Don't Panic! Lighten Up!S

Magic Wand

Sailor rescued by neighbour - 6,500 km from home

British sailor who was adrift in the Caribbean for two days without food was shocked when his mayday was answered - by a neighbour.

Bizarro Earth

Limousine Passenger Robs Bank

Evonne Maurice apparently wanted to get away in style. The 22-year-old pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to trying to rob a bank at a drive-up window while traveling in a hired limousine.

Authorities said Maurice had a limousine take her to a Citizens Bank branch in Cranston and told the driver she needed to withdraw cash to pay for the ride. Then she walked up to the window and handed the teller an envelope with a note demanding money and saying there were two bombs in the bank.

Bizarro Earth

Taiwan MPs put on wrestling shows for publicity

Taiwan politicians know how to put on a good show. But the brawling and histrionics in parliament that have put Taiwan politics on the world map for the past 20 years are staged acts, legislators and political observers say.

They are planned in advance to generate media attention and garner favour with voters who like to see their representatives fight as hard as they can on tough issues.

Lawmakers even call up allies to ask that they wear sports shoes ahead of the choreographed clashes. They have been known to meet up afterwards for drinks.

"It's really a media event, staged for media coverage," said Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Joanna Lei. "They have a strategy session, like a war plan."


25-year-old advert fools homebuyers

At a time when the average house price across the UK is around £200,000, an advert offering a four-bedroom house in Edgbaston for £53,500 was bound to catch the eye.

Unfortunately for a host of potential buyers, and the home's owners Anne and Tony Edwards who were deluged with calls and visits, the advert was 25 years out of date.

Details of the property, a detached home with two bathrooms, were included in an archive issue of the Birmingham Mail, reprinted to celebrate Aston Villa's European Cup success in 1982.


Spring Brings Nudity to Vermont Town

BRATTLEBORO, Vermont - Spring has arrived in this southeastern Vermont town known for its live-and-let-live culture. The trees are less bare, and some local residents are more so.


UK: 2,500 post offices will be closed

Around 2,500 post offices are to close under plans to put the network on a sustainable footing for the "email age", the Government confirmed today.

Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling told MPs that the current size of the network could not be maintained after revealing that losses had grown to £4 million a week.

The Government also unveiled a £1.7 billion package, including an annual subsidy of £150 million, to prevent further closures and help the Royal Mail attract new business.

No details of where the cuts will fall were given on Thursday but consultations will now be held to identify branches which will close.


Dog Nurses Tiger Triplets at China Zoo

BEIJING - It's a dog's life for three newborn tiger triplets in eastern China. The cubs, whom officials at the Jinan Paomaling Wild Animal World in Shandong province are so far just calling "One," "Two" and "Three," have been nursed by a dog since they were rejected by their tiger mother shortly after birth, said Paomaling manager Chen Yucai.


Bizarro Earth

India: Train passengers asked to get out and push

Hundreds of Indian rail passengers got more than they had bargained for when the driver of their train asked them to get out and push.

It took more than half an hour to move the stalled electric train 12 feet so that it touched live overhead wires and was able to resume its journey, officials said on Wednesday.

The incident occurred in the eastern state of Bihar on Tuesday after a passenger pulled the train's emergency chain and it halted in a "neutral zone," a short length of track where there is no power in the overhead wires.


Most in America flunk in religious knowledge

Quick: Name the four Gospels. How about the Ten Commandments? The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism? Seven Catholic sacraments? Hello? Anybody?

America purports to be a religious nation, yet what we know about religion is, well, sinful. In his new book, "Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know -- And Doesn't," Stephen Prothero, head of Boston University's religion department, says it's time to teach religion in America -- not devotion, but religion.

Penis Pump

Police arrest 'hugging bandit'

BUFFALO, N.Y.- The "Hugging Bandit" - the plus-size pickpocket who put the squeeze on tipsy men and their wallets in upstate New York - is behind bars, police said. Myra Castleberry, 48, was being held without bail and police hoped they had seen the last of a decade-long spree of thefts.