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Oh, please don't pretend that you've had enough strange news. Read on!


Not the actual deceased older person.

WOMAN DIES NEXT TO OWN GRAVE
(Amsterdam, Reuters) - A Dutch woman, who had meticulously planned her own funeral after the death of her husband, died next to the grave in Amsterdam where she wanted to be buried, a newspaper reported. The 65-year-old widow probably died of a heart attack while she was visiting the family grave where her name, but no date, was already inscribed, De Telegraaf daily reported Wednesday. The woman was carrying a bag with her containing her will when she died and had already organized details of her funeral including the music she wanted played, the paper said.

RAPIST IN INDIA TO BE SLAPPED 51 TIMES AS PUNISHMENT
(India, AP) - A man in northern India will be publicly slapped 51 times as punishment after village elders found him guilty of raping a neighbor who is deaf and mute, a village chief said. The elders stepped in to review the case because local police had failed to arrest the accused man after a complaint was filed by the victim's husband, village head Badr-ul Hasan told The Associated Press. "Police told us that since the woman is deaf and mute, she is not able to narrate the incident," Hasan said. A village court made up of five elders heard from both sides. It found the man guilty, fined him $110 and ordered he be publicly slapped 51 times, Hasan said. "We can't do more than that. The village court doesn't have powers to arrest anyone," he said. "By public slapping, the court wants to put (him) to shame." If convicted by a state criminal court, the man could be sentenced to death.

BRITISH MAN INJURED AFTER LIGHTING FIRECRACKER IN BUTTOCKS
(England) - A 22-year-old man suffered internal injuries after lighting a small firecracker he had inserted into his buttocks, paramedics said. The incident took place when Britain celebrated Bonfire Night, traditionally marked with fireworks to celebrate the Guy Fawkes' gunpowder plot to blow up Parliament in the 17th century. The man suffered burns and other unspecified internal injuries in the incident in Sunderland, 275 miles north of London. Katherine Shenton, a spokeswoman for the North East Ambulance Service, said a caller had phoned in that the victim was bleeding after the firecracker exploded. Several of the man's friends recorded the incident on a mobile phone. The blurry images show a man bent over with his pants down and a white flash as the firecracker explodes.

DEAD WOMAN WINS COUNTY COMMISSIONER'S RACE
(South Dakota) - A woman who died two months ago won a county commissioner's race in Jerauld County in the mid-term elections. Democrat Marie Steichen, of Woonsocket, got 100 votes, defeating incumbent Republican Merlin Feistner, of Woonsocket, who had 64 votes. Jerauld County Auditor Cindy Peterson said she believes the county board will have to meet to appoint a replacement for Steichen. Peterson said she'll check with the state's attorney to be sure that's the process. Peterson said voters knew Steichen had died. "They just had a chance to make a change, and we respect their opinion."

GERMAN WOMAN ACCIDENTALLY MAILED CAT
(Germany) - A 67-year-old woman of Rosdorf in Schleswig Holstein, Germany, accidentally sent her cat Felix, in the mail, after the animal snuck inside the parcel she was sending to her nephew. Edith Schonberg mailed the birthday parcel without realizing Felix was there. She said she believes the three-year-old cat must have entered the box while she was looking for some tape to seal the parcel. The error was realized only when a postman, at the central sorting office, heard the cat parcel and called police. Schonberg said, "I had not even noticed Felix was missing until they called. I thought he was asleep."

EX-MINISTER ACCUSED OF THEFT
(Pennsylvania, AP) - A United Church of Christ minister and his wife were charged with swiping an antique set of leather-bound books of the Bible from their former Montgomery County church and selling them on eBay. The Rev. William Shrout Jr., 30, and Carla Shrout, 33, were charged with theft, receiving stolen property and conspiracy stemming from the theft of about 30 books from the First United Church of Christ in Royersford, where Shrout served as pastor for two years. "When something like this happens to a church, it does feel like a betrayal and a sacred trust broken," the Rev. Daniel Hinkle, interim pastor of First UCC, said. "But I am confident the church is handling this well and appropriately, that we are moving ahead and healing." Hinkle said Shrout will undergo a church review of his pastoral fitness.

MAN SIMULATED SEX WITH STATUE OF RAM
(New Zealand) - A sales manager, who pulled down his pants and pretended to have sex with a statue of a merino ram, told police he was drunk and "just being a clown." His action was spotted not only seen by a passing policeman, but also by a busload of about 40 international tourists, one of whom took several photos, Rotorua District Court was told. Ronald Benjamin Holden, 34, of Mt. Maunganui, admitted committing an offensive act and was given diversion. The court was told he committed the offense in Omarama with the apparent encouragement of the busload of tourists. A passing police officer arrested Holden and took him to the Omarama police station where he cooperated fully. He told police he was sorry for his actions and that he had been drinking and was just being a clown.

MAKE NO MISTAKE: DON'T "BANK" ON KAZAKH MONEY
(Kazakhstan, Reuters) - The Kazakhstan central bank has misspelled the word "bank" on its new notes, officials said. The bank plans to put the misprinted notes, worth 2,000 tenge ($15) and 5,000 tenge, into circulation and then gradually withdraw them to correct the spelling. The move has drawn the ire of the Central Asian state's politicians who urged the bank to abandon the notes altogether. "The mistake is not just a spelling problem, it has political undertones," a letter from members of parliament to President Nursultan Nazarbayev said. "We urge you to tell the National Bank not to put out the notes with a mistake in the Kazakh language." Language is a contentious issue in Kazakhstan. Kazakhs were encouraged to speak Russian, which is written in Cyrillic script, during Soviet times but since independence in 1991, the country has seen the Kazakh language as a national symbol. The Kazakh word for bank is the Cyrillic form of "bank." On the new note, the word was written with an alternate Kazakh form of the letter K, which has a slightly different pronunciation.

COACH WHO PAID TO HURT AUTISTIC BOY TO WIN LITTLE LEAGUE GAME GETS PRISON
(Pennsylvania, AHN) - A baseball coach for a little league team will now spend six years in prison for a terrible call. Mark R. Downs Jr., 29, of Dunbar, Pa. offered an 8-year-old player money to bean an autistic teammate, in hopes the young boy wouldn't be able to play in a crucial game. Downs was convicted by a jury in Fayette County, and Judge Ralph Warman sentenced the former coach to consecutive six-to-36 month sentences for corruption of minors and criminal solicitation to commit simple assault. According to ESPN, authorities said Downs offered to pay one of his players $25 to hit Harry Bowers, a mildly autistic teammate, with a ball while warming up before a playoff game. Prosecutors said Downs wanted the 9-year-old out of the game, because the boy didn't play as well as his teammates. Player Keith Reese Jr. said he purposely threw a ball that hit Bowers in the groin and another that hit Bowers in the ear, on Downs' instructions. Downs denied offering to pay Reese to hurt Bowers. Warman says, "These acts are extremely outrageous and extremely reprehensible since the defendant was involved in the coaching of a youth league."

MAN STILL PAYING SUPPORT TO DECEASED WIFE
(Ohio) - A proposal from the Licking County Prosecutor's Office might put an end to an Upper Arlington man making child support payments to his ex-wife, even though she died recently, and he has custody of their three children. Joe Randolph, 44, has been instructed by Licking County Child Support Enforcement Agency officials that he must continue the payments until a court tells him he can stop. Thus, he has been paying more than $1,300 per month to nobody in particular. Sharon Buckingham, a Newark woman who had custody of the couple's children, died recently at age 40. "I ask the burning question, 'Who are they going to send the money to?'" said Randolph's attorney, Jerry Swank. "I think it's just pure silliness." Assistant Prosecutor Ken Oswalt said a proposal, if approved by Swank and Randolph, would end the child support payments and return to Randolph payments held in escrow. Nancy Johnson, director of the Licking County CSEA, said the situation is unusual but can't be resolved through an administrative order. "When a custodial parent dies, we really don't have the statutory authority to terminate child support," Johnson said. "The CSEA doesn't terminate child support; the court order does. It's certainly a very unfortunate situation and something we've done everything we can to rectify."

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