Newsquirks | Hose Job 

Curses, Foiled Again
nPolice said that Enrique Vega Jr., 29, used a screwdriver to rob a Mexican restaurant in Fresno, Calif., then made his getaway on a bicycle. He crashed, however, impaling himself on the screwdriver, which severed an artery in his thigh, and he bled to death.


• When two men kicked in the front door of an apartment in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and demanded cash, the resident told the intruders he had no money but would go to a bank machine and get some while they waited in the apartment. They agreed, but once out the door, the victim called the police, who arrested John Reddick, 51, and Dennis States, 53.


Hose Job
nAfter police received a call reporting “someone acting suspicious” at a car wash around 6:45 a.m. in Thomas Township, Mich., an officer parked some distance away, approached on foot and caught a 29-year-old man in the act of “receiving sexual favors from a vacuum,” according to police Sgt. Gary Breidinger. “I’ve seen some strange things,” he told the Saginaw News, “but this is the weirdest thing I ever heard.”


In Synch
nChina intends to ban lip-synching at live performances. New rules announced by the ministry of culture would also cover musicians who pretend to play their instruments. The measure covers only professional performers, who would lose their business licenses for two or more violations in a two-year period. Singer Zheng Jun told the Shanghai-based paper Noon News that fewer than 20 percent of performers sang at their “live” shows, adding, “I once met a well-known singer at a show who didn’t even recognize his song as it was playing because it had been so long since he truly performed it.”


First Things First
nPolice in Fountain, Colo., accused Nikita Lee Weis, 18, of offering to pay two men $7,000 to break into his home and kill his mother so he could sell her car and empty her bank account to get breast implants for his 21-year-old girlfriend. Deputy Police Chief Mike Barnett said one of the men attacked the mother with a small wooden baseball bat, but she escaped.


Instant Replay
nIndia has become the first country to convict someone of a crime after relying on evidence from a brain scanner that produces images of the human mind in action and is said to reveal signs that a suspect remembers details of the crime in question. The New York Times reported that the case in Maharashtra state involved accused murderer Aditi Sharma, 24, who had 32 electrodes placed on her head and was asked a series of questions relating to the crime. The woman said nothing for an hour, but the parts of her brain where memories are thought to be stored reacted when the crime was recounted, according to state forensic investigator Sunny Joseph. The judge endorsed Joseph’s assertion that the results proved “experiential knowledge” of having committed the murder and sentenced Sharma to life in prison.


Hair Apparent
nA British doctor was found guilty of giving patients breast massages to cure their hair loss. The Daily Mail reported that Praminder Mankoo told his victims they needed massages to relieve the stress that was causing hair loss. He instructed them to strip to their underwear to avoid getting massage oil on their clothes, then he would rub their scalp, neck and shoulders before reaching around to touch their breasts. One woman testified in the Oxford Crown Court that Mankoo stripped naked after groping her breasts and “pushed my face into his genitals.” After a violent struggle, he finally let her go but then asked for payment and said she needed to schedule another appointment.


Warming Woes
nGlobal warming could lead to more wars, according to security analysts, who explained that rising temperatures lead to shifting populations, causing groups with long-standing rivalries to compete directly for food and water. “It’s not hard to imagine violent outbursts,” said Julianne Smith of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered his state to prepare for rising sea levels caused by global warming. Noting that sea levels rose 7 inches during the 20th century in San Francisco, Schwarzenegger warned, “The longer that California delays planning and adapting to sea-level rise, the more expensive and difficult adaptation will be.”


Little Things Mean a Lot
nPhilip Seaton, 61, sued two doctors who amputated his penis without his consent. According to the lawsuit filed in Shelby County, Ky., Seaton was supposed to have undergone a circumcision for a medical condition, but when he awoke from the procedure, he discovered his penis had been surgically removed. The plaintiff’s attorney, Kevin George, told Louisville’s WLKY News that Dr. John Patterson amputated the organ after finding cancer.


Second-Hand Victims
nA 22-year-old German man on trial in Moenchengladbach for causing an explosion that killed a 45-year-old neighbor and injured 15 other people in his apartment building told the court he was trying to kill himself because his girlfriend had broken up with him by phone. He had just opened the gas jets when the 17-year-old girl dropped by to pick up her belongings and unwittingly lit a cigarette, which ignited the gas and blew up half the building.


Avoirdupois Justice
nPeople who are “functionally disabled by obesity” are entitled to two seats for the price of one on flights within Canada, according to a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada.


Compiled from the nation’s press by Roland Sweet. Submit items, citing date and source, to P.O. Box 8130, Alexandria VA 22306.

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