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Bulletin : Published
Friday, January 02, 2004
Subject: unlikely stories of 2003>>>
Unlikely stories of 2003
Every year, thousands of news stories get overlooked, lost beneath the welter of major international events.
They are, for the most part, simple matters with a human dimension, not involving world leaders, war or other political upheaval, stories which illustrate the extraordinary in the everyday, the amusing, absurd, outlandish and the downright bizarre occurrences which can befall any of us.
Here, then, is a selection of some of those "offbeat" stories which offer an insight into human nature but which may have been overshadowed by more weightier news items in 2003:
BEJA, Portugal - A school janitor set a teenager's leg on fire in an attempt to help the youth recover from an injury he suffered in a fall. The 14-year-old said the janitor applied alcohol to his injured leg and then set it on fire with a lighter. "He told me 'This is what we used to do in the war'. I told him I wasn't in a war," said Antonio Pereira, who was treated for first and second degree burns.
OSLO - A state visit to Norway by Kyrgyzstan President Askar Akajev ended in diplomatic disarray when none of his hosts wanted to accept his gift, a pair of extremely rare and expensive Taigan puppy dogs, of which there are only about 100 left. The president was told at Trondheim airport in the north of the country that he could not bring them into Norway, which has strict quarantine rules. To make matters worse, it quickly transpired that neither Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik nor King Harald wanted to the accept the 13-week old pups.
MOSGIEL, New Zealand - Organisers of a Christmas grotto banned children from sitting on Santa's knee because they feared being held responsible if anything untoward happened. Instead, the children had to sit next to him, on specially decorated "elf chairs", as they discuss their Christmas wish list. Graham Glass, who dressed up as Father Christmas for the event, was clearly insulted. "It's bloody ridiculous -- I can't believe we have become so politically correct," he said.
HELSINKI - A Finnish judge who often rules in drink-driving cases landed on the other side of the bench when she was charged with being drunk in charge of a court. The judge, a woman in her late 50s, was trying a criminal case when lawyers said they believed she was inebriated and an alcohol test showed her blood-alcohol level was more than three times over Finland's legal limit for driving.
VOLGODONSK, Russia - Alexander Nakonechny triumphed at a vodka drinking marathon after downing three half-litre mugs in quick succession but was unable to collect his prize of 10 bottles of the stuff when he dropped dead on the spot. The contest also left four other men fighting for their lives at the local hospital but a woman who took part managed to stagger out of the clinic a few hours after being rushed there and having her stomach pumped.
ISTANBUL - A woman locked her rich industrialist husband naked in the bathroom for three years claiming he was mentally disturbed. His crime? Taking three showers a day. Orhan Babutcu, 41, was found naked with a bowl on the floor for his food. "Her goal was to make me sick so that I die and she inherits my fortune," he said, adding that his wife had been living it up with other men while he was locked in the bathroom.
ZURICH - A Swiss-based underwear maker has developed a high-tech bra which it claims will help women quit smoking thanks to perfumed capsules which give cigarettes an unpleasant taste and soothe withdrawal symptoms. Triumph International said the capsules contain lavender scent, which has sedative properties, as well as normally sweet-smelling jasmine that alters the taste of cigarettes. The company said the bra was also treated with liquid titanium to break down cigarette smoke.
KUALA LUMPUR - A Malaysian man who sought treatment for swelling in his eye had a shock when doctors found a six centimetre length of chopstick embedded just beneath his brain. The chopstick, which ran from under his right eye through his nose and to the back of his left eye, was believed to have been lodged there five years ago during an attack by unknown assailants.
ESKISEHIR, Turkey - A disgruntled father has complained to the European Court of Human Rights after a doctor allegedly botched his 11-year-old son's circumcision. Seyfettin Aydinoglu said the four doctors who carried out the operation, which is required by Islam, were drunk at the time and chopped off part of his penis instead of removing only the foreskin. The hospital denied the accusation, saying the boy's penis was deformed years ago when he fell into a well.
ROME - A Roman Catholic charity in Italy has set up a helpline for a neglected group of sufferers -- the clients of prostitutes. The aptly-named Don Giovanni Sandona, head of the charity Caritas, cited the torment endured by thousands of people who pay for sex and said: "It's no longer possible to face up to the problem of prostitution without analysing and helping the clients of prostitutes."
LANCIANI, Italy - An Italian couple were given suspended jail sentences for indecent exposure after being caught making love in their parked car. Nothing unusual in that, except that rather against the odds the game couple were aged 86 and 74 and they were denounced by a group of prudish teenaged schoolgirls.
LAGOS - A doctor was shot dead by a patient who was testing the potency of an anti-bullet charm the doctor had prepared for him. Ashi Terfa died when patient Umaa Akor fired a gun at his head after he had tied the charm around his neck. The man was charged with culpable homicide and released on bail as police said the motive to kill could not be established as the doctor had asked him to shoot him to test the charm.
HSINCHU, Taiwan - An 82-year-old woman is threatening to sue her 90-year-old husband after he was found having an extramarital affair with another woman, aged 80. The two were discovered in flagrante delecto when police and the wife searched a hostel and the errant husband told them he was love with the younger woman and did not regret what he had done.
SANTIAGO - After living together for 57 years, Isolina Ojeda, 107, and her 86-year-old lover Oscar Martinez finally decided to make it official by getting married. After the ceremony, the blushing bride, slightly hard of hearing, said: "We had to get married, as God intended. It's a sin to live the way we were living."
(Friday, January 02, 2004)
(Saturday, January 03, 2004)
etto kothin angrazi bujha amar kommo nah