Odds & Ends
Dateline: Cambodia—Police in Phnom Penh have been accused of using a most unusual form of torture. Two teenage boys, arrested last Sunday night on suspicion of stealing five bags of soap powder from a parked car, say police force-fed them bananas until they got sick and confessed. Policeman Yim Simony denied any official wrongdoing. "They were hungry and annoyed and they refused to answer our questions," he told the Cambodia Daily. "But after they ate the bananas, they answered questions."
Dateline: Brazil—A member of Brazil's Parliament has lost his seat over allegations that he inflated his numbers by offering free Viagra in exchange for voters' support. Antonio Jose Morea Souza, from the PMDP party, won his seat in 2002 with 81,143 votes, but a police investigation was later launched into his election. It was eventually determined that the politician has given away boxes of Viagra to residents who promised to vote for him. In addition to losing his seat in Northern Brazil, the Regional Electoral Tribunal decided to fine Souza $6000.
Dateline: England—Executives at a Nestlé chocolate factory in York are trying to figure out who printed rude messages on thousands of Aero candy bar wrappers. A source at the factory told the York Evening Press that the words "Shit Bar" mysteriously appeared where the "Best before" date and code would normally be printed. The company said a "misprint" had occurred, but added that none of the bars had left the factory. A company spokeswoman declined to confirm what the words were, but said the company took the matter very seriously. It is believed that some 20 pallets of the popular Aero Bars had been affected. The wrappers come to the factory on pre-printed rolls of paper, but the “Best before” date and a code are printed during the production process. The company spokeswoman also denied rumors that the entire staff on a particular shift had been threatened to be fired unless the culprit came forward by the end of the week. "We do not go in for threats," she said.
Dateline: Hong Kong—A 48-year-old Hong Kong woman is suing the government after conservation officers chased a stray monkey into her apartment. Cai Ai-Lan told the Small Claims Tribunal that officials spooked the monkey with their nets while they were trying to catch it in September. The monkey allegedly went on a minor rampage in the woman's apartment, knocking over and destroying an expensive flat-screen television. According to the Apple Daily newspaper, the woman is seeking 30,000 Hong Kong dollars ($3,846) in damages to cover the TV. Conservation officers defended themselves, saying that any damage to the woman's television was not their fault. Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department spokesman Albert Hui told the Associated Press that conservation officers had not yet started chasing the monkey at the time it ran into Cai's apartment. While the lawsuit is being settled, Cai has replaced her old television with a bulkier conventional model. "It is heavier, so if the monkey comes again, it's not easily overturned," Cai was quoted as telling the South China Morning Post.
Dateline: Australia—When he learned that a serial burglar had been let out of jail, Northern Territory Supreme Court Justice Dean Mildren demanded to know the name of "the idiot" who had granted bail in the case. Unfortunately, it turned out to be Northern Territory Supreme Court Justice Dean Mildren. Tristan Ellis, 18, was last granted bail by Justice Mildren on Nov. 25 after breaching a curfew imposed by the judge last April. The teen had been facing 28 breaking-and-entering charges. Ellis was ordered to attend drug rehabilitation programs in Darwin. Instead of attending the court-ordered rehab, the self-described "lowlife" promptly committed 17 more break-ins and assaults. The judge told reporters last Monday that he was "absolutely staggered" that Ellis had been given bail three times last year. "Who was the idiot who did that?" By Tuesday, Mildren was forced to concede that he was "the idiot." Ellis is now facing life in prison.
Dateline: Pennsylvania—A 15-year-old girl from Latrobe has been arrested and charged with possessing and distributing child pornography—namely nude pictures of herself. State police say the girl took photos of herself in various states of undress and performed a variety of sexual acts. She then sent the images to people she met in various chat rooms on the Internet. The girl's computer was seized by police, who conducted a forensic investigation and found dozens of photographs of the unnamed juvenile stored on the hard drive. A hearing date has not been set.
Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. E-mail your weird news to firstname.lastname@example.org.