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Jack's Bizarre News of the World

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Row over statue with 2ft erection in Salzburg during Prince Charles visit

A row has broken out between Salzburg authorities and a city museum over a giant statue of a man with a two-foot erection that was covered up to save the blushes of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. The contemporary sculpture was erected in a public square by the Rupertinum Museum of Modern Art on the eve of the Prince's visit to Salzburg. City mayor Heinz Schaden said officials had been deliberately misled by the directors of the museum. He said that authorities had given the go-ahead for the project after seeing a sketch of the statue but added it did not correspond to the final controversial artwork called Arc de Triomphe. He said: "The city was deliberately kept in the dark." But museum spokesman Peter Baldinger said: "We can't have civil servants deciding on what can be considered art or not." The sculpture which shows a naked man bending over backwards was covered up with a tarpaulin before Prince Charles arrived to avoid any chance that it might offend him. Charles, who was accompanied by Camilla Parker Bowles, was the guest of honour at the official reception for the annual Salzburg Festival.

Around the world in 4,000 days for duck flotilla thought lost at sea

LONDON (AFP) - The last survivors of an armada of thousands of plastic ducks and other toy animals lost at sea 11 years ago are expected soon to reach British shores, and give occeanographers a valuable lesson in the way the planet works. The epic journey of 29,000 toy ducks, turtles, beavers and frogs began when their container fell from a cargo ship somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in January 1992. But the animals were not entirely lost at sea. Oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer has been using a powerful computer programme in the northwestern US city of Seattle to model the action of the elements on the ducks. According to Ebbesmeyer and his computer, the toy animals are now due to be washed up on Britain's beaches, having completed an epic journey up the western US coast and through the ice floes of the Arctic into the Atlantic Ocean. Soon after their plunge into the oceans, six ducks were found in the US state of Alaska, next to Canada's northwestern corner. But of the thousands that continued their journey, many were not so lucky. Sunk to a watery grave, trapped for eternity in Arctic ice floes or swallowed whole by greedy fish, the planet's northern seas are an inhospitable and unpredictable environment for innocent toys intended for the world's bathtubs. But not so unpredictable for Ebbesmeyer. He says that if his calculations prove correct, many of the toys are due to be washed up in Iceland or the British Isles.

JFK's Boxer Shorts on Display in Ireland

DUBLIN, Ireland - For three brief days, Dublin has an unlikely new tourist attraction a pair of John F. Kennedy's boxer shorts. The white cotton underwear, dating from Kennedy's early career as a U.S. naval officer in World War II, went on display Tuesday in the window of a central Dublin menswear shop. News crews and gaggles of tourists, cameras in hand, were soon competing to capture the essence of the artifact. Paul Allen, an Irish admirer of Kennedy, bought the shorts for $5,000 at an auction last week. Allen says he plans to ship the underwear and one of Kennedy's Italian-made white dress shirts, bought for $2,000, Friday to the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston. But for this week, both Kennedy articles are garnering publicity for one of Ireland's most famous menswear shops, Louis Copeland & Sons. The proprietor, who has tailored suits for the likes of Pierce Brosnan (news) and Tom Jones (news), was making the most of it. "I think the shorts are stylish," Copeland said, standing beside the garment, which has Kennedy's name stitched into the waistband. "If we were to have this quality today we would be very lucky. I haven't seen any like this before."

Only 7, and he's addicted to porn

KAOHSIUNG - A seven-year-old Taiwanese boy is getting expert help for his porn addiction. He started watching X-rated VCDs as a toddler because his grandfather, who was looking after him, liked to watch them, according to a newspaper report. His mother, identified only as Mrs Liu, said her father thought the child would not understand what was going on, the United Daily News said. He was wrong. When the toddler learnt how to switch TV channels, he would search for those showing pornography instead of cartoons. When he was about three years old, his mother found him fondling his penis while a porn film was showing on TV. A shocked Mrs Liu moved out of her father's home, where she lived because her soldier husband was seldom at home. She began to monitor the boy's behaviour and noticed that he liked to be hugged by busty women and would touch their breasts unabashedly, the report said. In kindergarten, he would lift his teachers' skirts and draw naked women instead of cartoon characters. He peeped at a neighbour, a woman who had a habit of sleeping naked without closing the windows. He also stole her underwear and continued to do so despite scoldings and beatings by his mother. Mrs Liu finally realised her young son needed expert help after he started touching her while she was asleep, the newspaper said. Doctors at a psychiatric hospital in Kaohsiung told her that her son's behaviour was the result of prolonged exposure to pornographic films. They said that adults were mistaken if they think very young children do not get influenced by such material.

Dog in Britain offered his own credit card

MANCHESTER, England (AFP) - A pet dog in the north of England has been offered his very own gold credit card with a spending limit of 10,000 pounds (14,000 euros, 16,250 dollars) An application form for a Royal Bank of Scotland credit card arrived at the home of Raymond Slater, in Stockport, greater Manchester, addressed to his Shih-Tzu, Monty. The dog was offered a gold credit card and the chance to earn air miles. "We bought the name from a list broker and have no idea why Monty's details were provided," a spokeswoman for the bank said Monday. "His name has now been removed from the database and we are sending a hamper to Mr. Slater by way of apology," she said. The Royal Bank of Scotland is one of Britain's biggest issuers of credit cards.

Drunk man pussywhips fiancee in feline felony

Ludwigslust, Germany - A man who whipped his fiancee with a cat faces prosecution under Germany's strict animal-rights laws, police said Monday. In a drunken rage, the 43-year-old picked up the pet cat and repeatedly beat his fiancee with the feline until the animal was a bloody pulp. It was unclear whether the 49-year-old woman would file charges of assault. She sustained cuts and bruises. The cat did not survive and the man now faces prosecution under stiff animal-rights laws. A year ago, Germany amended its constitution to protect the rights of all animals. Persons who unlawfully harm or kill animals are liable to steep fines and jail terms. - Sapa-DPA

Pentagon Prepares a Futures Market on Terror Attacks

WASHINGTON, July 28 The Pentagon office that proposed spying electronically on Americans to monitor potential terrorists has a new experiment. It is an online futures trading market, disclosed today by critics, in which anonymous speculators would bet on forecasting terrorist attacks, assassinations and coups. Traders bullish on a biological attack on Israel or bearish on the chances of a North Korean missile strike would have the opportunity to bet on the likelihood of such events on a new Internet site established by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The Pentagon called its latest idea a new way of predicting events and part of its search for the "broadest possible set of new ways to prevent terrorist attacks." Two Democratic senators who reported the plan called it morally repugnant and grotesque. The senators said the program fell under the control of Adm. John M. Poindexter, President Ronald Reagan's national security adviser. One of the two senators, Byron L. Dorgan of North Dakota, said the idea seemed so preposterous that he had trouble persuading people it was not a hoax. "Can you imagine," Mr. Dorgan asked, "if another country set up a betting parlor so that people could go in and is sponsored by the government itself people could go in and bet on the assassination of an American political figure?" After Mr. Dorgan and his fellow critic, Ron Wyden of Oregon, spoke out, the Pentagon sought to play down the importance of a program for which the Bush administration has sought $8 million through 2005. The White House also altered the Web site so that the potential events to be considered by the market that were visible earlier in the day at www.policyanalysismarket.org could no longer be seen. But by that time, Republican officials in the Senate were privately shaking their heads over the planned trading. One top aide said he hoped that the Pentagon had a good explanation for it. The Pentagon, in defending the program, said such futures trading had proven effective in predicting other events like oil prices, elections and movie ticket sales. "Research indicates that markets are extremely efficient, effective and timely aggregators of dispersed and even hidden information," the Defense Department said in a statement. "Futures markets have proven themselves to be good at predicting such things as elections results; they are often better than expert opinions." According to descriptions given to Congress, available at the Web site and provided by the two senators, traders who register would deposit money into an account similar to a stock account and win or lose money based on predicting events. "For instance," Mr. Wyden said, "you may think early on that Prime Minister X is going to be assassinated. So you buy the futures contracts for 5 cents each. As more people begin to think the person's going to be assassinated, the cost of the contract could go up, to 50 cents. "The payoff if he's assassinated is $1 per future. So if it comes to pass, and those who bought at 5 cents make 95 cents. Those who bought at 50 cents make 50 cents." The senators also suggested that terrorists could participate because the traders' identities will be unknown. "This appears to encourage terrorists to participate, either to profit from their terrorist activities or to bet against them in order to mislead U.S. intelligence authorities," they said in a letter to Admiral Poindexter, the director of the Terrorism Information Awareness Office, which the opponents said had developed the idea.

Lost bras face auction fate

BLACKPOOL (AFP) - Pub chain Brannigans is planning to sell off the peculiar number of bras that its staff keeps finding on its premises. Brannigans said patrons have until Sunday to ring up a hotline to be reunited with their lost brassieres -- after which any unclaimed bras will be sold at auction, with proceeds going to charity. "We obviously don't want to keep them in the outlets," said Darren Lea, a Brannigans regional manager, in a company press statement Wednesday. "I think that whilst some of them will be quite hot property, a number may struggle to raise more than a couple of pounds." Some 124 bras have turned up in Brannigans' 15 bars across England since the start of the year, making the undergarments the third most found item after cigarette lighters and mobile phones. Garters ranked fifth on the list.

US envoy finds Indian 'WMD' too hot to handle

NEW DELHI (AFP) - US Ambassador to India Robert Blackwill ended his stormy two-year tenure in New Delhi with the candid admission that a regional strain of Indian pepper was too hot for him to handle. In another admission, Blackwill, who leaves for Washington Wednesday said he hoped to acquire the feline skills of India's Royal Bengal tigers to survive on Capitol Hill as special advisor to US President George W. Bush. In his final speech to local business captains, he tagged a unique label to chillies that lace the cuisine of India's southern Andhra Pradesh state, in an opaque reference to the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. "Andhra Pradesh with its path-breaking e-governance, and food hotter than hot. Don't let anyone tell you differently; those Andhra peppers are without doubt weapons of mass destruction!" Blackwill said in his stirring address

Witch Doctor Charged with Having Human Skull

LAGOS (Reuters) - A Nigerian witch doctor has been charged with possessing a human skull for rituals, police said Tuesday. Police recovered other fetish items like cowries and horns from the man's shrine in the city of Benin, about 180 miles northeast of the commercial hub of Lagos. The witch doctor, 80, was suspected of using human parts for rituals. "He said the skull was part of his trade, but it is an offence for anybody to be in possession of human parts," Edo state police spokesman Tunde Showole told Reuters. Ritual killing is common in some parts of Nigeria where many people believe they could become millionaires after sacrifices with vital human organs. In London, British police said Tuesday they had arrested 21 people, 19 of them thought to be from Benin city, in connection with the murder of a Nigerian boy whose headless and limbless torso was found floating in the river Thames in 2001.

Cow to plop on giant roulette board

TORONTO (CP) - A new gambling game is coming to Toronto, and it involves a giant roulette board, a cow, and randomly placed turds. "Moolette," as organizers call it, works like this: place a bet on one of 36 numbers on an 18-metre-long roulette board. If a meandering cow leaves a nugget on your number, you win. The event, organized by Dunlop Tires, is to be held at a downtown location Thursday to raise awareness for Canada's beleaguered beef industry. Organizers hope to complete three or four games within a two-hour period around lunchtime. But organizers have to make sure the cow will perform its duty frequently enough. "I am assured by a vet and the handler that's what cows do regularly," said Ian McIntosh, general manager of marketing for Dunlop Tires. "I'm assured that there's no problem there." Proceeds, plus additional money donated by Dunlop Tires, will go to the Ontario 4-H Foundation, a youth-oriented charity that helps young people learn about a variety of agricultural topics, including the beef industry. McIntosh wasn't exactly sure where the moolette-participating cow would come from, but guessed it would be from the Toronto area. A veterinarian and cow handler will be present to make sure the animal is properly cared for. "We want to make sure there's no cruelty situation at all," McIntosh said. He said he wasn't sure how the cow would take to relieving itself in an urban environment. "I'm not sure that they normally do it on concrete," McIntosh said. The idea for moolette originated after a brainstorming session among Dunlop marketing officials. Originally, the game was to be played on a giant checkerboard, then someone suggested a giant roulette board. With a name like moolette, the team knew they had the right concept, McIntosh said, adding it also fit their desire to aid Canadian farmers and promote the cattle industry.

Dumb Crime Dept.

ZAGREB (Reuters) - A drunken Croat flasher got more excitement than he bargained for when he pushed his penis through a woman's fence and her dog bit it, local newspapers said on Friday. The visibly drunk man was walking down the street and started swearing and shouting at the woman for no reason. He then shoved his penis through her fence, unaware her dog was on the other side, police said. The bitten man himself reported the incident to the police. The 36-year-old was taken to hospital with light injuries but later sent home. He will be charged with "insulting the moral feelings of citizens" and "violation of public order."

BERLIN (Reuters) - A raging German fruit thief has battered a shop worker with bananas after he was caught swiping a bunch, police in Duesseldorf say. Attempting to flee, the man first kicked and punched the 38-year-old assistant but then switched to using the fruit. "The bananas were handy so he decided to use them," said Duesseldorf police spokesman Norbert Peters. "By the time the police arrived, the attendant's face and upper body were completely smeared with bananas," police said in a statement. He was not seriously injured. Police arrested a 24-year-old man.

BERLIN (Reuters) - An inebriated German driver's honesty cost him his licence after he told police he had drunk "20 beers at most". During a routine traffic check in the western city of Essen, police asked if the 25-year-old man had drunk anything. He answered: "Twenty beers at most if you want me to be perfectly honest, officer. But that's it, really." Police carried out a breath test, confirming the man's claims, and confiscated his licence. "I've no idea why he told them," said Raymund Sandach, a spokesman for Essen police. "Maybe because he was drunk."

BERLIN (Reuters) - Six Germans are on trial accused of robbing brothels while posing as plainclothes police carrying out inspections, court officials said Tuesday. The unemployed men, aged between 27 and 50, have been charged with stealing about $4,600 and several mobile phones at 10 Berlin brothels, a court spokesman said.

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. - An inmate accused of violating his work release program by having alcohol on his breath says it was all in the burritos. The judge wants to see the recipe. Attorney Russ Jones said Monday that his client, William Dolge, 45, had burrito meat soaked in beer, which resulted in his testing positive for a low amount of alcohol about two weeks ago when he returned to jail from his job. Lincoln County Attorney Jeff Meyer said he suspected Dolge washed the burritos down with something more than water. District Judge John Murphy told Jones to bring the recipe and a sample if he can to the next hearing in the case on Aug. 6. Dolge was granted work release while serving 364 days in jail for driving with a suspended license.


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