Don't Panic! Lighten Up!S

Grey Alien

Can a space alien rest in peace?

A barking dog runs up and down the length of the chain-link fence. His frenzied warning: Come any closer, I'll tear you to pieces.

I knock on the door. No answer. I knock again and hear a voice. I knock one more time and notice two eyes peeking from behind some blinds. Flashing my badge, I explain I'm doing a story about the alien.

It takes awhile, but she pries open the door a third of the way.

"I'm not sure I can be of any help," she says, in a girlish voice.

"Do you know where he was buried?"

"When people come here, I know they come to see him 'cause they go straight for that tree. The one over there that curves like an arm."

Light Saber

Little Mermaid statue vandalised...again.

Vandals have covered Copenhagen's famed Little Mermaid statue with pink paint, tourists who visited the landmark said.

Police could not immediately to confirm the incident, and it was not clear whether the vandalism was linked to two days of left-wing youth riots in the Danish capital.

"It was pink from head to toe," Kristoffer Eriksen, 29, said.

He said police were taking pictures of the statue while a cleanup crew tried to remove the paint with soap and high-pressure water cleaners.


Nude photos bring conman down to earth

A German who built a hut at the top of a telecommunications mast to avoid going to prison has been lured down by nude photos of his wife.

Fred Gregor, 45, from Werben, spent ten days in the wooden hut at the top of the 72ft metal aerial to avoid serving 15 months for an internet fraud conviction.

But he was lured down when his 25-year-old former stripper wife Suzi sent him naked pictures of herself inside a food parcel.

Life Preserver

Trickster put shark in Austrian river

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water - well, it is, actually.

A mystery triggered this week by the bizarre discovery of the carcass of a 3-foot-long shark in a freshwater river in northern Austria ended Saturday when a man confessed he had put it there as a joke.

The prankster, an apprentice chef working at a hotel in the province of Upper Austria, told the newspaper Oesterreich that he put the dead shark in the river Voeckla after it began to smell while he was thawing it out for a buffet.


Lonely Irishman brought donkey to hotel room, court told

A man who was found dressed in latex and handcuffs brought a donkey to his room in a Galway city centre hotel, because he was advised "to get out and meet people," the local court heard last week.

Thomas Aloysius McCarney with an address in south Galway was charged with cruelty to animals, lewd and obscene behaviour, and with being a danger to himself when he appeared before the court on Friday. He was also charged with damage to a mini-bar in the room, but this charge was later dropped when the defendant said that it was the donkey who caused that damage.

Bizarro Earth

Blair photo 'shows rude gesture'

A photograph appearing to show a young Tony Blair making a rude gesture has been published in full for the first time, by the BBC's Newsnight programme.

The photo, of a 21-year-old Mr Blair, has been previously been cropped to show only his head.

The prime minister has described the image as "a picture that I wouldn't mind if I never saw again."

It was found by a Newsnight reporter while researching a student photo of Tory leader David Cameron.


Enriched uranium unearthed from man's garden

A German man obtained enriched uranium and buried it in his garden, raising concerns about the security of Germany's nuclear reactors, the environment ministry in the state of Lower Saxony said.

"How do pellets get out of a nuclear reactor? That's not supposed to happen," said ministry spokeswoman Jutte Kremer-Heye.

She said it was unclear when the man, a resident of the north-western German town of Lauenfoerder, got hold of and buried the 14 low-enriched uranium pellets, which he had sealed in a steel container wrapped in a plastic bag.


Pope is warned of a green Antichrist

An arch-conservative cardinal chosen by the Pope to deliver this year's Lenten meditations to the Vatican hierarchy has caused consternation by giving warning of an Antichrist who is "a pacifist, ecologist and ecumenist".

Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, 78, who retired as Archbishop of Bologna three years ago, quoted Vladimir Solovyov (1853-1900), the Russian philosopher and mystic, as predicting that the Antichrist "will convoke an ecumenical council and seek the consensus of all the Christian confessions".

The "masses" would follow the Antichrist, "with the exception of small groups of Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants" who would fight to prevent the watering down and ultimate destruction of the faith, he said.


Man Blames Burrito For Paralysis

TAMPA, Fla. -- A man who can no longer feed himself said an uncooked chicken burrito put him in a wheelchair.

Anderson said he ate the burrito at a Moe's Southwest Grill in Land O' Lakes in September and became sick with stomach cramps, diarrhea and joint pains.


Girl's hiccups stop, mysteriously, after 5 weeks

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- She sipped pickle juice, held her breath, breathed into a bag, even went to a neurologist, but for more than five weeks nothing would stop a 15-year-old girl's rapid hiccups -- until they finally just stopped on their own.

After trying countless remedies and attracting national media attention, Jennifer Mee said her hiccups suddenly stopped around 5 p.m. Wednesday. No one is certain why.