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Wait, What? 

A weekly roundup of international news oddities

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Wait, What?
"Appropriate disciplinary action has been taken" in Hazard, Kentucky, after photos surfaced on social media allegedly depicting students giving lap dances to high school staff, USA Today reported. The incidents from Oct. 26 were part of homecoming week; Superintendent Sondra Combs said festivities included a "man pageant," which somehow led to the lap dances by scantily clad students. One of the grateful recipients was the school's principal, Donald "Happy" Mobelini, who is also the mayor of Hazard. "Using this as a teachable moment," Combs said, "we will provide social media training for our students and staff." But, she emphasized, the district "has a tradition of excellence and academics and everything we do" -- apparently including suggestive bumping and grinding.

Government in Action
About 100 hippopotami that are descendants of hippos once owned by late drug lord Pablo Escobar have been recognized by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio as legal persons, United Press International reported. The hippos live in Colombia, but nonhuman animals are allowed to go to a federal court in the U.S. to obtain testimony in defense of their interests. Colombian attorney Luis Domingo Gomez Maldondo filed a lawsuit on the animals' behalf to save them from being euthanized, arguing that sterilization would be a better option.

Most Competent Criminal
A clever burglar in Coronado, California, devised a simple way to enter a home there on Oct. 21, the Associated Press reported. The 43-year-old woman just called a locksmith and asked him to change the locks on "her" home, then went inside, settled in, and turned on the music and fireplace. But a neighbor noticed the activity and contacted the out-of-town homeowner, who alerted the police. When officers arrived, the spare key provided by the neighbor didn't fit the locks, and police saw metal shavings and parts of a discarded lock near the front door. Police went around back, called out to the person inside and arrested her as she emerged on suspicion of burglary.

Unclear on the Concept
A hiker in Colorado who was on a trail to Mount Elbert got lost on Oct. 18, wandering in the woods until the next morning around 9:30 a.m. Lake County Search and Rescue began looking for the unidentified person that evening and continued through the night, Fox News reported, making repeated calls to the hiker's cellphone, which went unanswered. The hiker, who didn't realize a search party was looking for them, told officials that they ignored the calls because they didn't recognize the phone number. LCSAR recommended to hikers: "If you're overdue according to your itinerary and you start getting repeated calls from an unknown number, please answer the phone."

Creepy
Residents of Ipswich, England, have spent more than four years being troubled by a haunting rendition of the nursery rhyme, "It's raining, it's pouring ..." sung by a young child during the night. "It was waking me up in the night. It was absolutely terrifying," one woman said, according to the Mirror. "Last week it played for hours. It was just horrible." Finally, in September, the borough council's rapid response team tracked down the source of the chilling singing: It was a motion alarm in an industrial park. "The sound is only supposed to act as a deterrent for opportunistic thieves that come onto our property," a spokesperson for the park said. "The motion sensors were being triggered by spiders crawling across the lenses of our cameras, and it looks like we've had it turned up too loudly." The volume has been lowered, and Ipswich residents can sleep at night.

It's an Education
Elementary students at Wilton Manors school in Florida were treated to a field trip on Oct. 27, walking over to Rosie's Bar and Grill accompanied by Broward County School Board member Sarah Leonardi, who posted about the outing on her official Facebook page. Fox News reported that the post ignited outrage among members of the community, who, beyond their incredulity that a bar and grill was a "field trip" destination, were upset that Rosie's is an LGBT bar, with items on the menu such as Rhoda Cowboy and Big Girl Burgers. Leonardi and the school district did not comment on the school trip.

The Way the World Works
Well, it's happened: the first-ever doping scandal to rock the world of professional Venetian gondoliers. Renato Busetto has been stripped of his second-place award in September's Historical Regatta and has been banned from competing for more than a year, the Daily Mail reported. He tested positive for marijuana after the event on Sept. 4, and on Oct. 27, Venice's Technical Disciplinary Commission laid out his punishment.

Harsh
An unnamed Thai woman, 34, who lives in a high-rise condominium building in Bangkok was apparently very unhappy that she wasn't informed that two painters, using ropes, would be working on the outside of the building on Oct. 12. So she cut their support rope, the Associated Press reported. One of the painters, a man named Song, said he and his co-worker had lowered themselves from the 32nd floor to repair cracks. When he reached the 30th floor, he felt something on the rope and looked down to see someone on the 21st floor lean out of the window and cut his rope. A third colleague supported them from the top floor as they tried to summon help from people in other apartments. A couple on the 26th floor finally let them in. The suspect confessed to cutting the rope and said she had no intention of killing the workers, but she faces attempted murder and property destruction charges.

Irony
With Halloween coming up, Clark County (Nevada) law enforcement agencies came together to promote pedestrian safety on Oct. 26. The "crosswalk fairy," a police officer in costume, even escorted people across busy Boulder Highway, KVVU-TV reported. But as officers demonstrated proper crosswalk techniques, pedestrian Tammy Wotton tried to cross the street where the event was being held -- and was almost struck by a semi-truck. Nevada law stipulates that vehicles must yield to pedestrians. Officers pulled over the truck driver, along with several other offending motorists.

Parenting Fail
On Oct. 23, police in Gillette, Wyoming, were called to a home about a fight between a man and woman. When they arrived, the man had already left in his pickup truck, the Gillette News Record reported. He was pulled over and emerged from the truck with his two sons, 15 and 4. Sheriff's Lt. Paul Pownall said that the 39-year-old admitted he'd been drinking but said his 4-year-old had been sitting on his lap and doing the actual driving. The suspect, who was already on unsupervised probation, was charged with his second DUI.

Happy Halloween!
Singer-songwriter Brocarde, 38, has revealed that she is in love with a Victorian ghost, Edwardo, who died at age 35 when he fell down a well, the Daily Star reported. Edwardo first came to her on a night when she was having difficulty sleeping, making the whole room cold and then introducing himself to her and whispering "I love you" in her ear. He proves himself by blowing out candles and leaving steam hearts on the shower walls, she said. But Brocarde is also afraid of Edwardo: "My biggest fear is that he'll expect too much from me and kill me so I'm a spirit too," she said. After Brocarde revealed her ghostly paramour on ITV's "This Morning," she said Edwardo "ghosted" her: "Edwardo seems furious with me since I've gone public with our romance," she said. She hopes to lure him back on Halloween with scattered rose petals and candles. "I may even cook him some typical Victorian dishes to win him back."

Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.

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