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Not the actual guy's hand.

(London) - An English machine operator lost part of his thumb in a workplace accident, then lost a chunk of a finger on his other hand, while trying to demonstrate to bosses how the first accident happened. The tip of Keith Sanderson's right thumb was sliced off by a guillotine machine as he worked at a kitchen worktop factory, Paul Nelson, director of Macy Panel Products said. As Sanderson tried to show what had happened, he lost part of the index finger on his left hand, in a second accident, Nelson added. The company, based near Newcastle in north-eastern England, was sentenced to pay a fine. "It was a regrettable and unfortunate incident. Keith has not yet returned to work but he has the option of coming back to work with the company," Nelson said.

(Pennsylvania, Ananova) - Pennsylvania's two legislative chambers are at loggerheads over the identity of the official state biscuit. The state Senate favors the chocolate chip cookie, but the House of Representatives wants the Nazareth sugar cookie. Both chambers have introduced their own bills in attempts to have their own choice of official state biscuit recognized, according to the Beaver County Times and Allegheny Times. The bills were first introduced in 2001, but were abandoned after September 11. Now both chambers have introduced new bills. The people of Nazareth, Pennsylvania, are hoping their cookie wins the day. The recipe was perfected by settlers from Germany during the mid-1700s. But the Senate's bill argues the chocolate chip cookie is the country's most popular, and that Pennsylvania leads the nation in chocolate production. State Senator, Gerald LaValle, said, "To be honest, I'd be much more concerned with passing a state budget than a state cookie."

(Lithuania, Reuters) - Lithuanian President Rolandas Paksas has flown into a media storm over his faith in a mystic who wraps people in toilet paper to cure their ills. Paksas' claims of being a "believer" in mystic Lena Lolisvili has sparked uproar in the Catholic former Soviet country, which is sensitive about its image in the outside world. Local media have dubbed Lolisvili Lithuania's "Rasputin", after the Siberian mystic who wielded influence over Russia's Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra in the early 1900s because of his apparent ability to treat their son's hemophilia."Lithuania risks becoming the laughing stock of the world for the next five years," its largest newspaper, Lietuvos Rytas, said in a newspaper editorial. Paksas won a January election after a campaign that included stunts like guiding a small plane under a bridge. "It is time for the president to realize he is no longer a pilot flying under bridges but the leader of a democratic state," the paper said. Lolisvili, an ethnic Georgian who claims God tells her the future and energizes toilet paper she then wraps around her patients.

(New Jersey) - An argument between two friends over which one had the hairiest buttocks escalated into a brawl that ended when one man slashed the other. Emmanuel Nieves, 23, of Liberty Township, and Erik Saporito, 21, of Independence Township, were talking with some other friends at a Mansfield Township apartment complex when the fight began. Nieves soon pulled out a knife and slashed Saporito's face and ear, authorities said. Saporito was taken to Hackettstown Community Hospital, where he was treated and released. Nieves was arrested later that morning at his home and charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, weapons offenses and criminal mischief.

(Connecticut) - Bob Potter wanted to call his new Mexican joint C.O. Jones, but neutered the name after heat from officials in this image-obsessed town. To them, it's a matter of decorum. The name may sound innocuous, but run the letters together and you come up with "cojones," the Spanish word for "testicles." "It was clever. It was a wordplay," said Rob Rowlson, the town's business development officer, "but it was just not appropriate for the standards this community espouses." The town couldn't prevent Potter from slapping the salty sobriquet on his eatery. But Rowlson and others "strongly encouraged" him to scrap it, especially after the sign went up and someone complained. "We thought he should be a little more careful in terms of the message he was trying to send," Rowlson said.

(Sydney, Reuters) - Tourists who have taken home chunks of rock from Uluru, Australia's most sacred Aboriginal site, are sending them back because they believe the souvenirs have brought them bad luck, park rangers said recently. The Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park, which oversees the huge red monolith—previously known as Ayer's Rock—in the desert of central Australia, said some of the pieces returned by parcel post weighed as much as 16.5 pounds. "Everyone seems to say that they have had bad luck," park manager Brooke Watson told the Australian Associated Press news agency. "The rock pieces come from all over and they just keep coming every day." Watson could not be reached but a park spokeswoman said many of the rocks came back with letters. Every now and then, park rangers and Uluru's traditional Aboriginal owners hold ceremonies to put the rocks back where they belong.

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Man Fakes Choking to Get Women's Attention
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(Florida, AP) - A short, dumpy man has been going around town faking choking episodes, apparently to get attention from women. He flails his arms, coughs and sputters. After a woman rushes over to help, he showers her with gratitude, hugs and kisses. The sheriff's office has gotten about a half-dozen calls about the Choking Man, as the Charlotte Sun Herald dubbed him. So far he has not committed any crime, though one woman went to the hospital with an anxiety attack after an encounter. "There's been no crime. Our hands are kind of tied here," sheriff's spokesman Bob Carpenter said.

(Virginia, AP) - A man who wrote a prosecutor a letter boasting about killing a 16-year-old girl—thinking a court ruling prevented him from getting the death penalty—has been convicted of capital murder. A jury recently found Paul Powell, 24, guilty of attempted rape and murder in the 1999 stabbing death of Stacie Reed. Powell had been convicted in 2000, but the Virginia Supreme Court overturned the verdict, ruling he could not be executed because prosecutors lacked evidence that Powell tried to rape or rob the girl. While awaiting trial, Powell wrote to prosecutor Paul Ebert. "Since the Virginia Supreme Court said that I can't be charged with capital murder again, I figured I would tell you the rest of what happened on January 29 1999 to show you how stupid all of y'all are." He described how he tried to rape Reed, then killed her. The letter enabled prosecutors to indict him again on capital murder charges.

(Oregon) - You had better hit the shower before you board the bus in Bend, Oregon. Proposed new city rules would ban spitting, smoking, skateboarding, and stinking on city buses. The regulations ban anyone who "emanates a grossly repulsive odor that is unavoidable by other Bend Extended Area Transit customers" from being in the bus station or on a bus. "It's an effort to keep the riding experience as pleasant and safe as possible," said city attorney Jim Forbes. He noted that the city already has an ordinance prohibiting people from releasing "highly objectionable odors" on city property.

(France, AFP) - A group of French chefs, writers and media stars will petition Pope John Paul II to remove gluttony from the list of the seven deadly sins, Le Journal du Dimanche paper reported. The plea will be presented by the daughter of the French master baker Lionel Poilane, who campaigned vigorously for the rehabilitation of gluttony, in French "la gourmandise," before recent death. Members of the Association for the Gourmand Issue admit that the question is essentially a linguistic one. While "gourmandise" once meant eating to excess, earning it a listing in the French version of the Catholic church's seven sins, today its associations are more of conviviality and good living. Another word, "gloutonnerie," translates gluttony more accurately. "Lionel was right. It is not so much la gourmandise as la gloutonnerie that should be considered a sin," said world-renowned restaurateur Paul Bocuse. "La gloutonnerie has no social or convivial side to it whereas la gourmandise is all about pleasure and sharing," said the association's president.

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