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Not an actual sidewalk-diving pelican.
DIVING PELICANS PLAGUE ARIZONA STREETS
(Arizona) - More than 30 endangered brown pelicans have crashed onto sidewalks and roads in Arizona, mistaking the heat-induced shimmer of the paved surface for lakes and creeks. "They try to land on the water, but it's asphalt and it's 'Bam! That doesn't feel so good,'" said Sandy Cate, director of the Arizona Game and Fish Department's wildlife center. The injured pelicans have been found from Yuma to Phoenix, the department said. The pelicans have been treated mostly for dehydration and emaciation. Experts believe the endangered birds are experiencing a food shortage along the West Coast and are heading to Arizona to find fish. The sun's reflection, mixed with hot and cool layers of air create mirages, and the birds mistake smooth pavements for water.
STOLEN LIBRARY BOOK SPAWNS POLICE CHASE
(New York) - A dozen police cars. A helicopter. A fleeing suspect driving over sidewalks and against traffic on a busy street. All for a stolen library book? That's what prompted a 10-minute chase through Syracuse recently. An officer allegedly spotted Bryan Haynes running a stop sign and a chase ensued. About a dozen police cars and a sheriff's department helicopter were involved before officers broke off pursuit because the situation became too dangerous. It wasn't until later that investigators learned he had run out of a Syracuse University library after allegedly stealing a book, setting off the building's alarms as he fled. During the chase, Haynes tossed a backpack out of the window. Officers expecting to find drugs or guns inside instead found a book on religion.
MAN LOSES HIS TESTICLES IN FREAK ACCIDENT
(England) - A British man, who accidentally shot himself in the testicles after drinking 15 pints of beer, was jailed for five years for possessing an illegal firearm, a court spokesperson said. David Walker, 28, was arguing with a friend at a pub in South Yorkshire, northern England, when he went home to get his sawed-off shotgun, which he jammed into his trousers. But as he walked back to the pub, the gun went off, blasting pellets into his testicles. Doctors later removed what remained of his testicles during emergency surgery.
WOMEN REPORTEDLY PLOWING NAKED IN NEPAL
(Nepal, AP) - Female rice farmers are plowing their fields at night in the nude to please the rain god during a dry spell in southwestern Nepal, a news report said. A 35-year-old farmer, Ambika Tharu, said she and other women were daring to bare all for the rain god because of a delay in the annual monsoon season and the need for precipitation for their rice crops. "My mother-in-law said God would be pleased and make rainfall if women till the land naked," Tharu told the Himalayan Times newspaper. The delay of the monsoon rains has prevented farmers from planting rice.
CAMBODIANS LINING UP FOR MIRACLE LICK
(Cambodia) - Thousands of ill Cambodians are flocking to a northern village to be licked by a mystical cow named Preah who is curing their complaints, its owner has claimed. Farmer Puch Pich said up to 400 people have been turning up daily for to be slobbered over after the 13-month-old bovine apparently cured his wife Kong Mich of a chronic illness. They have been braving Cambodia's notoriously bad rainy season roads to travel from around the kingdom, paying 13 cents per person for four licks on the limb or body part of their choice. "The cow won't lick people who don't put in their money, and if he doesn't think you believe in his powers, he won't lick you either," Puch Pich quipped. The curative powers of Preah, which means God in Khmer, were revealed when Kong Mich took the animal out to graze, said Puch Pich, who has owned the cow for five months.
SNUFFED GOAT GETS UP BURGLARS' NOSES
Drug-fueled burglars ransacked a house, stealing antique furniture, jewelry, electrical equipment and dinner sets. They also grabbed a wooden box containing a powder they thought might be a drug. So they began sniffing it, until one of them, Elizabeth Kniese, suspected that the box contained "the remains of someone." She was almost right. They were the ashes of the family's pet goat. In County Court, the prosecutor, Sebastian Reid, said the box was taken by the gang during the burglary because it was believed it "contained drugs of some description." Kniese, 37, pleaded guilty to charges of burglary and theft over the incident. Her counsel, Simon Moglia, said Kniese's multifaceted and compulsive drug use stemmed from her "terrible" experiences as a parentless child and teenager in foster care.
FIREFIGHTERS FIND STATION ON FIRE
(Texas) - Firefighters in a Dallas suburb returned to their station to find a fire started by potatoes they left cooking on a stove, officials said. The fire caused about $125,000 in damages to the station in Lancaster, a southern suburb of Dallas, said Fire Marshal Ladis Barr. The blaze was extinguished with the help of firefighters from other stations. It damaged the kitchen and living area. Fire officials also wanted to remind the public to make sure not to leave food cooking before stepping out.
WOMAN SETTLES "TOILET PHOBIA" LAWSUIT
(South Africa) - A South African woman has settled a lawsuit in which she claimed to have developed a phobia about toilets after falling off one at a hotel. Antonia Hart, 59, sued the Sun International hotel chain following the 2003 incident, asking for $14,000 for pain, injury, medical treatment and "loss of amenities," the South African Press Agency reported. Hart's lawyers had accused the hotel of negligence, saying their client toppled off the toilet when it suddenly broke "whilst in normal use for the purposes for which it was installed," SAPA quoted court papers as saying. Sun International's lawyers conceded that the toilet had broken, but said Hart's husband had signed a liability waiver upon checking in.
RIDE-ALONG WITH GRESHAM POLICE LEADS TO BURGLARY ARREST
(Oregon, AP) - A Troutdale, Oregon man's hopes of seeing the Gresham Police Department up close were fulfilled when he was arrested for burglary. Wade Silva, 22, told Gresham police that he was interested in riding along on a patrol "to see what it's like." He told officers he had relatives who work as police officers in other states. But a standard records check to clear Silva for the ride-along revealed that he had an outstanding felony arrest warrant for burglary. Police snagged Silva when he showed up for his ride-along, 25 minutes late.
SEX IS DRIVING ME CRAZY COMPLAINS SWEDISH WOMAN
(Sweden) - A Swedish woman, tired of the noise made by her amorous neighbors in the apartment above hers, has taken her quest for silent nights to her local health committee. Health official Jon Persson said that the woman said she was "distressed, angry and tense all over" because her neighbors make love loudly almost every night. He said it was the first time he can recall such a complaint ever being filed in the Scandinavian country. Typically, most disputes get settled between neighbors and don't require government intervention. According to a copy of her complaint, she said the lovers' efforts have left her with tense headaches, cramps and heartburn. "You are my last hope, please help me," the woman wrote in the complaint.
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