Odds & Ends
The BBC is reporting that Moscow's Kremlin will start selling an exclusive line of government-approved diary products to the general public. Presidential press secretary Elena Krylova told the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper that “milk, buttermilk, yogurt and possibly cheese” made specially for the presidential administration and other senior government officials will be marketed starting next year under the brand name “Kremlin Quality.” The upscale dairy items are a holdover from Soviet Union times when special farms were reserved exclusively for Communist leaders. Ms. Krylova assured the press that prices would be “no higher than in the supermarkets,” as authorities want to make sure the goods are “within the reach of all sections of the public.” A representative of the Kremlin Quality website told the Vedomosti business daily that government officials will still have some advantages over the general public, such as the ability to have online orders delivered directly to their places of work. Russians responded to the news humorously, with many asking when special spirits produced exclusively for Soviet leaders by the Moscow Cristall Distiller would be available to non-government types. Ms. Krylova responded by telling consumers the government will stick to marketing Kremlin milk products. “I think there’s already enough alcohol out there,” she added.
A family who posted an invitation to their daughter’s quinceañera party on Facebook saw the video go viral, and now more than 1 million people have RSVPed to the event. Teenager Rubí Ibarra García’s father can be seen in the 45-second video, saying, “Hello, how you doing? We invite you on Dec. 26 to our daughter Rubí Ibarra García’s quinceañera party.” Dad continues the invite by naming some of the local bands that will by playing the backyard event. The homemade video was posted on Saturday, Dec. 3. Within a week the video inexplicably went viral, spawning countless memes and several Facebook fan pages—one of which has been shared more than 900,000 times. Right now, 1.3 million people say they are going to Rubí’s quinceañera in La Joya, located in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosi. Since the invitation went viral, Rubi’s father has gone on Facebook, begging people to stop sharing the video. This has only created a bigger wave of attention with Rubí’s 15th birthday party now being billed as the must-not-miss event of the year.
Citing a police report out of Heilongjiang province, the Oriental Daily newspaper reports that a man threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and her family with a homemade bomb—which turned out to be a bundle of smoked sausage links. After failing to reconcile with the lady in question, the unnamed man wrapped paper around four sausages to make them look like a bomb and sent an image of his “explosive” device to his ex on WeChat. He allegedly told her that if she didn’t meet with him, he would blow up her and her family. Unfortunately for the spurned lover, his sister got word of the plot and ratted him out to local police. Police arrested the so-called “sausage bomber” and are charging him with endangering public security.
Police in Manhattan are looking for a particularly unsuccessful bank robber who tried to rob five banks in a three-hour span and walked away with exactly zero dollars. Authorities say the man walked into the Valley National Bank on Fifth Avenue. shortly before 2pm on Monday, Dec. 5. He passed a note to the bank teller demanding money. The teller refused and the man fled. Fifteen minutes later, he walked into a Capital One Bank on Park Avenue and again passed the teller a note demanding money. Again, the teller refused and the man ran off. Undeterred, the man repeated his demand at another bank on Park Avenue about 30 minutes later. Rebuffed for a third time, he tried his luck at a Chase Bank on Lexington. No luck there either. Finally, at around 4:45pm, the man went to the Chase Bank on East 86th Street. The bank teller refused to hand over any money and the man, true to form, ran off. Police believe that the man, last seen wearing a red and white plaid shirt, may have made off with $1,000 from a Seventh Avenue bank on Thursday, Dec. 1, thereby inspiring his less-than-impressive crime spree. No one was hurt in any of the incidents.