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 Jan 24 - 30, 2019 
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Odds & Ends

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Odds and Ends

Dateline: Russia

A Russian man who was allegedly stabbed 13 times by his girlfriend proposed to her in court. The Daily Mirror reports the man, named only as Mr. Shakur, spoke to a judge in Nizhnekamsk, Russia, last week on behalf of his unnamed girlfriend, who was facing charges of attempted murder. According to reports, the woman stabbed Shakur at least 13 times during an altercation before he was able to escape and receive medical attention. He was hospitalized for three weeks following the incident. The woman pled guilty to assaulting Shakur, but denied that she intended to kill him. She said she was drunk and angry. A state prosecutor said the woman only failed in killing the victim “due to circumstances she could hardly influence.” At the trial, Shakur reportedly asked the woman to marry him and requested that the judge show leniency so they could plan a wedding date. The unnamed assailant is facing six years in prison. The judge postponed a decision until a future hearing could be arranged. It is unclear why the original altercation occurred.

Dateline: Colorado

A Colorado neighborhood is changing its name from Swastika Acres after 111 years. The Denver Post reports a subdivision in Cherry Hills Village has secretly retained its name, “Swastika Acres,” since 1908. The swastika is now associated with Nazi Germany, but at the time of the neighborhood's inception, a full 12 years before the founding of the National Socialist German Workers' Party in Germany and long before the name Adolf Hitler would mean anything to the world, the swastika was a common symbol found in numerous cultures around the world. When Swastika Acres was founded, the symbol was popular in the American Southwest due to its use in Native art and religion as a symbol for the sun and infinity. Why the name was never changed has remained a mystery, but there are reportedly no official designations of the subdivision as “Swastika Acres” outside of house deeds, so many residents could be unaware of the name. In 2017, members of the Cherry Hills Village Council attempted to change the name, but failed to do so in a timely manner. But last week city officials identified the lots that make up the subdivision and mailed out self-addressed stamped envelopes along with a petition to approve a renaming. To approve the name change, 30 homeowners will have to sign the petition. The council is waiting to receive a response before going forward.

Dateline: California

A landlord in Silicon Valley is renting a studio out to two cats for $1,500 per month. According to KPIX-5 in San Francisco, Victoria Amith, a freshman at Azusa Pacific University in Southern California wasn't allowed to bring her two pets with her to live in her college dorms. Her father was unable to keep them at his house, because they allegedly fought with his fiancé's dogs, so he came up with a plan to deal with the crisis. He approached David Callisch, who owned a space for rent, and struck a deal to allow the animals to live in a studio space. The studio comes with a bathroom, shower and Apple TV. There is no kitchen area. Callisch reportedly feeds the cats every day and Amith and her father visit regularly. Silicon Valley is suffering from a public space shortage at the moment, and studio apartments can cost around $2,000 a month to rent. Amith says the situation is only temporary and she plans to live with the cats again once she finds her own place.

Dateline: China

A number of male Chinese pop stars have had their ears blurred on television, prompting speculation about whether the government is banning depictions of men wearing earrings. BBC News reports images of Chinese pop stars with blurred earlobes have been going viral on Weibo, China's version of Twitter. Millions of users took to the social media platform using the hashtag #MaleTVStarsCantWearEarrings to post still images of men with blurred ears and to question if Chinese authorities had explicitly ordered an “earring ban.” Many criticized the move as gender stereotyping. Last year China's television regulators banned the use of actors with tattoos or media that depicted “hip-hop culture.” The government also barred some programs for expressing “overt admiration for Western lifestyles.” It is unclear if the recent examples of censorship were officially sanctioned, however. A professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong's School of Journalism and Communications, Grace Leung, told CNN that the earring ban could be influenced by the government's desire to “purify their pop culture from the Western influence.”

Dateline: Iowa

A man won $1 on a lottery scratch ticket and demanded the winnings be presented on a giant check—the Iowa Lottery agreed. According to WHO-13 in Iowa, Tyler Heep bought the ticket with change he found in his car last week. When he scratched it and found that he'd won $1, he decided to go to the state Lottery office to cash it in. He reportedly asked that his “big prize” be delivered on a big check, and was surprised when Lottery officials acquiesced. Heep told reporters that he was led to an area where the check was presented to him and a photo was taken. “They decided to treat me like a million dollar winner.” He reportedly spent his winnings on half a gallon of gas.

Compiled by Joshua Lee. Email your weird news to josh@alibi.com.

 
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