Sunday, October 19, 2008

Zebra crossing

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Wheel malfunction

Born everywhere, raised in Britain

These are the children who left their home countries behind to make a new life with their families in Britain. The Guardian tracked down a child from every country in the world, (well almost), took their photo and heard their story.

There's an interactive guide here.

Click anywhere on the photos to access the index.

Dogs eat Australian man's car

A Darwin man says he woke to discover dogs had "eaten" his car - and it's not the first time it has happened.

Clayton Dwyer, 47, of Millner, thought his girlfriend was kidding when she woke him up and told him his work ute had been gnawed by a pack of savage dogs. But when he walked outside his Beetson Place home he discovered this was no joke.

His front bumper had been ripped from the car and chewed to bits by the dogs. They had even tried to munch on the front panels. "You can see the teeth marks," he said. The landscape gardener said the pack of wild dogs had been lurking around his neighbourhood for months.

"My girlfriend's car got eaten about three months ago," he said. "At first we thought it had been attacked with a hammer, but we took it to the panel beaters and he said it was dogs. You could see the teeth marks on it."

Man jailed for activity at car wash

A 29-year-old Swan Creek Township man was in the Saginaw County Jail for "receiving sexual favours from a vacuum" at a Thomas Township car wash, police say.

A Thomas Township resident called police to report "someone acting suspicious" at a car wash around 6:45 a.m. on Thursday, said Police Sgt. Gary Breidinger.

The officer parked some distance away, approached on foot and caught the man in the act, Breidinger said.

"I've seen some strange things, but this is the weirdest thing I ever heard," he said.

Dancer sent to jail for doing the cha-cha

Instead of dancing with the stars, Eric Rush is dancing behind bars. Teaching the cha-cha sent him to the slammer.

Last week, a Collin County district judge ordered Mr. Rush to serve 30 days in the county jail for contempt of court after violating an order prohibiting him from teaching dance lessons within 25 miles of a Plano dance studio.

The jail sentence is the latest step in a 10-month legal tango featuring a studio that says it's protecting its business and a former instructor who says he can't imagine life away from the dance floor.

Full story here.

There's a news video here.

Jamaica puzzled by theft of beach

Questions are being asked in Jamaica about a police investigation into the theft of hundreds of tons of sand from a beach on the island's north coast.

It was discovered in July that 500 truck-loads had been removed outside a planned resort at Coral Spring beach.

Detectives say people in the tourism sector could be suspects, because a good beach is seen as a valuable asset to hotels on the Caribbean island.

Illegal sand mining is a problem in Jamaica; the tradition of people building their own homes here means there is a huge demand for the construction material. However, the large volume and the type of sand taken made suspicion point towards the hotel industry.

The disappearance was deemed so important that the Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, also took an interest in the theft and ordered a report into how 500 truckloads of sand was stolen, transported and presumably sold.

Police said they were carrying out forensic tests on beaches along the coast to see if any of it matches the stolen sand.

Paul McCartney's head left on train

An auctioneer literally lost his head when he got off a train and realised he had left behind a valuable piece of art.

As Joby Carters got off and walked away from a train at Maidenhead station, he realised he had left a wax model of Sir Paul McCartney’s head on the carriage.

He had been entrusted with the piece of art work by a family friend and had taken the Reading to Ealing train service to get it valued by Peter Blake, a Beatles memorabilia expert who has a studio in Hammersmith.

Mr Carters is due to sell the pop star’s head at auction on Sunday, October 26, and has offered a £2,000 reward for its safe return.

It is believed the head, valued at up to £10,000, was originally on display at Louis Tussauds in Great Yarmouth and was due to be included in an auction of fairground rides and attractions.

Despite frantic phone calls to the train company to try to get it back, he has heard no word yet of the head’s whereabouts.

Town hall clock cost £32,000 but can you tell the time?

The giant work, which now adorns the side of a town hall, is meant to display hours, minutes and seconds with 20,000 tiny red lights in a square pattern.

But the £32,500 40-metre wide contraption has left passers-by in Barnsley, West Yorks, completely stumped.

Baffled councillor Malcolm Price said: “I saw some red lines and dashes and thought I must be on the wrong side of the building.

“In the end I just gave up, turned my head to the right and looked at the old Town Hall clock instead. I don’t think the Barnsley public will be able to make head nor tail of it. It’s a waste of money.”

For those willing to “take the time” to interpret its signals, there is a long line for minutes, a shorter line for hours and a red dot for seconds.

The clock’s “boss” Fergus Justice-Mills said: “It’s unique.”

Man collapses right outside hospital but is told to call for an ambulance

A man having a diabetic fit had to wait 15 minutes for an ambulance to take him to hospital - even though he collapsed right outside the building.

Reginald Kast, 34, who rushed to the man's aid after he fell in a heap outside Crawley Hospital's urgent treatment centre was shocked when medics told him to call 999.

Initially the good samaritan was relieved that the man, who has not been named, was so close to medical attention. 'I rushed over to him and tried to help him, but because we were right outside the hospital I thought "that's the best place this could have happened".'

A female passer-by who dashed into the hospital to tell staff about the sick man, aged in his 30s, was stunned when they told her to call for an ambulance.

Mr Kast said: 'When the woman came out of the hospital she was just in disbelief that she had been told to go and call an ambulance.' After calling 999, Mr Kast had to wait 15 minutes before the ambulance arrived.

A spokeswoman for West Sussex Primary Care Trust said they were aware of the incident. 'If a patient is in need of emergency treatment outside the urgent treatment centre a number of procedures are in place to ensure that person gets the medical attention they need.'

Nuns pray for a cockerel threatened with the chop

Tyneside residents are hoping that divine intervention will save a noisy cockerel from being "evicted".

Council estate tenants in Henderson Avenue, Gateshead have been told Basil the "Whickham wandering cockerel" must go as they cannot keep livestock.

Local nuns were supporting the bird, whose early morning crowing drew complaints, owner Joyce Callaghan said.

Photo from here.

Her sister Mary, a nun at a convent in Gosforth in Newcastle, told her family that prayers had been offered.

Gateshead Housing Company said as livestock Basil could not be kept under existing tenancy agreements.

Well-wishers are continuing to call at her house with messages of good luck and the bird has more that 1,300 friends on his Facebook page from all over the world. Fans have also written to Buckingham Palace asking the Queen to back their campaign. The cockerel has until 21 October before being evicted from his Whickham home.