Odds & Ends
Dateline: Malaysia—A husband in Kuala Lumpur abandoned his wife of many years after a temple priest convinced him she was a demon. The woman, who gave her name as Loh, was quoted in The Star newspaper as saying, “The medium told my husband I had been casting spells on him for the past 15 years and that I was a demon trying to kill him.” Loh said her husband, a factory manager, “refused to eat or drink at home because he thought I poisoned the food.” The husband is seeking a divorce and refuses to meet with his two teenage sons for fear that his wife will use them to kill him. According to The Star, Malaysians often seek personal and professional advice from faith healers, temple mediums and witch doctors. Increasing complaints about sexual and financial abuse, however, have prompted Malaysia’s government to consider a bill that would require mystics to register with the Ministry of Health. Loh told reporters that the priest who advised her husband was in debt and likely taking advantage of her husband, who withdrew all of their children’s savings before deserting the family.
Dateline: Saudi Arabia—According to a report in the Israeli daily Ma’ariv, Saudi security services have captured a vulture suspected of being a Mossad spy. The bird, which was carrying a GPS transmitter and a tag from Tel Aviv University, flew into Saudi Arabian territory earlier this month. Residents told Saudi Arabia’s al-Weeam newspaper they believed the bird was linked to a “Zionist plot” and reported its presence to security services. The incident was reposted on several Arabic-language websites, with posters claiming “Zionists” in Israel had trained the bird for espionage. The bird has apparently been placed under arrest. Israeli authorities said the bird was not working for Mossad and was simply part of a long-term study of the migratory habits of vultures. This isn’t the first time the Israeli spy agency has been accused of borrowing espionage tips from Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. Late last year, an Egyptian official reportedly claimed a shark that attacked tourists near the coastal resort of Sharm el-Sheikh was working on behalf of Mossad.
Dateline: Florida—An elderly woman rescued her 70-year-old husband from a “nasty” cow by hitting it several times with a pickup truck. Oscar Wilcox was flown to a trauma center with serious injuries after a cow attacked him on New Year’s Day at his ranch in St. Lucie County. Wilcox’s wife told a deputy that her husband was working on a fence in the pasture when she heard him scream. She drove into the pasture and saw a cow “attacking” her husband. “She was able to hit the cow several times with the truck to get it off of her husband,” the Sheriff’s Office report states. According to TCPalm.com, Wilcox shot the cow with a .22 caliber pistol, but the weapon was dropped or lost during the attack. His wife later picked up the pistol and shot the cow several more times in the face, driving the animal away. According to the sheriff’s office report, Wilcox’s wife “stated that the cow has always been nasty and had attacked her about a week ago causing bruises.”
Dateline: New York—A suicidal resident of Hell’s Kitchen was saved when he plunged from his ninth-floor apartment window only to land in a mountain of trash bags that had been piling up thanks to New York City’s late-December blizzard. “Maybe it was lucky we had this snow and they hadn’t cleared the garbage,” Katharina Capatos, the aunt of jumper Vangelis “Angelo” Kapatos, told the New York Post. EMTs treated Angelo Kapatos outside his apartment on West 45th Street before transporting him to Bellevue Hospital. Kapatos’ aunt said her nephew had just been released from Bellevue’s psychiatric ward after spending a month there following a nervous breakdown. Kapatos’ trash-based survival was seen as one of the few positive outcomes of the Dec. 26 storm that crippled New York, stopping traffic, garbage collection and other city services. “This was the perfect storm,” Councilman Vincent Ignizio was quoted in the Post as saying. “Excessive amounts of garbage between the Christmas and New Year holidays and nearly 2 1/2 feet of snow.”
Dateline: California—A man who could be the laziest armed robber ever failed to get cash from two separate Orange County fast food restaurants by refusing to even get out of his car. A white male in his mid-30s reportedly drove up to the drive-though at a Carl’s Jr. in San Clemente on the evening of Jan. 5. He then pulled a gun on an employee and demanded money. The employee responded by closing the window, forcing the man to drive away. Orange County Sheriff’s department officials suspect the same man was behind a robbery attempt some 20 minutes later at a nearby El Pollo Loco. Again, the man pulled up to the drive-though and flashed a gun. Again, the employee simply closed the window.