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Magic Wand

Top criminals fixed Rio carnival result, say police

Underworld figures fixed the results of Rio de Janeiro's carnival parade this year, according to Brazilian police. Press reports suggest that top criminals used bribes and a hitman to buy and intimidate members of the carnival jury.

The fixing allegations centre on Anisio Abraao David, 69, the honorary president of the Beija-Flor (hummingbird) samba school, whose empire includes a penthouse apartment on Copacabana beach complete with a swimming pool with a hummingbird motif on the bottom.

USA

Butts charged with stealing toilet paper from courthouse!

Police blame a woman named Butts for stealing toilet paper from a central Iowa courthouse, and while they're chuckling, the theft charge could put her in prison.

Light Saber

Deaf Dolphin gives birth to healthy calf

A stranded deaf Atlantic bottlenose dolphin delivered her calf Monday at a marine mammal rehabilitation center in the Florida Keys. The unnamed calf is approximately 42 inches long and weighs about 30 pounds, according to officials at the Marine Mammal Conservancy.

©AP
In this photo released by the Florida Keys News Bureau, a dolphin calf, right, surfaces for air Monday, June 11, 2007, as it swims next to her mother, named Castaway, about an hour after being born Monday in at the Marine Mammal Conservancy in Key Largo, Fla. Castaway stranded late last year and experts determined the mammal is deaf. Officials at MMC are hoping the calf will develop communications' skills by electronically feeding live dolphin sounds from a nearby Florida Keys dolphin facility after the mother and calf have bonded.

Bomb

Italian senator calls ambulance to beat traffic

WEIRD NEWS

ROME - An Italian senator's boast on television that he cheated traffic jams in Rome during a visit by U.S. President George W. Bush by calling an ambulance may cost him a court appearance, officials said on Sunday.

Comment: Gustavo Selva, born in 1926, was found listed as member n.623 of the P2 Masonic Lodge.


Bizarro Earth

Police nab robber who stole lettuce

One robber's list of things to steal included whiskey, a thermometer and lettuce.

Police were called to a grocery store late Thursday after witnesses said a 46-year-old man from Brown Deer threatened employees. The workers said the man gestured as though he had a concealed gun and told them he would shoot.

The man left with 12 bottles of whiskey, two heads of lettuce and a digital thermometer, police said.

Magic Wand

Scientists calculate how much money it costs to buy happiness

It is one of the most pondered questions of all time - can money buy happiness?

The answer, according to a study, is yes - but so can friendships and successful relationships.

Researchers have been trying to calculate what effect our finances and lifestyle have on our emotions.

Their main source was a survey of 10,000 Britons, who were asked to rate their level of happiness and answer questions on their wealth, health and social relations.

The team, from the University of London, then placed all these people on a "life satisfaction scale" of one (utterly miserable) to seven (euphoric).

Wolf

Randy sniffer dogs have been fired for sexually harassing female passengers

Two Thai street mutts who became ace sniffer dogs at an airport near the notorious "Golden Triangle" opium-producing region have been fired for urinating on luggage and sexually harassing female passengers.

The pair, Mok and Lai, had been plucked from obscurity under a program initiated by King Bhumibol Adulyadej to turn strays into police dogs, the Bangkok Post said on Sunday.

Although they won plaudits from police for their work in sniffing out drugs at northern Thailand's Chiang Rai airport, near the border with Laos and Myanmar, so many passengers complained about their behavior they had to be fired.

"He liked to pee on luggage while searching for drugs inside," Mok's former handler, Police Lieutenant Colonel Jakapop Kamhon, said. "He also liked to hold on to women's legs."

Life Preserver

Roller Coaster Riders Left Hanging upside down!

A dozen riders on an Arkansas roller coaster spent half an hour hanging upside down - 150 feet above the ground - after a power outage shut down the attraction.

It took about 30 minutes for the city Fire Department to rescue the riders using a ladder truck Saturday evening, said Aundrea Crary, spokeswoman for the Springs & Crystal Falls amusement park.

©CBS
An amusement park visitor took this picture of the X-Coaster at Magic Springs when the ride froze, leaving 12 riders hanging upside down.

Life Preserver

Congo rangers treat rare gorilla orphaned in shooting

KINSHASA - National park rangers in the
Democratic Republic of Congo are battling to save a 2-month-old gorilla found clinging to its dead mother, who was shot dead through the back of the head, conservationists said on Sunday.

©Reuters
File photo shows a mountain Gorilla named Baby Ndeze resting on her mother's lap in Mikeno sector, north of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, February 17, 2007.

Wolf

McDonald's to pay Chinese student 147 pounds for rat bite

The world's largest restaurant chain, McDonald's Corp., has been ordered to pay a student some 2,200 yuan (147 pounds) after a rat bit her at one of its outlets in northeastern China, media reported on Sunday.

A local court in Shenyang city in Liaoning province ordered the payment -- covering costs that included $130 for psychological injury -- for the incident last year, the China Merchant Morning Post said.

The woman, whose name was not disclosed, said a rat had climbed up her leg and bit her on the thigh while she was eating a meal at the restaurant.