-4 TV in Milwaukee has reported that two men robbed a U-Haul store last Sunday at around 3 o’clock. After taking the money, one of the men hung around and tried to score a date with the woman he had just robbed. “He stuck around and was trying to get the female employee’s number,” U-Haul general manager Patrick Sobocinski told TMJ-4 TV. “She said he was just saying, ‘Hey, baby, you’re pretty fine.’” The two robbers pulled up to the store in a late-’80s model Cadillac. They forced an employee to open the cash register. One man grabbed the money, forced the workers to the ground and fled. The other man lingered, hoping for a date with one of his female victims. “She said he was saying, ‘Can I get your number and go out sometime?’” Sobocinski explained. The woman turned him down, however, and he left. Police have distributed pictures of the robbers from the store’s video camera.
Dateline: California—The 20th Century Fox film studio is in trouble with the U.S. Mint over an innovative publicity campaign for the upcoming film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The studio commissioned the Franklin Mint to alter 40,000 U.S. quarters to feature an image of the silver-clad comic book character featured in the upcoming film. Unfortunately, it is illegal to alter U.S. currency or to turn a coin into an advertising vehicle. Violators can face a stiff fine. Last Friday, the U.S. Mint announced in a news release that 20th Century Fox and the Franklin Mint were breaking the law. According to the release, “the promotion is in no way approved, authorized, endorsed or sponsored by the United States Mint, nor is it in any way associated or affiliated with the United States Mint.” All 40,000 coins were slated to be in circulation throughout the country by the end of Memorial Day weekend, with about 800 coins expected to be released in each state. A spokesperson for the Franklin Mint argued the company did not intend to break any laws and the sole purpose was to “enhance” the coins.
Dateline: Wisconsin—A Catholic priest has removed his church’s organist and choir director because she is “a consultant for a firm which sells products of a sexual nature that are not consistent with Church teachings.” Linette Servais, 50, had played the organ and sung with the choir for 35 years at St. Joseph Parish in New Franken, Wis. She was recently dismissed after Rev. Dean Dombroski learned she worked part-time as a salesperson for Pure Romance, a company that sells spa products and sex toys. Servais sent a three-page letter to church members saying she began working for Pure Romance after a brain tumor left her sexually dysfunctional. “After I got over the initial shock, I prayed over this a long time,” she said. “I feel that Pure Romance is my ministry.”