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 V.21 No.12 | March 22 - 28, 2012 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Germany

A newborn animal celebrity proved to be a short-lived phenomenon after a cameraman stepped on the tiny earless bunny during a zoo press conference. The Limbach-Oberfrohna zoo in eastern Germany’s Saxony region was holding the press conference to introduce the world to Til, a two-week-old earless rabbit. Unfortunately, according to Spiegel Online, the TV cameraman in question didn’t spot the tiny bunny, took a step backward and accidentally crushed him. “He was immediately dead. He didn’t suffer,” Zoo Director Uwe Dempewolf told the website. “It was a direct hit.” Dempewolf said everyone at the zoo was upset and “the cameraman was distraught.” Earless rabbits are quite rare and Spiegel Online speculated that the tiny critter would have been a media sensation in Germany, which has a history of worshipping furry baby animals such as Knut the polar bear. Til’s body has been frozen while zoo officials debate the possibility of having him stuffed.

Dateline: Egypt

An ultraconservative member of Egyptian parliament has resigned his seat and his party post after secretly getting a nose job and then lying about it. The government-owned Al-Ahram weekly reports that Egyptian MP Anwar El-Balkimy explained his recent facial bandages by telling reporters he had been attacked by masked gunmen on a desert highway between Cairo and Alexandria in early March. According to El-Balkimy, he was robbed, beaten and left unconscious by the side of the road. Employees at a plastic surgery clinic in Giza, however, told reporters that the newly elected, ultraconservative Islamist politician was getting a nose job on the day of the alleged attack. El-Balkimy initially denied the claim and accused doctors of lying. A statement on the party’s official Facebook page now confirms the lawmaker resigned after being questioned in the hospital by the head of the Salafist El-Nour Party. The Islamic political party has demanded an official apology from El-Balkimy—to the party, the parliament and the hospital’s doctors.

Dateline: Australia

Four thrill-seeking cocktail guzzlers found a novel—and dangerous—way to skip out on their check. The Sydney Morning Herald reports four men dressed in business suits went to the Vue de Monde penthouse restaurant atop the Rialto Towers in Melbourne and each ordered a gin-based Negroni cocktail. After downing the cocktails—which cost around $20 apiece—the men walked out on the restaurant’s balcony, locked the doors and leaped off the 55th floor. Turns out the men were wearing BASE-jumping parachutes underneath their businessmen attire. “I ran from the kitchen into the room and I just saw a flash of them jumping over, and at that stage none of us knew what the hell was going on,” the restaurant’s owner, Shannon Bennett, told reporters. “They had cameras on their helmets so I’m sure we’ll all see it on YouTube soon. I hope they are caught—they need to pay their bill.” A getaway vehicle was waiting at the bottom of the Rialto Towers to whisk the dine-and-dash daredevils away. Police are reviewing video from the restaurant, hoping to find the suspects.

Dateline: Minnesota

Eric Lee King, 21, of Columbia Heights was charged with misdemeanor shoplifting in Dakota County District Court after a police officer caught him trying to smuggle a 19-inch television out of a store in his pants. According to St. Paul Pioneer Press, a police officer spotted King on Dec. 5 in the parking lot of a store in Eagan. King dropped a box of candy and the officer tried to alert him. King allegedly failed to respond to the officer and the officer noted that King was “walking strangely.” The officer drove up to King and honked his horn to get his attention, but King still did not respond. The officer got out of his car and noticed a large rectangular object stuffed down King’s pants. The object turned out to be a 19-inch flat-screen television. Also found in King’s pants that day: a remote control, power cords, a bottle of brake fluid and a bottle of Xanax pills without a prescription. In addition to the shoplifting charge, King was also nailed with fifth-degree felony possession of a controlled substance.

Dateline: Iowa

A rural Redfield man was treated for two gunshot wounds after he tried—unsuccessfully—to shoot a raccoon in a cage. According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 68-year-old Larry Godwin had captured a raccoon in a live trap. For whatever reason, he decided to shoot the animal with a .22 caliber pistol. Fortunately for the raccoon—and unfortunately for Godwin—the bullet ricocheted off the cage and struck the man in the lower abdomen. Godwin promptly dropped the pistol, which struck the ground, firing again and hitting Godwin in roughly the same spot as the first bullet. He was taken to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines by private vehicle. The DNR said his injuries were not life threatening.

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

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