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Fri, 18 Jun 2021
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13-year-old boy breaks vow of silence after 10 years

Ten years ago Ben Grocock told his mother that if she made him have an operation to remove his tonsils he would never speak again.

And, after coming round from the anaesthetic following surgery, the boy steadfastly stuck to his word - until now.

Ben Grocock, now aged 13, has barely uttered a word throughout most of his life, following the promise he made when he was just three years old.

For a decade he only communicated with his family, friends and teachers with scrawled notes and actions.

Now he has finally broken his self-imposed silence - thanks to a love of fire engines.

Clock

Five-second rule for dropped food? Try 30

A man drops a brownie on the floor. If he picks it up within five seconds, should he still eat it? Two U.S. students claim the answer is yes.

In fact, they say he could wait half a minute.

The students, who are seniors at Connecticut College, studied the five-second rule as part of their microbiology class.

Bizarro Earth

Russian "Ninja" robs Italian villagers at arrow-point

A 31-year-old Russian national has been arrested for attacking and robbing Italian villagers in a province in northeast Italy, dressed head to toe in black and wielding a bow and arrow, Italian police said.

According to police, Igor Vaclavic would dress up in a Ninja outfit come nightfall, don a mask and arm himself with a bow and arrow before setting out for isolated farms near the town of Rovigo.

Having picked out a target, the "Ninja" bandit would attack the owners, threatening to shoot everyone with his medieval weapon and demanding gold, jewelry and money.

Reports of the raids so panicked the district that villagers would barricade themselves inside their farms at night, although that did not save some of them. Vaclavic would reportedly smash windows with a volley of arrows, and break in letting out blood-curdling yells.

Magic Wand

U.S. cartoon satire about Bush to premiere on television

The popular American television channel Comedy Central announced the release Wednesday of an animated satirical show portraying President George W. Bush and his inner circle as a band of mischievous kids.

Lil' Bush relates the fictitious adventures of the current U.S. president, featuring him as a schoolboy, but is set in the real political context of today, except that in the movie, the nation's incumbent Chief Executive is his father, George Bush Sr.

The title character, Lil' George Bush, resides in the White House with his mom and dad and makes mischief with school buddies Lil' Condi, Lil' Cheney, and Lil' Rummy - characters inspired by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Wolf

12 animals escape from zoo in Berlin, join rush-hour traffic

Berlin commuters on Wednesday found themselves sharing the road with escapees from a local zoo - six horses, three camels, two goats and a llama.

Heart

'Cute Knut' Raking in Cash at Berlin Zoo

"Cute Knut," Germany's celebrity polar bear cub, is turning into a moneymaker for the Berlin Zoo, which expects to bring in $3.3 million more than last year due to a dramatic rise in visitors.

©n/a

Bizarro Earth

Only psychopaths would think of such idea. Pentagon confirms it sought to build a 'Gay Bomb'

A Berkeley watchdog organization that tracks military spending said it uncovered a strange U.S. military proposal to create a hormone bomb that could purportedly turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting.

Pentagon officials on Friday confirmed to CBS station KPIX-TV in San Francisco that military leaders had considered, and then subsequently rejected, building the so-called gay bomb.

Edward Hammond, of Berkeley's Sunshine Project, had used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain a copy of the proposal from the Air Force's Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio.

As part of a military effort to develop non-lethal weapons, the proposal suggested, "One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior."

Wine

G8 2007 - a drunkards summit? Sarkozy's teetotal image is blurred

France's teetotal President appears to have fallen off the wagon during a bonding session with Vladimir Putin at the G8 summit.

A video showing the usually precise Nicolas Sarkozy in unsteady form at a press conference that came after his meeting with the Russian head of state.

Apparently trying to suppress a laugh, Mr Sarkozy excused himself for arriving late and seemed at a loss to know what to tell the assembled journalists.

"Would you prefer me to answer questions?" he said with a broad smile as he swayed behind the lectern at the summit in Heiligendamm, Germany. "Well then, are there any questions?"

USA

Judge cries in court as he sues the pants of dry cleaners

WASHINGTON - A judge had to leave the courtroom with tears running down his face Tuesday after recalling the lost pair of trousers that led to his $54 million lawsuit against a dry cleaner.

Comment: Was he just trying to copy Paris Hilton?

Apparently he didn't cry out for his Mommy.


Heart

120-year-old love story uncovered as Australian painting is restored

Experts restoring a painting by one of Australia's best-known artists, Arthur Streeton, have stumbled across a 120-year-old love story concealed in the canvas. The impressionist work,Spring, which was completed in 1890, depicts an idyllic rural Australian scene, with a group of naked boys bathing in a hillside stream.