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Police in New York State say a man killed his elderly father and kept his corpse at their

home for several weeks. They've charged Neal G Taylor with second-degree murder after finding the 87-year-old on the bathroom floor. Police arrested him at the Buffalo home after reports the father was missing. A police officer discovered Nicholas J Szabo after climbing through a window at the house. According to Buffalo News, police aren't disclosing the cause of death or motive for the killing. Mr Taylor, who's 55, is being held at Erie County Holding Centre.

A restaurant owner allegedly stabbed a customer who complained his bill was too high. A row broke out after the customer reportedly refused to pay following the meal in Sicily. The customer is in a critical condition in hospital and police are trying to trace the suspect who fled following the attack. The owner, Paolo Mirabelli, 59, of Catenanuova, allegedly stabbed Antonio Villano, 56, in the head. La Repubblica newspaper says Mr Villano is being treated at the Sant'Elia hospital in Caltanissetta.

A group of men allegedly tried to steal marijuana plants from a dump where police officers left them to rot. Ontario police buried 20,000 plants at Orilla's landfill dump because it would have taken too long to burn them. Six men have been charged with possession. The province's police force seized 50 truckloads of marijuana, worth an estimated $20 million (nearly 9 million) from a farm near Orilla, The Star reports. It's thought to have been the state's biggest ever drugs bust. Ontario Provincial Police spokesman Detective Sergeant Rick Barnum says: "There was so much of it that if we had decided to burn it, we'd still be burning it."

Armed police in Australia surrounded a frustrated motorist firing shots into his 18-year-old Nissan that wouldn't start. Reginald Neave, 64, from Melbourne, pleaded guilty to reckless conduct endangering life. His lawyer says the shooting was a culmination of years of

frustration with the car. Police told magistrates that Neave had been drinking wine and beer all morning and became angry when the 1983 Pulsar car wouldn't start. The incident happened at the end of his drive. Defence lawyer David McKenzie said Neave bought the Pulsar new but in recent years had poured money into repairs, the Herald Sun reports. Magistrate Kim Parkinson said Neave was lucky police didn't react more aggressively. When he was interviewed by a doctor after his arrest, Neave said: "The car was giving me bad thoughts". Ms Parkinson ordered the destruction of the .303 rifle he used to shoot the car and six other weapons officers found in Neave's home. Neave was sentenced to 200 hours community service.

Robbers have stolen several thousand pounds from an Australian jail's credit union office. No prisoners have been found with cash on them and no suspicious vehicles left the jail after the robbery. The incident happened at Long Bay jail in New South Wales. The credit union was for jail employees A staff member was hit on the head from behind as he opened the safe. Detective Inspector Dan McMahon says it is still possible that an inmate is responsible. A prison service spokesman says it is "not known if the assailant or assailants were inmates or visitors to the jail", Australia's Daily Telegraph reports. Several prisoners were working outside their compound at the time of the robbery. They were searched but weren't carrying any cash. Guards at the front gate didn't notice any unusual vehicles leaving.

A California student gave biscuits laced with marijuana to fellow pupils and a teacher. Santa Cruz police sergeant Steve Clark says the 14-year-old told officers he wanted to get his class stoned. Education officials haven't said whether they've disciplined the student. He gave the biscuits to six pupils and the teacher who was aware the teenager had a history of drug abuse. The teacher says she jokingly asked the student for one of the 'pot brownies' but called police when she felt dizzy and confused. Some students complained of similar symptoms and said they felt sick. Paramedics were called but the headteacher says all the students were fine. The case has been sent to youth crime workers.

A Japanese man allegedly phoned a woman 220 times demanding to be her boyfriend. Police have arrested Masashi Kimura on suspicion of stalking the 25-year-old office worker. Kimura allegedly made the calls to her office, mobile and home during a one-month period. The pair met through work. Police say 37-year-old Kimura, of Miwa, had ignored previous warnings to leave the woman alone, reports the Mainichi Daily News.

Oil is spewing like a geyser from the trans-Alaska oil pipeline for a second day, the result of a bullet hole shot in the line. Crews are struggling to stop the leak and clean up an estimated 280,000 gallons (1 million litres) of oil which under high pressure has coated trees, brush and tundra. The workers are considering using a crane to install a hydraulic clamp over the line to cover the hole, but flammable vapours in the area make the operation dangerous. "There's concern about the safety of the workers there. It is a very delicate operation with large machinery in a volatile environment," said Tim Woolston, spokesman for the line's operator, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. The man suspected of shooting the pipeline with a .338-calibre rifle, Daniel Carson Lewis, 37, has been arraigned on charges of criminal mischief, driving while intoxicated, weapons misconduct and felony assault. State Police had no motive for the shooting but said Lewis had been drinking. "It does not appear to be an act of terrorism," trooper spokesman Tim DeSpain said. Lewis, who is being held on $1.5 million (1m) bail, was arrested on Thursday, four hours after the leak was discovered. Alaska Governor Tony Knowles said state officials would be taking another look at security along the 800-mile pipeline. "Clearly the fact that one person with a rifle can do this much damage is a point of concern in terms of vulnerability," Gov Knowles said. A Japanese police sergeant accused of vandalising 250 vending machines has been fired. Prosecutors claim Kentaro Ishikuri also stole from some of the machines over a two year period. He has been dismissed from his post with Niigata Prefectural Police. The 31-year-old is accused of vandalising vending machines in Niigata, Fukushima and Yamagata, reports the Mainichi Daily News. A New Zealander who put her baby on a fire thought she had to sacrifice the child to save the world. The 29-year-old is charged with attempting to murder her three-month-old daughter, who received burns to a quarter of her body. The Auckland woman told police she had temporarily gone insane during the

incident. She told detectives she felt she was being commanded in a "terrible game" when she dropped her daughter in the fireplace. "I totally lost my mind," she said. The woman said she thought she was being taught a lesson and that she was going crazy. "It was a joke. The joke was on me," she told police. "I am confused. I know I put the baby on the coals. I thought it was the only way to save the world. I thought that my baby was Jesus, Mum was God. I thought I had to save the world by sacrificing my baby." The woman said she was stressed at work, had been growing paranoid and visited a psychiatrist the day she burned her baby. "Tonight I basically lost the plot for a couple of seconds. The devil may have got hold of my mind for a minute. I don't know ... at the time I thought I was doing the right thing." She described how she had held her baby and lovingly looked her in the eyes as she gently lowered her in the fire. She then waited for someone to take her own, or her mother's life. The woman's mother said in a written statement she had heard screaming from the lounge and saw the baby in the fire. She grabbed the baby and plunged her in the kitchen sink. She said her daughter had screamed: "I dropped her." The child survived but is likely to be disfigured, reports the Stuff website.

A shoplifter has had his jail sentence cut by an extra month as a birthday gift. Thapa Dhirendra Bir stole eight bars of chocolate and three bottles of moisturiser from a Hong Kong store. Magistrate Henry Mierczak wished him a happy birthday and cut his sentence to three months. Thapa's lawyer had urged the court to give his client the birthday present despite the fact he has 19 previous convictions. A senior judge, who asked not to be named, told the South China Morning Post the defendant had been lucky, as there were no legal grounds to reduce the sentence. He said the three-month jail term was probably appropriate, but the magistrate had used "the wrong way of coming to the right sentence". Lawyer Stephen Hung said: "I have never heard of a defendant's birthday being used as a factor for sentence reduction." Mr Mierczak was not available for comment. An historic cello has been broken in a fight between a musician and spy chief in Moscow. The cello, worth over 160,000 is owned by the Russian state and loaned to master cellist Oleg Wedernikow. He claims it was smashed during a row about his music with his drunken neighbour, the head of the country's secret service. The country's Kommersant newspaper reports Mr Wedernikow alleges his neighbour forced his way into his home and hit him before turning on the instrument, repeatedly kicking a cupboard where it was stored.

The cellist said: "The instrument can be restored, but the quality of the sound is lost forever." The secret service chief, who is not being named for security reasons, denies the musician's version of events. He said the cello fell during the argument. The cello was made an by an Italian master in the 18th century . A pair of Dutch robbers escaped with three bread rolls after an armed raid on a bakery. One of the men, armed with a knife, shouted the word bread three times to staff at the shop in Emmen. A counter assistant put three bread rolls in a bag and the pair escaped. A teenager's 11 can-a-day addiction to Red Bull may have caused him to rob a supermarket. The 17-year-old from Darwin, who was armed with a knife, stole around 6,000 He was given a four-year suspended jail sentence. Justice Steven Bailey of the Northern Territory Supreme Court said it's possible caffeine intoxication explained the crime but didn't excuse it. The court heard he was a conscientious high school student with two part-time jobs who also found time for volunteer community work. Psychiatric and medical evidence suggested he might have been suffering caffeine intoxication when he carried out the robbery, The Australian reports. Caffeine intoxication may have altered the boy's state "such that his judgment was impaired and he performed this robbery in the context of experiencing delirium", the psychiatrist's report said. A pre-sentence report also pointed to caffeine as a contributing factor, but the medical and psychiatric reports fell short of establishing a causal link, Justice Bailey said. "At best, the reports may provide some explanation for what occurred but their speculative nature precludes acceptance of them as substantial mitigation," he said. "All the evidence suggests that until the offence, he was a law-abiding, hardworking, community-minded young man - a son to be proud of; a youth well respected by all who came into contact with him."

Indian police have arrested a man for threatening to kill a tiger he believes is his lover from a previous life. The businessman allegedly called a zoo in Hyderabad and said he had plans to murder the tigress. A hotel attendant overheard him and alerted the authorities at Nehru Zoological Park. Himanshu Das was picked up for questioning after subsequent calls were traced to his hotel room. Police say he claimed Rani, the white tigress, was his lover from a previous life. He said the animal had come to him in a dream and asked him to take her

away from the zoo, and that he had then been angered by her refusal to return with him to Calcutta. A zoo official told the police that the man was found wandering near the animal's cage in a suspicious manner the previous day. "I thought he was just some nut. He was pleading with Rani to look into his eyes but she kept ignoring him, and that probably made him more mad, he began shouting abuse her," zookeeper Narsimhulu told Hindi language newspaper Aaj Kal. The man has since been released by the police with a stern warning to leave the tigress alone and to keep away from the zoo.

A Swiss thief has sent his victim a text message telling her where to find her stolen bag. The woman was in a shopping centre in Bern when she suddenly realised that her bag was gone. She sent an SMS from a friend's phone to her own mobile, appealing for the thief to give her bag back. He replied telling her where he had thrown her bag. She found the bag where he said it would be - with just her mobile missing.

Police are investigating if a young couple's love-making started a barn fire in a Leicestershire village. A 17-year-old girl and 22-year-old man were naked when police picked them up on a road near the fire. Officers say the couple may have knocked over a candle which started the fire near Red Gables farm in Appleby Magna. They were arrested and questioned on suspicion of arson, but released pending further inquiries. The fire destroyed 80 tonnes of animal feed, worth thousands of pounds, which farmer David Collington was storing for his 20 cattle, reports the Leicester Mercury. Sub Officer Michael Townsend, of Coalville fire station, said: "The police told me a young couple were caught naked running down the road, and questioned at Ashby police station. The police told me they said they knocked the candle over when they were having sex." Mr Collington, who does not yet know the cost of the blaze, was told of the couple's alleged antics by fire officers, still damping down yesterday. He said: "It's not what you want people to be doing in your back yard is it? It is all the winter food and bedding that has gone."

A man in the US has been found guilty of living and having sex with his girlfriend while unmarried. Jerry Ward was prosecuted under a little-used 1805 Adultery Law in North Carolina. He admitted co-habiting with his girlfriend and having sex and was ordered to

pay 61 in court costs. District Judge Jimmy Myers, a bachelor and ordained Methodist minister, prosecuted Ward and his girlfriend Wendy Gunter, who is estranged from her husband. The adultery law prohibits a man and woman who aren't married to each other to "lewdly and lasciviously associate, bed and cohabit together" Spectators in the courtroom in Taylorsville quietly giggled at some of the testimony. Living together out of wedlock today is common, Joel Harbinson, lawyer for Gunter and Ward told the court. His request to have the charges thrown out were denied, reports The Charlotte Observer. The case came about during evidence given at a custody hearing over Mrs Gunter's children.

A French stuntman who crashed into the Statue of Liberty has been ordered to sell his equipment to pay for fines and compensation. Thierry Devaux claims he was trying to land on the statue and do a bungee jump, but his parachute got snagged on the torch. Judge Douglas Eaton imposed the unusual sentence after Devaux's lawyer said he had no money to pay the $7,000 (4,700) fine. Defence lawyer Jeremy Orden said the "paramotor" and bungee cords were worth $10,000 (6,700). Devaux, 41, had earlier admitted trespassing, descending onto a cultural monument, parachuting onto a national monument and reckless endangerment. Restoration experts said the stunt had caused up to $5,000 (3,370) worth of damage to gilding on the torch, reports Newsday. Devaux was also banned from paragliding in the United States. Before sentencing, he told the court, "After so many years of preparation, it was never my intent to cause any such harm. I have great respect for the Statue of Liberty."

A New Zealand man who bit a bridegroom in the scrotum has been ordered to take anger management lessons. Nathan Doig was a wedding guest when he got drunk and got into a fight with the groom, a Christchurch court heard. Judge David Saunders told Doig he should have been given "a kick up the backside" as a child. The court was told the injured groom needed three stitches and the wedding was ruined. Doig's partner's sister was the bride. He was ordered to pay $790 for the hired suits damaged in the fight. The judge said: "The time has come you should work in the community, because you've sat around for far too long." Doig was given periodic detention, a year's supervision and ordered to take anger management and substance abuse programmes, reports the Stuff website.

A Norwegian driver faces a year in jail after police caught him driving without a licence for the 146th time. Murat Cakir from Odense lost his licence two years ago but has continued to drive. The courts have also sentenced the 24-year-old to a further year in jail for other crimes, Nettavisen reports. Bank officials are investigating a Swaziland magician's claims he conjures money during his act. The Central Bank says it is the only institution with authority to issue notes and coins. Magician German Lukhele claims he can make money in a newspaper interview. Central Bank secretary, Sydney Khumalo, told the Swaziland Times it is against the law for individuals to issuecurrency. Mr Khumalo said: "It is only the Central Bank that knows all the features of notes, which ranges from security features, natural features and serial number features." He says bank officials will be checking money used in the magician's act to see if it is counterfeit. Lukhele is from Piggs Peak in Swaziland. He made his claims in an interview with the Swaziland Times.

Scottish police are hunting a poisoner who has targeted two Japanese cherry trees. The 35-year-old trees next to a cul-de-sac have had their trunks drilled and filled with herbicide. Investigators are making inquiries in Linlithgow and say the culprit could face criminal damage charges. Residents say the 20ft trees can be a nuisance because they block out the light. Fred Smith, 72, told the Edinburgh Evening News: "I'll admit the trees can be a pain . . . but I can't believe anyone would want to drill holes in them and poison them." West Lothian Council raised the alarm after being contacted by one of its tree specialists. Tree officer Paul Kettles said: "I was driving past and I noticed these two trees were the only ones without healthy leaves on them. "I looked at all the usual signs to see if there were problems with insects. Then I found a series of drill holes around the bases at regular intervals. "This was quite clearly pre-meditated and the person who did this set out with the intent of killing these trees." The parents of a two-year-old are trying to work out how their son has received a ticket for speeding. The Italian boy's parents say he only drives a plastic tractor.

The authorities in Cittanova admit they may have made an error, sending out a fine which says he drove at 60 miles per hour. But officials say the family will still have to pay the 200 fine and seek compensation later.

A man is recovering after having his left hand cut off by thieves who took it and his mobile phone. The Kenyan was attacked by two people in a suburb of Nairobi as he walked home alone. Witnesses said the victim tried to stop the pair from taking his phone. One attackers pulled a knife, cut off his left hand at the wrist and escaped with both the phone and the hand. The hand has not been found despite a search of the area, reports the East African Standard.

A firefighter has admitted starting two blazes in Cleveland to boost his wages. James R King worked as a seasonal firefighter in Cleveland National Forest during the summer. Colleagues became suspicious when he warmed up the fire engines before the rest of the crew arrived. King, 26, pleaded guilty to starting two fires which burned 50 acres of woodland. He will be sentenced in January, when he faces up to 10 years in jail. He has been freed on bail on condition he wears an electronic monitoring device and lives with his parents. Federal prosecutor Anne Perry says King has also agreed to pay $101,000 (69,600) to the US Forest Service for its expenses in fighting the fires. According to court records, King said he started the fires because he wanted "a little extra on his paycheck", reports the SanDiego Union-Tribune. Two Illinois schoolgirls have been accused of putting hydrochloric acid in their teacher's tea. The 12 and 13-year-olds from Aurora are in custody. A male teacher was treated for burns to his mouth on hospital. The girls, from Waldo Middle School, have been charged with felony aggravated battery. Police allege they poured the acid from a beaker into the teacher's coffee between morning lessons while he was supervising a corridor Before leaving the classroom, the teacher had placed the acid on his desk, beside his coffee cup, and warned pupils not to touch it. When he returned and sipped the coffee he realised immediately it had been spiked and summoned help, reports the Chicago Tribune

An Indian man suspected of claiming his dead relative's wages for 11 years has

been charged with cheating. Management at a dairy were unaware of their employee's death and continued shouting his name during the daily roll call. The suspect allegedly looked like the dead man and reported for work in his name. The Press Trust of India says Umashakar Yadav, an employee of Mother Dairy, died while on holiday in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. His relative Rajendra Yadav has been charged after allegedly posing as Mr Yadav for 11 years. The PTI reports he was suspected of being an imposter four years ago but provided an affidavit supposedly proving his identity as the dead man.

An 80-year-old Italian has been jailed for 11 years for offences he committed when he was 20. Leonardo Raco was charged in his youth for two minor robberies and possession of weapons, but he was never arrested. A file containing his case records was found 60 years later in archives in Florence and a judge decided to have him arrested. The pensioner from Locri, southern Italy, was traced by police, judged and sentenced, reports Il Nuovo website.

A retired university lecturer has been jailed for carrying out a 12-year hate mail campaign against his neighbours. James Forster was sentenced to four months for sending a barrage of obscene letters, leaflets and posters. Judge David Bryant said Forster mounted a hate campaign that destroyed civic life in the North Yorkshire village of Manfield. He said: "A miasma of suspicion must have spread through the lanes of Manfield so that neighbour suspected neighbour and friend began to doubt friend." At the end of an eight-day trial in August, Forster was found guilty of three counts of threats to damage property, three counts of sending indecent material through the post and one charge of incitement to burglary. A jury of seven women and five men took four and a quarter hours to convict him on seven of 10 counts. The 68-year-old was cleared on three counts of damaging property.He was ordered to pay 3,000 prosecution costs and an as yet undecided sum of defence costs. Judge Bryant told Forster at Teesside Crown Court: "I am satisfied that these particular counts represent carefully and cunningly devised schemes to cause very considerable distress to a number of different people. "Against some of these people you may, in your own mind, have had some grievance, almost certainly a fanciful grievance against others who'd had little or nothing to do with you." During the eight-day trial, the jury heard anyone who crossed Forster's path was subjected to vile accusations and obscene literature targeted to undermine their good character.

Charges have been dropped against a Canadian woman accused of ripping off her common-law husband's testicle. Donna Crichton faced a charge of aggravated assault, but prosecutors say the case will fail without help from her partner. Police allege she ripped open Barrington Wynn's scrotum when he returned home drunk after his birthday party. At the time Mr Wynn said he deserved the injury and he didn't think Ms Crichton should have been charged. "The Crown determined there was no reasonable chance of conviction and withdrew the charges," said Brendan Crawley, the Attorney General's spokesman. Irwin Aisen, Crichton's lawyer, said his client was relieved it was all over, adding: "It hasn't been easy being the butt of humour." The Crown alleged Ms Crichton grabbed Mr Wynn after he began to assault her 15-year-old son, reports The Toronto Sun. Lawyers for five market traders fighting to be allowed to serve their customers in imperial measures have argued EU metric rules are infringing cultural rights. The five are fighting convictions and court orders made against them after they traded in pounds. The Group has also enlsited ther support of several celebrities including Edward Fox and Lord Tebbit. Their lawyers argue the 1985 Weights and Measures Act authorises them to continue using imperial measures. But the lower courts and the prosecuting authorities say they are under a duty to use metric in line with European regulations, as the UK signed up to the European Communities Act of 1972. Mr Justice Scott Baker ordered that their appeals, expected to last up to five days, should begin on November 19. After being told of the wide public concern, the judge called for the biggest available courtroom in the Royal Courts of Justice in London to be set aside for the hearing and added: "I shall await with interest to see what happens." Michael Shrimpton, appearing for four of the traders, told the judge the cases were of constitutional importance and marked the first courtroom clash since the UK joined the European Community between the sovereignty of Parliament and an EC directive. Signalling that the new Human Rights Act would be relied on by the traders, he described the Euro restrictions on the imperial system as "an invasion of cultural space and a violation of the right to freedom of commercial speech". He suggested that a policy of compulsory metrication might not comply with human rights law, and there was legal authority in both Canada and the US to support the challenge. A silent thief has robbed a Japanese revolving sushi store of over 6,000. Police say the man didn't say a word after walking into the shop in Yokohama. He held his knife against an employee who handed over the day's takings. The man, said to be in his 20s, fled with 1.4m yen (around 6,300). Nobody was injured in the robbery and police are continuing their investigation, the Mainichi Daily News reports.

Two men broke into a prison in Romania to steal some vegetables from the kitchen. They jumped over the fence, attacked a guard and grabbed 40 kilos of cabbages. Authorities say they will serve their sentence in the same prison if they are convicted. The two men beat up a guard who disturbed them during their raid on the prison at Arad. But the guard managed to call for help and the thieves were caught, reports the National newspaper. Gothenburg's ring road has been partially closed after thousands of golf balls were thrown in a tunnel. It is the second time in a week the carraigeway has been closed for the same reason. Police say they have no idea who is behind the stunts or why they are doing it. Traffic authorities had to close down several lanes of the ring road while the mess was cleared. Swedish newspaper, Expressen, reports there have been no accidents.

A 60-year-old woman has been jailed for deliberately infecting an 11-year-old boy with HIV. A magistrates' court in Malawi sentenced Emmie Mkumbira to seven years in jail and hard labour. The court heard how she forced the boy to have sex after inviting him into her home to scratch her back. Mkumbira, a widowed grandmother, looked unconcerned as magistrate Sudira Munthali read out the sentence. The court in Lilongwe heard that, after stripping naked, Mkumbira grabbed the boy, undressed him and forced him to have sex. The boy initially kept quiet about the incident but began suffering pains and told his parents what had happened. Police were called in and Mkumbira undertook a compulsory HIV test which not only turned positive, but she was found to be suffering from syphilis as well.

A sleepwalking 19-year-old barmaid woke to find herself being raped in her flatmate's bed, the Old Bailey has heard. The woman was horrified and thought she was having a nightmare, alleged the prosecution.

She had gone to sleep in bed with her fiance another room in the flat and knew nothing about how she got into Abbas Dadgarnejad's arms, she told police. "She opened her eyes and saw it was the defendant. She felt she was experiencing a terrible nightmare as he was someone she disliked," said Miss May. The woman had a history of sleepwalking going back to her childhood. She had been so upset by the incident that she spent up to an hour in the shower "crying uncontrollably", added Miss May. Dadgarnejad, a 38-year-old mature student, of Holborn, central London, denied raping the barmaid in October, last year. Police later found traces of his DNA on her clothing and some of hers on his body. His defence told the court Dadgarnejad was unaware that any sexual activity had taken place in the night. Professor Gregory Stores, an expert on sleepwalking from Oxford University, told the court that it was possible the woman walked into Dadgarnejad's bed and started cuddling him as she would her fiancee. But he discounted the possibility of her initiating sexual activity whilst in the deep, unresponsive sleep which accompanied sleepwalking. A New Zealand motorist has been arrested for drink driving after beeping his horn at police. The officers were on patrol in the early hours of the morning when the man attracted their attention. A breath test showed he was more than twice the legal limit. Senior Sergeant Nick Dobson said: "The stupidity of some people never ceases to amaze my staff." The incident happened in Palmerston North, near Wellington, reports The Dominion. Japanese police are hunting a kidnapper who released his young victim but left his ransom money untouched. The seven-year-old's family paid out 5 million Yen (28,400) but the money was never collected. He kept the boy for eight hours until the ransom was sent to a private mailbox, then released him near a train station. Police say the abductor had originally asked for 50 million Yen (284,300) but agreed to the reduced amount after the boy's mother complained. He snatched the youngster near his Itabashi-ku home and issued his demands using a disposable mobile phone and voice distorting device. The money was delivered by courier to a company in Tokyo but was left untouched, reports the Mainichi Daily News. The kidnapper rang the boy's mother after his release and threatened to snatch him again if she phoned police. Two armed robbers burst into the saloon of a Wild West themed cowboy village in Belgium. The trigger-happy raiders shot into the air during the raid but were beaten back

by a female bartender. The pair left empty-handed. Police are hunting the men after the raid in El Paso village, Wuustwezel. The venue has two saloons and a blacksmith where adults can play "cowboy and indians" complete with clothes, horses and gunfights. The bartender was counting up the day's takings when the two armed and masked raiders burst in. "I thought they were still playing," she told De Morgen newspaper. "But unlike the others they didn't wear western clothes. They just had pulled a black cap over their heads. When I realised they really were after the money I took the money box and ran away to my friend who lives nearby." The robbers chased the woman and grabbed her. She screamed and the men fired gun shots nine times before running off empty handed. "It's the first time I had real robbers in my saloon," she said. "I've never had such trouble before, not even with cowboys when they went completely up in their roles. I won't sleep in the saloon anymore as I used to do. "But I won't give up playing a cowgirl. I like it too much." An Idaho man has been arrested for allegedly flying a stolen plane through telephone cables and dropping a pipe bomb from the air. Raymond Montgomery is accused of breaking through several cables while flying just 10ft off the ground He is then said to have dropped the homemade bomb onto a motorway. It did not explode. He was arrested after landing just over the border in Utah. Police say he stole a single-engined Champion 7GC light aircraft from an airfield in Preston, Idaho. He flew about 50 miles. Two F-16 fighter jets were scrambled to intercept him but he had landed before they arrived on the scene. Police are evaluating Montgomery's mental status before charging him. Officers say he has "prior alcohol offences". Montgomery stole and crashed a different plane in 1988. He has some flying experience, according to local police in Idaho. "We're not really sure what his mental status might be," said FBI spokesman Kevin Eaton.

A powdery substance which sparked a police alert in Atlanta has turned out to be funeral ashes. The suspicious powder was found in a marble container near railway lines in Stone Mountain. Police believe the container is an urn that was dumped after a burglary. Officers in DeKalb County are trying to reunite the urn with its owner, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Two men have been found guilty in the US of abusing corpses by putting them in 'artistic poses' for photographs.

Cincinnati photographer Thomas Condon and former coroner Jonathan Tobias both face jail sentences. Hamilton County Common Pleas Court heard Condon unzipped body bags and posed the corpses with apples and other items. Condon, 29, was found guilty of eight counts and faces up to eight years in jail. Tobias, 31, was convicted on two counts and could be jailed for up to two years. Defence lawyers say they will appeal the verdicts. They claim Condon was given permission by administrators to take photographs. They claimed the photographs, taken between August 2000 and January 2001, were an artistic portrayal of the cycle of life and death. The photographs included a two-year-old child whose hands were wrapped in plastic, a man next to a half-eaten apple and an unzipped body bag exposing a woman's breast. Judge Norbert Nadel adjourned the case for sentencing on December 13.

A Japanese man has turned himself into the police even though he did not commit a crime. The unnamed 49-year-old had planned a robbery, then admitted to officers he hadn't the courage to go through with it. The man has been arrested by officers in Kashihara, Nara. He had lost his job, was heavily in debt and hoped to improve his finances through holding up a post office with a can of oil and threatening to light it. When his courage failed he went to the police station, telling officers: "I want a new start to my life. If my life had continued to be as hard as it is now, I would have definitely begun leading a life of crime." He was arrested for stealing the container of oil he planned to use in the robbery and charged with planning the robbery itself, reports the Mainichi Shibun. Malaysian police say a couple who'd just got married threw acid on a teenage peeping Tom. The couple apparently caught the 17-year-old fishmonger spying on them at their Bachok home. Police say they threw a bottle of acid through the window and he suffered burns to his body. Reports don't state whether the couple or the teenager will face charges. According to the New Straits Times, the teenager was with two friends, who escaped injury. "His two friends managed to escape,'' Bachok police chief Azlan Abdul Aziz told the newspaper . The paper says the incident shows there are "lusty peeping Toms" in the area.

A suspected burglar has been arrested in Japan after being caught cooking a bowl of noodles. Toru Miyashita had allegedly broken into the restaurant two days earlier and had returned for second helpings when he was discovered.

Police say he left home last month to ride around Japan on a bicycle but took no money with him for food. Miyashita, 29, is from Gifu Prefecture. The incident happened in nearby Nara, reports the Mainichi Daily News.

German police are hunting a monkey which jumped on a man's chest, rifled his pockets and made off with his cash. It struck as the man was walking down the street in Zinnwald-Georgenfeld. He told police a boy aged about 12 ran off after the thieving monkey. He had been seen holding the animal earlier The victim said the monkey searched through his inside pocket and took the equivalent of 100 before running off. A Nigerian has been jailed after claiming he was sleepwalking when he tried to snatch a gun from a prison guard Rabilu Musa attempted to grab the rifle from a guard at a prison gate in Katsina. He claimed he was sleepwalking at the time and didn't even know about the incident until two days later. Judge Abdurrahman Aliyu said there was no evidence from relatives or doctors to back up his claims. Musa was convicted of trespassing and attempt to commit a criminal offence, reports the Daily Trust newspaper. He was sentenced to six months.

Authorities in Estonia have fined a schoolboy for accusing George W Bush of organising the US terror attacks. The 16-year-old sent the email directly to President Bush. A Russian radio station says the message closed with the sentence, 'Death to you!' The Estonian authorities fined the boy 20 for the act of 'minor hooliganism', the BBC reports.

A man has escaped being raped by biting his attacker's genitals. The 27-year-old was approached in the grounds of Christ Church in North Shields, Newcastle. He grabbed him and tried to force him to have sex, but the victim fought back and bit his attacker. He ran off in agony. The attack comes after police in the area appointed an officer especially to deal with the growing reports of homosexual-related crime in the area, reports icNewcastle. Police in Bath say an egg-throwing crime spree is getting out of control. A group of tap dancers are the latest victims of egg attacks in the city.

Police are asking local shopkeepers to watch out for people who bulk-buy eggs. PC Roger Hawke said: "Youngsters are getting hold of copious amounts of eggs and throwing them around." "I'm fed up with this and I need to know who is doing it. Somebody must know who these miscreants are. A laugh and a joke is okay, but when people are being targeted it has to stop because it's getting out of control," he told The Bath Chronicle.

A bogus taxi driver is believed to have made off with thousands of pounds worth of surgical equipment from a hospital. Hospital staff believe the man posed as a driver from a firm contracted to transport the equipment from Monklands Hospital, Airdrie, to Bellshill, Lanarkshire for sterilisation. Strathclyde Police said it was investigating the theft of the materials, used for hip operations, which were contained in two white metal boxes when they went missing this afternoon. Dr John Browning, medical director of Lanarkshire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, stressed the effect on public health was minimal. He said: "We are very concerned about the theft of this instrumentation and, while there is little health risk to the public, the trays do contain extremely sharp instrumentation. "While the theft of this equipment will not immediately impact on our planned surgical activity this week, alternative arrangements will need to be established to prevent any cancellations." Dr Browning added that the stolen equipment was worth a "five-figure sum". A trust spokeswoman said the 'fast-track' procedure for taking medical equipment to the trust's sterile service would be reviewed. She said: "We have never had an incident like this before, but we will obviously now look at our procedure and see how we can prevent any further occurrences." Det Sgt Gary Thomson, of Strathclyde Police, added: "If anyone has any information regarding the theft or comes across this equipment they should contact the police." A thief is in jail after falling asleep during a car-jacking and being driven to the police station. Emanuele Lot robbed the motorist as he withdrew 200 from a cashpoint. He then ordered his victim to drive him at gunpoint to his hometown. Lot fell asleep during the journey and his victim drove to the local police headquarters instead. He was woken up by a police officer. "Very good evening, could you please explain to me what has happened?" he asked the officer. Lot, of Rivoli, is in jail awaiting sentence for robbery and kidnapping, reports the Tgcom website. Indianapolis police say they've performed their easiest drug bust - by getting a man to buy cocaine in a squad car.

Carmel police say the suspect asked an officer to get in touch if he wanted to sell him drugs. The officer contacted the suspect and allegedly sold him 56 grammes of the class A narcotic. According to Major Randy Schalburg the suspect, Gabriel John Lajoye, arranged to meet the detective in the officer's car. "This guy pulls up, gets in the police car, gives our officer a couple hundred bucks for the coke and tells him he will pay the rest when he gets done selling it," Mr Schalburg said. "He said: 'Thanks', hopped out of the officer's car and, needless to say, was arrested." Police have charged Lajoye. He's being held in Noblesville jail. "I've done this for 20 years and I've yet to see anyone ask a uniformed police officer for some coke," Major Schalburg told The Indianapolis Star. "This has got to be the easiest drug bust we've made." A New Zealand judge has called a plane traveller an idiot for claiming he was carrying weapons at check-in. The 34-year-old man said his bag had "guns and bazookas" inside. The Palmerston judge has fined him around 144. Gregory Karl Roberts, of Manawatu, was checking in at Palmerston North Airport for a flight to Christchurch when the incident happened. Police arrested him after an airline employee alerted them. Referring to the current fears about air travel, Judge Les Atkins said: "The situation is not helped by people who might consider themselves funny, but reveal themselves as idiots." Roberts admitted providing false or reckless information, The New Zealand Herald reports. Defence lawyer David Fordyce said Roberts had been drinking and the remarks were supposed to be a joke. Firefighters in Louisiana allegedly set abandoned houses and forests ablaze to practise their skills. Authorities in Pearl River have charged six of them with arson after eight house fires and two forest fires. The arrests follow an investigation by the state fire marshal's office and the FBI. Gregory Greco, head of arson at the fire marshal's office, told Ananova: "It would appear that they were looking for some activity or practice. They had nothing to gain other than the opportunity to put out fires." He said the firefighters' actions can't be tolerated A gynaecologist in India is accused of offering abortions to women who were not pregnant. The doctor is alleged to have asked for money to abort a woman's pregnancy. He said since she had diabetes the pregnancy could cause problems. When she said she had undergone a negative pregnancy test, he said her diabetes had probably masked the result. The incident happened at Kochi and the doctor has now been taken into custody.

The woman, known only as Anila, was booked in for an abortion, reports the Times of India. But she and her husband were suspicious and told police. The authorities gave her marked notes to pay for the operation. When the doctor accepted them he was arrested.

Dutch police detained Sesame Street pair Bert and Ernie over copyright crime in front of scores of children. The organisers of a fair in Bergen op Zoom booked actors from a music hall agency for entertainment. Two donned Bert and Ernie costumes, but trading standards officers swooped because they didn't have permission from the Sesame Street licence holder. A spokesman said: "The music hall agency had no official permission from the licence keeper to use these costumes and we therefore called the police." Jos Dauphin, organiser of the fair, said: "Bert and Ernie were arrested before the eyes of at least a hundred children as if they were criminals. They could have done it in another away." "Every year we have some special figures on the fair. Last year we had the Teletubbies and that was no problem." Police wanted the actors to take off their masks on the spot, but after a discussion they were allowed to do it away from the children's sight. The actors were later allowed to go free without charge, reports De Stem of Breda newspaper. Middle school students who saw a teenager's dead body in the bushes didn't report it immediately because they were scared or thought it was a hoax. For two days, the students led each other to Shoreline public library near Seattle to peer at the body of the 16-year-old shooting victim lying in the shrubs. Authorities in Washington state say they don't know how many children went to the car park next to the library. Some had returned and brought their friends. "My son thought they were playing a joke on him," said Pamela Rapinan. "They all thought it was fake." Dustin Rakestraw, of Seattle, had died of a gunshot wound to the head, according to the King County Medical Examiner's Office. A 13-year-old boy was arrested on Friday on a manslaughter charge. King County sheriff's spokesman John Urquhart said the shooting is believed to have been accidental. Dustin Rakestraw's parents last heard from their son on Tuesday at about 8pm, when he called for a lift home from the library. They went to pick him up but couldn't find him. The following day, the couple spoke with the suspect, who was Dustin's friend. They immediately reported their son missing. Meanwhile, the 13-year-old was telling friends about the body and some students finally told Alene Moroni, a librarian, who went to look for herself on Thursday. "Some kids came in and said, 'There's a dead body in the bushes'," Ms Moroni

said. "I thought, 'Yeah, right.' " Rhinos at a Calcutta zoo have been allegedly doped to make them relieve themselves several times every day. Their urine was then sold in plastic pouches at about 4 per litre for their supposedly curative properties. Zoo authorities alerted the police after discovering hundreds of plastic bags containing rhino urine in the staff quarters. Medical authorities say local quacks are taking advantage of the popularly held belief that animal urine has medicinal values. "The view that rhino urine is good for male sexual potency or can cure various diseases is factually incorrect. It has been propagated purely for commercial reasons. People need to be warned," said Inderjit Burman, a Calcutta doctor. Three keepers at the Alipore Zoo, are now being questioned by the police. "We are doing a thorough investigation. The public cannot be allowed to be cheated by so called medicine men," police chief Raj Kanoria told newspaper Aaj Kal.

A Lancashire woman fought off three armed robbers by squirting them in the eyes with washing-up liquid. Julie Walsh was cleaning when the gang armed with pistols and wearing balaclava's burst into her shop in Helmshore. The five feet 11 inches tall shopkeeper fired Fairy Liquid at the men, while ordering them to "get out". Mrs Walsh then hit the panic button and the raiders fled the shop empty handed. She said: "I just let rip with the Fairy Liquid. I don't think they knew what hit them. All I remember thinking is 'I hope I don't run out of washing up liquid'." The Sun reports it is the second time in a month the shop has been targeted by robbers. An Sicilian man is being prosecuted for stealing more than 200 pieces of underwear in the last two years. Police say the 40-year-old admits stealing underwear of local women for "pure erotic pleasure". They say he used to spy on women in his village with binoculars and subsequently steal their underwear off washing lines. "He created a directory of local women and highlighted the ones whose underwear he had already stolen," says an investigation report on the suspect, named only as Rocco, of Tortorici. "He used to intend the stealing of underwear as a 'mission': to realise his erotic dreams he had to possess women's underwear after spying them." The man has been charged with theft. All the pieces of underwear are being given

back to the owners, reports La Repubblica newspaper. A woman, who wasn't named, had a nervous breakdown when she discovered that Rocco stole her red slip with "kiss me, you stupid" written on the back. A Romanian police chief has lost his driving licence after his president saw him drive through a red light. The chief of police at Focsani was seen driving through the red traffic light by the president of the Vrancea district. President Marian Oprisan says he is now waiting for police chief Gheorghe Negoitescu to resign. Romania's National newspaper reports that Negoitescu has lost his driving licence for one month. "If the policemen are doing such things, what should we expect from the other drivers," said President Oprisan. A United States postal worker has been accused of attacking former colleagues with three buckets of animal faeces. The man from Empire in Michigan faces charges of assault and malicious destruction of property. State police allege the worker, whose contract had recently been ended, entered a mail sorting room at the Empire Post Office and threw three buckets of faeces at four workers and on the contents of the room. He has also been indicted on federal charges in Grand Rapids. The Traverse-City Record Eagle says no injuries were reported and decontamination was handled by the United States Postal Hazardous Materials Team from Grand Rapids.

Austrian police have stopped a skater with an alcohol level almost five times higher than the limit for driving. The 33-year-old had his leg in plaster from a previous skating accident. He had to undo his blades and was taken home by police in Bruck. He is facing a fine running into hundreds of pounds. Skaters on Austria's roads can also face the loss of their driving licences for being over the limit. Tests showed the man from the Salzburg region had alcohol in his blood estimated to equate to drinking about 10 pints of beer.

A Norwegian bank robber asked police to arrest him when his attempt to blow up a cash machine failed. Police say the 27-year-old telephoned them because he'd left clues about his identity. They also say he was worried about the dynamite he left behind at the bank, north of Oslo. He'd planned to blow up Gensidige NOR's cash machine at the Skedsmosenter shopping centre. Officers arrested him after arranging to meet him. Trond Aune of Romerike police says: "He left revealing 'trade marks' at the scene of the crime. He was also worried about the dynamite he'd left behind." Police cordoned off the area while they waited for bomb disposal experts to arrive, Aftenposten reports. A man is accused of holding two dogs to ransom. Owner Gillian Pagliaro claims the kidnapper said he would set two pit bulls on her Siberian huskies unless she paid up. Police have arrested Darryl Jones, from Racine, Milwaukee. He has been charged with threats to injure and felony theft of more than $1,000 (702) in connection with the dog thefts. One of the dogs has been returned to Ms Pagliaro. She is still searching for the other dog, reports the Journal Sentinel.

A South African suitor allegedly burnt down five homes to try and flush out the object of his affections. Oscar Mntombo is accused of setting fire to them one after the other as the woman ran from home to home. A court heard claims the torchings started when the woman ran away and locked herself in her home. The home was set alight and she ran to a neighbour's, which was also set ablaze, reports the African Eye News Service. Frightened by his love propositions, the woman ran to three more homes and each time they were set alight. Mntombo, 26, of Tembisa on the East Rand, was eventually stopped by the homeowners and other villagers who managed to overpower him. He has appeared in court to face five charges of committing arson in the village of Nomadi in South Africa's Northern Province. Mntombo was remanded and the case postponed until November 20 for further police

investigations. Rioting students set fire to their headteacher's house because they were not allowed a half-term break. The pupils in Kenya damaged other buildings by throwing stones at them. They are also reportedly angry at school bosses for failing to repair the school bus in time for a scheduled trip. Police broke up the students and have started a criminal investigation, although no arrests have yet been made at St Paul's Boys Secondary School in Embu. The headteacher, Eustas Rutere, was not harmed but the Daily Nation says his house is believed to be gutted. This is the third time in three years that the students have destroyed school property. They have previously burnt down the library and deputy head teacher's house.

A Czech man wanted by police for theft has been spotted on a TV newsreel fighting for the Northern Alliance. Ladislav Kubik was spotted by his father who was watching the evening news on Czech channel Nova. He is wanted for theft and not paying child support for his three children in Prague. The television station has handed the news film to police investigators. Police are trying to conclusively prove it is Kubik in the Afghanistan footage. If it is, under Czech law he may also be prosecuted for serving in a foreign army - a charge that could land him three to eight years in prison. But police say it will be extremely difficult to extradite Kubik, since Afghanistan does not co-operate with Interpol. Because of the current situation, the Czechs are also unsure which authorities they can turn to for an extradition request.

A car thief in Sweden is in custody after trying to book a vehicle in for a service with its legal owner. The Gothenburg mechanic says he couldn't believe his eyes when his stolen car pulled up at his garage. The thief realised his mistake when the real owner confronted him. He tried to run, but was arrested soon after by police. The surprised mechanic told Swedish newspaper Metro: "I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw my car, which had been stolen two days earlier, pull up in the drive. "The driver got out and casually walked into the shop and asked me to book it in for a service."

A Prague taxi driver allegedly swallowed a receipt to destroy evidence gained by inspectors that he'd been overcharging. Two trading standards inspectors dressed as tourists got into the cab at the main railway station and asked to be taken to a hotel.

They claim they were charged three and a half times what the fare should have been, but when they flashed their badges the driver snatched the receipt back and swallowed it. The driver has been arrested and faces a fine up to 20,000 for overcharging and an extra 1,000 for thwarting the inspectors' work, says Miloslava Fleglova, a Czech Trade Inspection spokeswoman. Officials are carrying out taxi checks at the main railway station because of repeated complaints from customers

A Dutch man who's obsessed with women's urine inserted bags in public toilets to collect it. He was given a two week suspended sentence, for collecting the urine at toilets in Rotterdam airport. He says he's now given it up and watches pornographic films instead. His present girlfriend told the court Nicholas G didn't want a sexual relationship, because he was scared of HIV and Aids. But he wanted contact with women and was sexually excited by female urine, she said. The defendant said: "Normally I wouldn't have the nerve to walk in the ladies' lavatories and insert the bags. But after a few beers, I could. When I was sober again, I realised what I had done and felt guilty" He was caught when he slipped and fell while he was inspecting a bag. A woman in an adjoining cubicle alerted police. He told the court: "I have given up alcohol and have a new girlfriend. The fascination for women's urine is still there but now I watch porno films and read magazines." A Frenchman has been sentenced by a court in Nancy to six months in prison for giving a woman an unwanted foot massage. The 33-year-old pretended to be a medical student and offered young women foot massages on train rides. He refused to stop when asked to. The man received a suspended sentence for a similar offence earlier this year and is currently undergoing medical treatment.

A man who took his girlfriend hostage down-graded his ransom demands from 10,000 and a car to a crate of lager and two packs of cigarettes. The 23-year-old threatened to kill his 26-year-old girlfriend after taking her hostage at knife-point in Germany. The siege in Chemnitz ended peacefully after a police psychologist intervened and he was overpowered by officers when he went to the front door to collect his beer.

Workers have fled an office block in Canada due to a lift rage row.

Two workers at a high rise office building in Montreal were arguing about whether the lift should go up or down. It got out of control when one of them attacked the other with pepper spray forcing a partial evacuation of the building. The evacuation was ordered after the spray spread onto each floor the lift stopped at. Other workers panicked when they saw fire fighters circling the building. Luc Turgeon of the Montreal fire department says a number of people in the lift complained of an irritating gas. Three people who reported feeling sick and dizzy as a result of the spray were taken to hospital as a precaution. Canoe says the pepper sprayer escaped.

Police are having trouble investigating a fight involving three men with the same name. Romanian police say the fight broke out over a debt being collected by loan Gabor and his son of the same name. The man who reportedly owed them the money was also called Ioan Gabor. A fight started and the son, from Cluj, ended up being stabbed in the stomach. He is in hospital in a critical condition.

Seven arrested for having 'sex in a row' Milan police have arrested seven men they found allegedly having sex linked together in a line. Officers discovered the men, all aged 20 to 30, during a routine patrol along a city-centre highway. They have been charged with indecent public action and released on bail. A police investigation report says the men, who have not been named, were "completely naked, standing on their knees and linked together in a sexual game between a very busy street and a city park". Officers have revealed the professions of the seven, Il Nuovo website reports. They were a journalist, musician, nurse, stylist, driver and two unemployed men. A thief in California, has driven off in a new $125,000 Porsche after convincing sales staff it was his. The real buyer, who'd waited two years for his special order, arrived 20 minutes later at the San Jose dealership. Palo Alto police, are still looking for the Porsche 996 Turbo and the man who drove it from Carlsen Motor Cars.

Smugglers taped 26,000 cigarettes into the shape of surfboards to try to get them through customs. Customs officers at Manchester Airport say it is one of the most ingenious methods they have seen. The cigarettes had been zipped into two surfboard carrying bags and were found abandoned at the airport. FULL Smugglers build surfboards out of cigarettes Smugglers taped 26,000 cigarettes into the shape of surfboards to try to get them through customs. Customs officers at Manchester Airport say it is one of the most ingenious methods they have seen. The cigarettes had been zipped into two surfboard carrying bags and were found abandoned at the airport. The cigarettes, still in their packets, had been left behind after a flight from the Canary Islands. Customs spokesman Matthew King told the Manchester Evening News: "It was rather a shock. Our officers have seen most things over the years but never anything as odd as this. "This was a most ingenious concealment and shows the extent to which smugglers will go." The 'surfboards' were found to be made of 1,290 packets of cigarettes, worth around 5,500. An Australian has been jailed for hacking into council computers and getting them to pump raw sewage into public waterways. Vitek Boden, of Brisbane, was sentenced to two years after being found guilty of 30 charges involving computer hacking, theft and environmental vandalism. In one incident he used a radio transmitter to alter sewage pumping station controls causing thousands of litres to overflow. FULL Australian hacker jailed for disrupting sewage system An Australian has been jailed for hacking into council computers and getting them to pump raw sewage into public waterways. Vitek Boden, of Brisbane, was sentenced to two years after being found guilty of 30 charges involving computer hacking, theft and environmental vandalism. In one incident he used a radio transmitter to alter sewage pumping station controls causing thousands of litres to overflow. Maroochydore District Court heard the tampering cost AUS$176,000 (61,000) in repairs, monitoring, clean-ups and extra security.

Boden, 50, of Springwood, carried out the vandalism between February and April last year. When police arrested him they found computer equipment and hacking programmes in his car, the Brisbane Courier Mail reports. Judge Keith Dodds said Boden was seeking vengeance on his previous employer and installer of the sewage system, Hunter Watertech, and Maroochydore Council because it had turned down his job application. More than 50 Belgian police officers were called out to hunt for a woman whose reported kidnapping turned out to be a birthday surprise. Her family intended to stage the 30-year-old's fake kidnapping then take her on a special outing. They have been charged in connection with the incident and could also face compensation claims from police in seven cities who were involved in the search.

FULL Family face court after joke kidnapping goes wrong More than 50 Belgian police officers were called out to hunt for a woman whose reported kidnapping turned out to be a birthday surprise. Her family intended to stage the 30-year-old's fake kidnapping then take her on a special outing. They have been charged in connection with the incident and could also face compensation claims from police in seven cities who were involved in the search. It started when a witness told police he had seen a dark car with three masked men in it driving from Antwerp in the direction of Turnhout. That was backed up by a similar call five minutes later. Police in Antwerp took the call seriously because they had been informed about a genuine hold-up near Brussels. More then 50 officers from seven cities in the region were asked to look for the dark car. In the meantime another time witness passed on the registration number of the car. When police phoned the owner, Gazet van Antwerpen reports the mother said her three children were all in the car because they wanted to play a joke for their sister's 30th birthday. They intended to 'kidnap' her then take her on a bike ride. Ronny De Waele from the federal police in Antwerp said they now face a huge bill. He added: "Police from seven cities were involved. They can claim damages. No matter how innocent the joke seemed, a lot of people were worried and felt unsafe. Because we thought it was the work of real kidnappers we even had to wear our bulletproof vests." A new law could mean a maximum four year jail term for copying an article from a newspapers and the internet in Hong Kong A consultation paper on reviewing the controversial copyright law has been made public today by legislators. The law which took effect in April was partially suspended in June following an

outcry about criminalising businesses and schools for making copies of books and newspapers. FULL Hong Kong law could make photocopies illegal A new law could mean a maximum four year jail term for copying an article from a newspapers and the internet in Hong Kong A consultation paper on reviewing the controversial copyright law has been made public today by legislators. The law which took effect in April was partially suspended in June following an outcry about criminalising businesses and schools for making copies of books and newspapers. It carried a maximum penalty of a 4,385 fine and four years in prison for every copied article. The proposals from the Commerce and Industry Bureau suggest either sticking to the original law or decriminalising photocopying of books, newspaper articles and downloading from the internet. It also suggests a partial relaxation on constraints related to photocopying of textbooks by educators. Au Yeung Chi, vice-president of the Hong Kong Teachers' Association, told the South China Morning Post they should be given a full exemption. But legislator Cheung Man-kwong, who represents educators, says that could cause problems. "An author writes a book and sells it for 17 and you get it for 1.70 by making copies. That amounts to an infringement,'' he said.

Visitors to an Australian exhibition have stolen a head and a penis from two of the statues. The vandals beheaded the sculpture of Greek goddess Artemis and stole a penis from a tribute to Plato. Artist Vince Vozzo is appealing for the body parts to be returned, no questions asked. FULL Artist appeals for return of statues' stolen body parts Visitors to an Australian exhibition have stolen a head and a penis from two of the statues. The vandals beheaded the sculpture of Greek goddess Artemis and stole a penis from a tribute to Plato. Artist Vince Vozzo is appealing for the body parts to be returned, no questions asked. His works went on show at Sydney University's Hermann Black Gallery in August. Vozzo told the Sydney Morning Herald: "These works are one-off, I can't redo them." He believes the body parts were stolen during a black-tie function held by a private boys' school.

Gallery curator Nick Vickers said: "For all we know, the damage could have been done by a hot-headed journalist looking for a story." The University Union says it will compensate Mr Vozzo for the damage - estimated to be AUS$16,000 (5,500). Reports in Hong Kong say a wife cut off her husband's penis because she suspected he was having an affair. Surgeons reattached the penis but they say he may be left impotent. He's in a stable condition. The 54-year-old allegedly attacked him while he slept. Reports don't say if she's been arrested or charged. FULL Wife 'chopped off husband's penis over alleged affair' Reports in Hong Kong say a wife cut off her husband's penis because she suspected he was having an affair. Surgeons reattached the penis but they say he may be left impotent. He's in a stable condition. The 54-year-old allegedly attacked him while he slept. Reports don't say if she's been arrested or charged. The Straits Times, quoting Hong Kong's Apple Daily, says the couple went to hospital after their son heard screams coming from their bedroom. The 30-year-old, who lives with them, rushed into the room to find his mother holding a knife and his father bleeding profusely at his crotch, the paper reports. Dennis Rodman must pay a casino dealer $80,000 for rubbing dice on him in 1997, a jury has ruled. Rodman wasn't required to appear in the Clark County District Court case, and he didn't testify. Former Mirage craps dealer James Brasich sought $300,000 in damages, claiming Rodman humiliated him. FULL Jury orders Rodman to pay $80,000 to casino dealer Dennis Rodman must pay a casino dealer $80,000 for rubbing dice on him in 1997, a jury has ruled. Rodman wasn't required to appear in the Clark County District Court case, and he didn't testify. Former Mirage craps dealer James Brasich sought $300,000 in damages, claiming Rodman humiliated him. It is the first of a series of lawsuits to go to trial against Rodman by people who say he mistreated them in Las Vegas casinos. Rodman's lawyers didn't deny that Rodman rubbed Brasich with the dice. They said it was for luck.

Jurors deliberated a little more than an hour Friday afternoon before returning their 6-2 verdict. A suspect bank robber has been arrested while sitting on a park bench drinking beer minutes after a raid. Edmond Alexander was spotted by an officer who looked out of a window of the police station. Alexander was arrested and charged with bank robbery in Longview, Washington State. FULL 'Cool robber' arrested enjoying beer after raid A suspect bank robber has been arrested while sitting on a park bench drinking beer minutes after a raid. Edmond Alexander was spotted by an officer who looked out of a window of the police station. Alexander was arrested and charged with bank robbery in Longview, Washington State. Alexander, 54, had allegedly tried to play it cool, by robbing the bank, then strolling to a shop buying a beer and drinking on a public bench just a 100 yards away and over the road from the police station. Sgt. Ed Jones said: "He was pretty blase about the whole thing. I don't think he cared whether he got caught or not." Alexander, 54, is now in custody. A student in Uganda chased a murderer until he dropped the head of the victim he'd just decapitated. The student was in a Kampala library when the killer chopped off his victim's head with a sword. The murderer put it in a bag and ran off. The student chased him for more than a mile until he dropped the head. FULL Student chases murderer until he drops victim's head A student in Uganda chased a murderer until he dropped the head of the victim he'd just decapitated. The student was in a Kampala library when the killer chopped off his victim's head with a sword. The murderer put it in a bag and ran off. The student chased him for more than a mile until he dropped the head. The murderer has disappeared, local media report. Regional police commander Ahmed Wafuba said: "It is very rare that an assailant kills somebody and carries away the parts." The killing happened at St Matia Mulumba public library where the victim was studying for his exams.

A Claudia Schiffer fan is reported to have been arrested by police after a three-day, 1,000-mile trek to propose to her. The 28-year-old Polish gardener arrived at the supermodel's Majorca villa in a black dinner jacket and bowtie. Spanish police arrested the man when he upset Schiffer's mum by repeatedly trying to sneak into the house. FULL Schiffer fan 'arrested after 1,000-mile proposal trek' A Claudia Schiffer fan is reported to have been arrested by police after a three-day, 1,000mile trek to propose to her. The 28-year-old Polish gardener arrived at the supermodel's Majorca villa in a black dinner jacket and bowtie. Spanish police arrested the man when he upset Schiffer's mum by repeatedly trying to sneak into the house. Adres Weasima wore a large heart-shaped badge with the words "I love Claudia". He was also carrying an armful of presents and a letter for her. He had travelled for three days by bus, ferry and on foot in his dinner jacket, reports The Daily Express. A police source said: "We often have to remove people hanging around outside Miss Schiffer's villa but this guy was something else." A man who was so drunk he couldn't walk was stopped by police when he borrowed his dad's electric wheelchair to go for more alcohol. Police in Moenchengladbach in Germany pulled the wheelchair driver over when they noticed his erratic progress. The 49-year-old told officers he had wanted to get a night cap.

FULL Police stop drunk driving electric wheelchair A man who was so drunk he couldn't walk was stopped by police when he borrowed his dad's electric wheelchair to go for more alcohol. Police in Moenchengladbach in Germany pulled the wheelchair driver over when they noticed his erratic progress. The 49-year-old told officers he had wanted to get a night cap. A police spokesman said the man was over the legal drink-drive limit and they had been forced to confiscate his wheelchair after cautioning him. He added: "The man wanted to drive on even after the check so we were forced to confiscate the wheelchair for security reasons." A Belgian man has been jailed after accidentally confessing to 40 burglaries.

He was brought in for questioning by police in connection with an allegation of rape. He told the officers about the burglaries when they told him he knew why he was there. FULL Criminal accidentally confesses to 40 burglaries A Belgian man has been jailed after accidentally confessing to 40 burglaries. He was brought in for questioning by police in connection with an allegation of rape. He was arrested after his ex-wife complained that he had raped her. He admitted breaking in to chalets of sports clubs and stealing sweets, food, and drinks. But he denied the rape allegation and was not charged with it. The 37-year-old, from Leuven, has been jailed for two-and-a-half years, reports Het Nieuwsblad. Armed US police swooped on drama students filming a hold-up.

They were re-creating a robbery when officers burst onto the set at Syracuse University, New York State. A passerby contacted emergency services when they spotted a firearm. FULL Armed police swoop on film students staging robbery Armed US police swooped on drama students filming a hold-up. They were re-creating a robbery when officers burst onto the set at Syracuse University, New York State. A passerby contacted emergency services when they spotted a firearm. Actor John Remis dropped his toy cap gun immediately raising his hands as his fellow students tried to explain the situation. Professor Tula Goenka notified Syracuse Univesity's Public Safety Department about the robbery but The Post-Standard says they told police they had no record of it. Syracuse police Sergeant Joe Sweeny says the students are lucky and urged them to notify the police directly in future. Professor Goenka said: "You tell them people don't have to get held up or die for it to be dramatic, but they always want to throw in the guns and the violence," she said. "They all want to be Quentin Tarantino." A woman is facing life in prison after stabbing, skinning and decapitating her partner, then cooking him for his children's dinner. 45-year-old Katherine Mary Knight admitted murdering John Price after she was to be thrown out of his house. She had stabbed him, decapitated and skinned his body, then hung the complete pelt from a meat hook in the lounge room. FULL

Woman cooked common law husband for children's meal A woman has been jailed for life after stabbing, skinning and decapitating her partner, then cooking him for his children's dinner. Katherine Mary Knight admitted murdering John Price after she was to be thrown out of his house. She had stabbed him, decapitated and skinned his body, then hung the complete pelt from a meat hook in the lounge room. She then put his head in a cooking pot, baked flesh sliced from his buttocks and prepared it with vegetables. The flesh steaks were then arranged on plates and left as meals for the dead man's son and daughter . The 45-year-old also left what have been described as 'vindictive notes' alongside them. "The last minutes of his life must have been a time of abject terror for him, as they were a time of utter enjoyment for her," said the judge According to the Sydney Morning Herald the judge has also told the Australian Court that parole should never be considered. Justice Barry O'Keefe said Knight was a "very dangerous person" likely to commit further violence, or murder those who cross her if released into the community. Police have caught a bakery thief because he ate so many cakes during his raid.

He suffered severe indigestion and couldn't move, after eating 42 cakes in the Romanian shop. Security guards who heard noises in the kitchen, called police who arrested 48-year-old Loan Munteanu.

A Romanian family thought a ghost was haunting them until police found a burglar in the attic. They say noises from upstairs terrified them for a week until they asked a priest to exorcise the 'ghost'. They also called police after noticing money and jewellery had vanished. Officers arrested a man.

A peeping Tom in South Africa videoed his flatmate and her friend in the bath using a hidden camera. He fitted a tiny camera into the bathroom ceiling of their flats in Strand and Gordon's Bay. The camera was linked to his computer in another room. He faces either a fine or prison.

FULL Peeping Tom hooked up secret camera to record flat mate in bath A peeping Tom in South Africa videoed his flatmate and her friend in the bath using a hidden camera. He fitted a tiny camera into the bathroom ceiling of their flats in Strand and Gordon's Bay. The camera was linked to his computer in another room. He faces either a fine or prison. Fanie Terblanche, 29, taped his flatmate Chatal Hendricksen, 20, and her friend Zinzia Rader, 21, over several months, Afrikaans newspaper Die Burger reports. He was fined 3,000 rand (around 215), but if he does not pay he will be sent to prison for 15 months. Magistrate Arno Faber also ordered the tapes to be destroyed. After the sentence was passed Ms Hendricksen told the paper: "We still look for suspicious holes in the ceiling of every room we're in. Something special was taken away from us without our consent. There will always be something reminding us of it." Terblanche's lawyer Milton de la Harpe argued the prosecution hadn't proved his client made the recordings. The magistrate said although there was no direct testimony against Terblanche, the recordings were made in two flats which he and Ms Hendricksen shared. The camera equipment was linked to his computer and the tapes were found in his flat, he added. Terblanche says he'll appeal.

An Indian immigrant has been charged with creating a false anthrax scare in New York to get himself transported home. Nixon Saldanha allegedly raised the alarm because he wanted to return to India but couldn't afford the air fare. Officials say he told a National Guard soldier at a city attraction that he had just discovered two strange envelopes. People who pee in public in the shadow of Big Ben will now face a 500 fine.

Westminster City Council is cracking down on anyone urninating in public to reduce, "alarming levels of street fouling." The area is home to national landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, Downing Street and Nelson's Column. FULL Pee in public, pay 500 says Westminster Council People who pee in public in the shadow of Big Ben will now face a 500 fine. Westminster City Council is cracking down on anyone urninating in public to reduce, "alarming levels of street fouling."

The area is home to national landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, Downing Street and Nelson's Column. Caustic urine is also accelerating the decay of some historic buildings. Councillor Judith Warner said the council has consulted police to find the best way of dealing with what she called slime crime in its areas. "It is important to recognize that these initiatives will only work if people become more socially responsible for their actions," Ms Warner said. "We are urging people to act responsibly or pay the penalty." Illegal street traders and people who dump rubbish or cause noise nuisance are also being targeted, the Councillor warned. Robbers raided a Japanese bank of 47 million yen then left it on a train.

The gang of four put the bag of cash in an overhead rack and a suspicious train conductor confiscated it. They had to leave the bag, containing the equivalent of 268,000, on the train after the raid in Fukuoka. FULL Robbers raid bank but leave cash on train Robbers raided a Japanese bank of 47 million yen then left it on a train. The gang of four put the bag of cash in an overhead rack and a suspicious train conductor confiscated it. They had to leave the bag, containing the equivalent of 268,000, on the train after the raid in Fukuoka. Police say a woman screamed and demanded staff at the Saga Bank exchange her US dollars into yen. Her three male accomplices reached over the counter and stole the cash. They jumped on a train and one of them placed the cash on an overhead rack away from where he was sitting. When a conductor became suspicious, the man said the bag belonged to him, but the operator didn't believe him, police say. The conductor then contacted West Japan Railway Co. officials by phone and when he returned the man had disappeared reports Mainichi Daily News.

Police hunt 'Godfather' horse killers Police in Canada are hunting 'Godfather' horse killers who shot a pony and took its head. Sunday the pinto pony was shot and had his head hacked off and taken away by the killers. Police in Sharbot Lake, Ontario, are hunting the culprits. The six-year-old pony, valued at $1,200, about 500, was the pet of the Matson family's children. "They're pretty upset," said Betty Matson, grandmother of the children. Police believe Sunday was shot while standing in the pasture with about five other horses.

The shooters then cut off the animal's head and made their escape, leaving the corpse behind. None of the other animals were hurt. But The Godfather-like killing might be a case of mistaken identity, reports the Ottawa Sun. Police believe the killers mistook the pet pony, which was tan in colour and had white legs, as a deer. The theory is the hunters might have been searching for deer with a flashlight, saw the horse and shot it instead. With the bullet lodged in the animal's head, the killers might have believed taking the head was the only way to avoid having the bullet traced.

Man dies after being 'inflated' with pressure hose A Thai truck driver has died after his friends pushed an air hose up his bottom and tried to inflate him for a joke. Doctors said the pressure ruptured his insides. Police are searching for the people involved. Chotpan Sanuanpan, 40, was pronounced dead on arrival at Nakornsritamarat hospital. The Thai Rath newspaper reports a compressor and airline were found in his bedroom during a police search. Mr Sanuanpan fell asleep face down wearing a T-shirt and boxer shorts. His friends pushed the air hose up his bottom and turned on the compressor as a joke. The truck driver is said to have woken up with a start and then gone quiet. His friends took him to hospital before fleeing. Farmer found in cow The body of an Egyptian farmer has been found in a cow's stomach. It was discovered by a man who was trying to strip the cow's carcass to sell for leather. Police in Sharkiya believe the man was killed and stuffed inside the dead cow which was then stitched up and dumped at the roadside. They say he was strangled in his sleep. A man and woman have been charged with murder, reports the Egyptian Algomhuria paper. Man caught carrying two heads in bag Nigerian police say they will prosecute a man found carrying two human heads in Lagos. Local radio reports say the man was arrested as he tried to board a bus in the city. The Punch Newspaper reports he is a cemetery worker who has allegedly supplied body parts to occultists. The man arrested reportedly told police a human head can sell for between 125 and 185. Occultists are said to believe using body parts in spells will enhance their power. Death row dog appeal to be heard The owner of a dog sentenced to death for barking is making a bid to save the animal's life. William Shaw, of Aberdeen, and his legal team are returning to court for the next stage of the battle to save his West Highland terrier, Sam. A panel of judges, sitting at the Appeal Court in Edinburgh, is hearing a plea to reverse the sentence against Sam. The appeal was granted last month by Lord Cameron of Lochbroom. Sam became a cause celebre after being given a death sentence by a justice of the peace following a case at Aberdeen District Court earlier this year.

His decision followed a complaint from Mr Shaw's elderly neighbour, who said the dog's incessant barking over many years was a nuisance. A campaign to save the dog immediately got under way, attracting the backing of screen legend and animal lover, Brigitte Bardot. Last month a court decided that Sam should undergo retraining, in a bid to correct his behaviour. The death row pet was released from the care of Aberdeen District Court after Mr Shaw agreed to have him rehoused at a rehabilitation centre. Man to pay damages for demolishing car in 'footpath rage' A New Zealand man demolished a car in an incident of 'footpath rage'. Jean Louis van Berkel of Hamilton stomped on the boot, roof and bonnet of a car that blocked his path. He also kicked all four doors in during the walk with his toddler and dog. He's been ordered to pay compensation. Hamilton District Court heard he "snapped" when the car blocked his path. He told police he'd do whatever he had to "to walk on the last free place on this Earth". According to the Waikato Times, the court heard the stress-related "moment of madness" was totally out of character. Berkel, who has no prior convictions, was ordered to pay $3285 (around 960) to the car's owner. Protester steals string of 'penises' A man has stolen 21 ceramic penises from a US art exhibition, claiming the artwork is "male bashing". Robert Rowan took the exhibits from a Colorado library and left a US flag in their place. The organs were hung on a clothes line as part of an exhibition about domestic violence. Mr Rowan later handed the penises to police, who have not yet pressed charges. Some say the penises, part of a work titled Hung Out To Dry, look like socks or corn on the cob. The 49-year-old became enraged after the library refused to hang a huge US flag saying it was too big - yet had rejected criticism to put on the penis display. The library in Boulder, later hung up a smaller flag, reports the Arizona Republic. Mr Rowan said: "We've got guys overseas right now fighting for our freedom and these women are bashing our men. The whole display is a male-bashing deal. "There's an uproar in my heart. This just doesn't belong here. I have never pulled off a crime before in my entire life and I have a lot of pride for what I did." Police plan to consult artist Susanne Walker before deciding whether to press charges against Mr Rowan. Ms Walker said: "If you want to attack me or my artwork, then confront me with discussion that is the purpose of this type of art." Man found guilty of attempted murder although he wasn't present A South African farmer has been found guilty of attempted murder after his dogs mauled seven people while he was away from home. It is reported to be the first time in the country's legal history that a person has been found guilty of attempted murder despite not being present at the time of the attack. A teenager had to have a leg amputated as a result of being mauled.

Vegetable grower Waldemar Siegfried Rix, 51, wasn't at home at the time. Afrikaans daily Die Burger, reports he was also found guilty of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Announcing the guilty verdict in the Cape Town Regional Court, Magistrate Robert Henney said: "I am venturing into new legal territory since there has never been a similar finding in the past." Mr Henney found Rix had neglected his legal duty to prevent his dogs from attacking people. He added: "I have no doubt they were very dangerous animals." Rix is due to be sentenced on December 14. Police hunt serial cooking burglar German police are hunting a thief who breaks into people's bungalows only to cook himself meals. The intruder makes dinner, washes up and leaves clean plates and an empty fridge. Police in the Strausberg area believe he may have struck up to 200 times. Police chief Ina Steinborn said: "Many bungalow-owners don't report the break-ins, I suppose some do not notice them. "We cannot find him. Even watching from other bungalows does not help." Police are urging all bungalow-owners in the area not to leave food lying around. Couple share rented rooms with 120 cats A Virginian couple kept 120 cats in rented motel rooms despite being told no pets. A terrible smell alerted animal welfare officers to the rooms in Newport. Most of the cats will be put down. Steven Welker and his wife Debra may face animal cruelty charges. "These cats were living in the stove, cupboards, bathroom, in the mattress and walls," said Gene Falls, director of Peninsula Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "This is the worst I've seen for the number of cats. The whole floor was covered in faeces." It took two hours to clear one room of cats. Officers found 80 at the Welcome Inn and 40 cats at another set of rented rooms at the Green Oaks Motel nearby, reports the Daily Press. Jagbish Desai, owner of the Green Oaks, said the Welkers paid him a week's rent, tax and deposit when they checked in. "I specifically told them, 'No pets.'" he said. He believes the couple smuggled the cats in boxes during the night. "The room was stinking like anything," he added. Man gets coat hanger stuck in throat as he tries to remove balloon A Kansas man got a wire coat hanger stuck in his throat as he tried to remove a cocaine-filled balloon he'd swallowed. He says someone put the balloon in his drink at a party and he accidentally swallowed it. He needed emergency surgery to remove both. Police say he could face possession charges. "I've been here for 23 years, and I've never seen anything like it," Sergeant Jeff Davis says. Staff at Via Christi Regional Medical Centre called police after the man, described as being in his 20s, arrived. A friend had driven him to the hospital. "He was in a lot of pain," Sgt Davis said. "He couldn't talk to us a whole lot." Doctors made a large incision in his throat to unhook the hanger, he added. His condition isn't life-threatening, The Wichita Eagle reports.

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Man found with 44 birds in his trousers A Miami man authorities allege had 44 birds hidden in his trousers when he arrived on a charter flight from Havana is to face smuggling charges. Carlos Rodriguez Avila has been charged with unlawful importation and possession of the birds. The birds have been valued in excess of 200. Avila has also been charged with making a false statement by stating on a US Customs form that he was not bringing birds into the United States. Suspicious airport inspectors asked Avila to raise his trouser legs and saw something strapped to his legs when he arrived in Miami on October 31. A final count of the birds included some Cuban melodious finches, which are popular pet songbirds. The species is not endangered in its home range, but is easily stressed by capture and smuggling, US Fish and Wildlife agent John Rawls wrote in an affidavit supporting the criminal charge. An international treaty requires an export permit to remove the birds from Cuba, and US regulations require them to be quarantined on arrival to check for disease. Avila was released on $50,000 bond on November 1. If convicted, he could be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison and forced to pay restitution and a $250,000 fine. Avila does not have a listed phone number and could not be reached for comment Wednesday Drunk officer relieves himself on parked car A drunk police inspector is in trouble for relieving himself on a parked car in Japan. Rokuro Tamaki then told the owner, "Do you want a fight? Call the police - if you can." The chief of police in Osaka has vowed to tighten up discipline among officers. Tamaki, 57, who was on sick-leave from duty, staggered up the street, unzipped his flies and began urinating against the car. The inspector with the Metropolitan Police Department was confronted by the 22-year-old female owner of the car. Tamaki told her to call police, reports the Daily Yomiuri. Police chief Akira Mitsuzane said: "It is regrettable that one of our officers committed such a crime. I want to tighten the discipline of our officers." Tamaki admits thumping the car and urinating on it but says he was too drunk to remember how much he had drunk. In a separate incident, a second officer is also in trouble for exposing himself to a schoolgirl and a 23-year-old woman on a train on the way home from a police leaving-do. German police hunt speeding bottom Police in Germany are trying to identify a speeding driver from pictures of a bare bottom. Someone 'mooned' at a speed camera as a car went through a 30mph zone in Bonn at twice the limit. When the tape was examined officials found a perfect print of the offender's bare bottom instead of his face. Werner Geisbuesch, head of the penalties department of the traffic police, says it is not the usual image picked up by the radar camera in the Godesberger tunnel in Bonn. "I was amazed when I saw what should have been his face, but judging by his acrobatic contortion he must have been some sort of performer," he said. Police are unsure whether the naked bottom belonged to the driver or the passenger because the driver's seat was obscured by reflection on the windscreen.

If officers catch the flasher he faces up to a month in jail, a 70 fine and three points on his licence. Mother accused of hanging son, 10, for stealing 70p A Malawi woman has allegedly hanged her own son for stealing 70p. The 10-year-old was left hanging from telephone wires and rubber bands for eight hours. He survived the ordeal and is being treated in hospital. Police in the southern city of Blantyre have named the 39-year-old woman as Rose Gama. Commissioner Oliver Soko says she got angry after discovering that 60 kwacha, the equivalent of 70p, was missing. "The boy confessed to pinching the money and the woman got angry. She beat him severely but was not contented by the punishment," he claimed. The boy was hanged from the roof rafters from around 6pm to 2am when his elder brother raised the alarm. "Neighbours heard the hysterical cries of the older boy and the strange groans from the hanged boy," said Commissioner Soko. Eye-witnesses said neighbours broke down the door to the house and rescued the boy who was very weak. The woman has been charged with action intended to cause bodily harm and maim, an offence punishable by at least five years in jail if convicted. De Niro double charged with impersonating the actor A stunt double for Robert De Niro faces charges of impersonating him in real life. Joseph Manuella from Paramus, New Jersey, allegedly had a Visa card under the actor's name. Manuella was a stunt double for De Niro in The Fan and Great Expectations. It's also alleged he passed around and signed pictures of De Niro. Manuella "used his status as De Niro to get the local people to lend him props and get free or discounted meals and lodging," De Niro's lawyer, Tom Harvey, told the New York Post. Mr Harvey says he set up a sting by hiring Manuella to appear as a De Niro lookalike - but instead had a limo waiting to deliver the alleged impostor directly to state police headquarters, where he was charged. Manuella's alleged act began to unravel on July 13, 1999, when The Post ran what turned out to be an inaccurate story about how 'De Niro' was seen leaving a pub with a woman he then spent the night with. Mr Harvey says the person was actually Manuella. Alleged robber corrects victim's description to police An Iowa man returned to a shop he'd allegedly just robbed and corrected the description the cashier was giving police. The cashier at the Des Moines shop told police on the phone the alleged robber was 5ft 10ins and about 38. The man, who'd dropped his wallet in the shop, said he was 6ft 2ins and 34. Police then arrived and arrested him. Authorities in Polk County have charged Steven Hebron, 34, of Des Moines with robbery. Cashier Harpal Singh rang police as soon as the robbery was over. Driver fined after asking police officer the way A Belgian driver who stopped to ask a police officer for directions was fined for pulling up in the wrong place.

Charles Katz was given directions after getting lost in Ghent but was also penalised for being in a street where traffic was banned. Mr Katz, from Brussels, was ordered to pay the equivalent of 15 and has since written to three politicians to protest. He told Het Nieuwsblad: "It's the principle. This is like a bad joke. I asked for the right road because I got lost and she fined me for stopping in a place where I shouldn't. I thought I was on Candid Camera." A spokesman for Ghent police said: "It happened in a street where no traffic was permitted. In 1998 we were very tolerant about it, but from 1999 every car which passed there got a penalty. "I know it's very frustrating for this gentleman, but the policewoman only did what she was ordered to do." Colombian police arrest man with heroin dissolved into his clothes An American allegedly soaked his clothes in 27 kilograms of heroin, packed them into a suitcase and tried to board a plane to Miami. Elias Francis Mouses was arrested as he tried to board an American Airlines flight in Cali, Colombia, police say. Mouses allegedly soaked his clothes in a liquid solution of dissolved heroin and then allowing the apparel to dry. The 29-year-old's hometown is not immediately available. Robber 'takes three-year-old son on job' An alleged robber in Brazil took his three-year-son on a job. Brothers Misael, Antonio and Evandro Garcia allegedly tried to hold up a shop in Carapicuiba. Police say when they caught the brothers, they found Evandro's son Gabriel with them. Evandro was supposed to be taking Gabriel to nursery. Evandro and Gabriel stayed in a car while Misael and Antonio entered the shop they planned to rob, police say. After they'd been arrested, officers called Gabriel's mother Norneide Oliveira. She found him playing in the police station. Police officer Gilberto Montenegro told Jonal da Tarde they'll be charged with robbery and mistreating a child.

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