Dateline: Australia--A snake was saved by surgery last Wednesday after mistaking a quartet of golfballs for a hearty meal of chicken eggs. A couple had placed the balls in their chicken coop at Nobbys Creek in New South Wales to encourage their hen to nest, Australian Associated Press reported. Late last month, they found the balls missing and discovered a lumpy carpet python nearby. They took the 32-inch non-venomous snake to the nearby Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, where senior veterinarian Michael Pyne operated to remove the golfballs from the snake’s intestine. Pyne told reporters the animal is now on the road to a speedy recovery.
Dateline: Palestine--Seven people were injured on the Thursday before New Year’s when Greek Orthodox and Armenian priests came to blows in a dispute over how to clean the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Following the Christmas celebrations, Greek Orthodox priests set up ladders to clean the walls and ceilings of their part of the church, which is built over the site where Jesus Christ is believed to have been born. According to photographers who had come to take pictures of the annual cleaning ceremony, the ladders encroached on space controlled by Armenian priests. Angry words ensued and a fight quickly followed. For a quarter of an hour, bearded and robed priests pummeled each other with fists, brooms and iron rods while the photographers recorded the action. A dozen unarmed Palestinian policemen were sent to try to separate the pugilistic priests, but two of them were injured in the unholy melee. “As usual, the cleaning of the church after Christmas is a cause of problems,” Bethlehem Mayor Victor Batarseh told Agence France-Presse.
Dateline: Austria--Two Austrian teenagers have been fined nearly $150,000 for chopping down and burying a roadside speed camera. Nineteen-year-old Peter Hochstacher and Thomas Moebel were caught by the camera speeding in the town of Lustenau. Once they realized they had been photographed, the teens pulled over, took out a pair of axes they had with them in the vehicle, chopped down the camera and buried it in a nearby field. Unfortunately for them, the box was found by a local farmer as he plowed his land. Police examined the device and found incriminating pictures of Hochstacher and Moebel on the camera inside. A local court said the fine would cover the cost of replacing the machine.
Dateline: Washington--A fight involving two naked people, a dog and a shower ended in one arrest in the Puget Sound town of Bremerton. An unnamed 25-year-old woman was charged with second-degree assault after getting into an argument with her boyfriend over whether or not his dog should be in the bathroom while the couple took a shower. According to a police report on the incident, the 26-year-old man wanted his dog in the room, but the woman objected. She told him if the dog wouldn’t stay out, she didn’t want to be his girlfriend anymore. He replied that maybe his next girlfriend would appreciate the dog more. At that point, the police report said, the woman punched him in the face several times and the man dislocated his shoulder as the naked couple grappled. He told police his girlfriend threw a picture frame, which broke and cut him. The woman was taken to Kitsap County Jail in Port Orchard. Her bail was set at $50,000.
Dateline: Florida--The Northwest Florida Daily News reports an argument between two sisters escalated to the point that a photograph of a third, deceased sister was used as a weapon. Okaloosa County deputies arrived at a local Motel 6 at 11:49 p.m. last Wednesday to find a pajama-clad woman “bleeding profusely” from a cut on her forehead. The woman told deputies she’d been attacked after asking her sister to hang up the phone on a man she’d met in a bar earlier in the evening. “Her sister became angry and threw a framed picture of their deceased sister at her, striking her in the forehead,” the incident report stated. The woman accused of throwing the photograph “appeared to be very intoxicated,” the report also indicated. The woman accused of throwing the photo was arrested on a charge of domestic violence-related battery.
Dateline: New Mexico--Two men from the town of Chaparral shot themselves with a .357 Magnum while trying to trace the weapon as a pattern for a wicked-cool tattoo. Robert Glasser and Joey Acosta, both 22, were treated at a hospital in El Paso, Texas, after the shooting last Thursday evening near Chaparral. According to the Otero County Sheriff’s Department, Glasser was struck in the hand when the gun accidentally went off, and Acosta was hit in the left arm. The injuries were not life-threatening, authorities said.