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Bizarro Earth

N.Z. couple can't name their son '4real'

New Zealand authorities have blocked a couple's bid to officially name their new son "4real," saying numerals are not allowed.

Pat and Sheena Wheaton said they decided to name their new baby "4real" shortly after having an ultrasound and being struck by the reality of his impending arrival.

"For most of us, when we try to figure out what our names mean, we have to look it up in a babies book and ... there's no direct link between the meaning and the name," Pat Wheaton told TV One on Wednesday. "With this name, everyone knows what it means."

But when the parents filed the name with New Zealand's Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, they were told names beginning with a number were against the rules.

Bizarro Earth

Muscleman Facing Jail Over Disability Con

A bodybuilder who claimed £43,000 in disability benefits despite being fit enough to win a strongman contest is facing jail.

Jon Stentiford, 35, insisted he had crippling back pain while secretly putting himself through a gruelling training schedule.

The 'disabled' man went on to dominate Cornwall's Strongest Man contest in 2003.

Despite the publicity surrounding him, the father-of-two was able to continue claiming benefits because he had entered the competition under a false name.

Star

Waitress may win Million-Dollar stock picking contest

It's Friday afternoon in the tiny Appalachia town of St. Clairsville, Ohio, and Mary Sue Williams is about to begin her shift as a waitress at Undo's, a spacious Italian restaurant that overlooks Interstate 70. She enjoys taking care of her regulars, she says, and after nine years in her job, she has accumulated plenty of them. Even with dozens of the restaurant's tables empty, she cuts quickly across the floor to the bar to refill an empty water glass. "I'm going to do this until I can't walk," Williams says, insisting that she wouldn't quit for a million dollars.

That conviction may soon be put to the test. Williams could be in line to win the stockpicking contest sponsored by cable channel CNBC, which carries a million-dollar grand prize. According to the last official standings, posted on May 25, she was in sixth place, with a 29% return during the two-week final round. But as BusinessWeek first reported, a handful of top finishers are suspected of exploiting a loophole in CNBC's trading software to inflate their returns (see BusinessWeek.com, 6/7/07, "CNBC's Easy Money"). CNBC later acknowledged the problems and said it will disqualify contestants who violated any of the game's rules. Based on BusinessWeek's analysis of the trading results for the contest's finalists, Williams appears to be the most likely winner.

Coffee

Holy Grail buried under Roman basilica?

An Italian archaeologist, Alfredo Barbagallo, claims that the legendary Holy Grail is hidden in the catacombs under the 6th-century Roman basilica of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls.

Barbagallo believes that the Holy Grail-- the chalice used at the Last Supper-- is kept in a room that is now buried under the basilica. His claim is based on two years of studying medieval iconography inside the basilica. In the wake of Barbagallo's claim, archeological authorities in Rome may give approval for the catacombs to be opened and examined.

Bizarro Earth

Continental apologizes for sewage overflow during flight

Passengers who endured a two-day trans-Atlantic odyssey with sewage overflowing from a jet's lavatories are getting an apology from Continental Airlines Inc. for the "poor conditions."

Flight 71, with 168 customers on board, took off June 13 from Amsterdam bound for Newark, N.J., but only got as far as Shannon, Ireland, because of a problem with the restrooms.

The flight resumed the next day after repair work seemed to restore smooth flow in the lavatory system, a Continental spokesman said Thursday. But during the flight from Shannon to Newark, renamed Flight 1970, "the problem developed again," spokesman Dave Messing said.

When the plane landed in Newark, he said, it was discovered that the blockage was caused by someone flushing latex gloves down the toilet - despite signs that warn not to discard foreign objects into the system.

"Occasionally these instructions are overlooked," he said.

Bizarro Earth

Brazilian woman gives birth in shower after un-noticed pregnancy

A woman in the Brazilian state of Sao Paolo spent nine months blissfully unaware she was pregnant, then gave birth while taking a shower, local media reported.

Claudia Fernanda, 27, gave birth to a girl weighing 3.3 kilograms, with a height of 48 centimeters.

"I did not know I was pregnant," she told doctors in a maternity department, where she came on foot with her baby, the umbilical cord still attached.

Claudia Fernanda, who is unemployed and already has three children aged eight, six, and four, said she had visited a doctor a week before the delivery, but the examination had not revealed any signs of pregnancy.

Health

15-year-old performs surgery in India

The 15-year-old son of two doctors performed a filmed Caesarean section birth under his parents' watch in southern India in an apparent bid to gain a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest surgeon.

Instead, the boy's father could be stripped of his licenses and may face criminal charges, officials said Thursday.

Dr. K. Murugesan showed a recording of his son performing a Caesarean section to an Indian Medical Association chapter in the southern state of Tamil Nadu last month, said Dr. Venkatesh Prasad, secretary of the association. The video showed Murugesan anesthetizing the patient.

"We were shocked to see the recording," Prasad told The Associated Press, adding that the IMA told Murugesan that his act was an ethical and legal violation.

Light Sabers

Chinese police banned from dyeing hair, wearing jewelry

Chinese police have been banned from dyeing their hair and wearing jewelry, the Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday citing an instruction by the Public Security Ministry.

Those officers who come to work with dyed hair will be ordered to dye it back to the original color. Policewomen will be prohibited from wearing scarves or painting their nails, and policemen will have to have short and neat haircuts.

Clock

Dutch man arrested for driving without license for 67 years

Dutch police have arrested an 84-year-old driver for driving without a license for 67 years, a police spokesperson said Wednesday.

The police said they had discovered the offense after an insurance check. The driver said he had driven a car for 67 years without ever having an accident or being stopped by the police.

He admitted to driving without a license, insurance, and never having had his vehicle examined at a garage, he assured the police that he would take his car to the scrap dealers straight away.

Bizarro Earth

'Ridiculous' visa rulings set out

UK tourist visas are often denied to would-be visitors because they "plan a holiday for no particular purpose other than sightseeing", a report says.

Others were turned down because they had never previously taken any foreign travel or could not speak English.

The "ridiculous reasons" for rejecting visas were set out in a report by the independent monitor of UK visas.

Linda Costelloe Baker's report said that despite such flaws there had been "significant improvement in quality."

But she said entry clearance officers could use "some ridiculous reasons when refusing visa for tourist visits".

She said a common reason for refusal was "you wish to go to the UK for a holiday. You have never previously undertaken any foreign travel before and I can see little reason for this trip".