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Alabama Is the New Florida

A weekly roundup of international news oddities.



Alabama Is the New Florida
The Limestone County (Alabama) Sheriff's Office is on the lookout for Mickey Paulk, 35, after executing a search warrant at an Athens apartment where he was believed to be living on June 17. While Paulk was not at the apartment at the time, officers did find meth, drug paraphernalia, ammunition and body armor, along with DeezNutz, Paulk's "attack squirrel," in a cage in the apartment. Sheriff's deputy Stephen Young told The News Courier officers were told Paulk feeds the squirrel meth to keep it aggressive, which Paulk denied in a Facebook video. Officers released the squirrel into the wild, but Paulk (still on the run) later told news outlets he went back to the apartment and whistled, and DeezNutz returned to him. A GoFundMe page established to help Paulk pay his legal fees includes a post saying the squirrel has been "safely gotten ... out of Alabama and it is being boarded until his owner's legal issues can be settled." The Limestone sheriff's office took to Twitter to warn locals to be wary of Paulk: "Mickey Paulk is a fleeing felon with felony warrants unrelated to his squirrel." (Update: Before press time, the Limestone County Sheriff's Office announced on Twitter that Paulk had been arrested.)

The Continuing Crisis
Early-bird travelers at Detroit Metropolitan Airport got a rude awakening on June 21 when an unnamed man tried to pass through a TSA checkpoint entirely naked. According to WXYZ, the man approached the checkpoint and removed all his clothing, then removed a barrier and approached a metal detector. Officers didn't allow him through the metal detector, so he ran around it, where he was caught and covered with plastic trash bags. A bystander said he was calm and compliant while being detained. Law enforcement determined he was not a threat and took him to a local hospital.

Roy and Brenda Pickard of Knotts End, Lancashire, England, lived in a 1960s horror film for a week in June as a pair of nesting herring gulls terrorized them each time they emerged from their home. "If I try to go out of the door, the two adult birds are right there, and I've got no chance," Roy told the Mirror. At one point, Roy was attacked so viciously on the back of the head that he had to go to the hospital for treatment. Roy contacted animal organizations, but they offered no remedies for the violent birds: It's breeding season, and herring gulls are protected when nesting. "The whole thing has been terrible," Roy lamented.

News You Can Use
Equality got a boost in Argentina in June when that country's National Appeal Court ordered a man to pay his ex-wife 8 million pesos (about $178,000) for 27 years of housework. Newsweek reported Judge Victoria Fama reasoned that the wife, who holds a degree in economics, put her career aside for the entirety of their marriage to keep house and raise children, and by the time her husband left her in 2009, she was too old to compete in the job market. "The economic dependence of wives on their husbands is one of the central mechanisms through which women are subordinated in society," the judge stated. Meanwhile, the husband was living "a good life."

A 26-year-old man identified only as Chang from Guangdong, China, went out for a Friday night of drinking with friends on June 7 and returned home to find that his keys were missing. Someone inside let him in, and he went to bed to sleep it off. The next morning, the Chinese news site Sohu reported, Chang awoke with a sharp pain in his chest and went to Dongguan Hospital, where an X-ray revealed the missing house keys lodged deep in his esophagus. Doctors first thought emergency surgery would be necessary to retrieve the keys, but with the help of a muscle-relaxing drug, a gastroenterologist was able to pull them out through his mouth.

Compelling Explanation
The Behney House Hotel in Myerstown, Pa., was evacuated after police responded to a reported bomb threat there on June 23, reported WPMT. When officers arrived, they found David Oxenreider, 28, who lives at the hotel, and the homemade bomb he claimed to have made next to a dumpster outside the building. Oxenreider told police he made the bomb to get their attention because he was frustrated that his attempts to warn officials about aliens hadn't been taken seriously. According to the criminal complaint, Oxenreider said he encountered a UFO and aliens in 2014, who told him "humans need to start being good people, or else they were going to destroy the Earth with a nuclear laser beam." Police disarmed the device and arrested Oxenreider.

Least Competent Criminal
An unnamed woman arrested earlier was released from the St. Louis Justice Center on the morning of June 5—sort of. Jail staff gave her clear instructions about how to get out of the building, according to corrections commissioner Dale Glass, but instead she got on the elevator, pushed all the buttons, and got off at the fifth floor, where she exited through a fire door into a stairwell, locking herself in, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Two and a half days later, staff finally saw her peering through a window in one of the doors. The woman had made noise during her confinement, but Glass explained that the jail is a noisy place, and the staff couldn't figure out where the noise was coming from as she moved from floor to floor. Paramedics were called and the woman was offered hospital care, but she declined, saying, "No, I just want to go home."

Holmes Beach (Florida) police posted a query on their Facebook page on June 15 regarding an unusual item that had washed up on the shore and was turned in by a local resident: a prosthetic ear. Social media did its magic, and the ear and its owner were reunited five days later. The Associated Press reported that a Beaufort, S.C., couple had been vacationing in the Tampa Bay area, and the man was putting the rubber ear in his pocket for safekeeping when a wave knocked it out of his hand. Police Sgt. Brian Hall said he would mail the ear back to its owner, as prosthetic ears can be very pricey.

Do you ever wish you hadn't invested in a Ring doorbell? On June 22, while Wilton Thomas of North Lauderdale, Fla., was at work, his doorbell camera captured a man in a green car pull into his driveway, exit the car, remove his shirt and crouch down to relieve himself. He used the shirt to clean himself up, then left the mess behind and drove away. Thomas told WPLG he would have understood if the man had knocked and said, "Man, you know what, I had an emergency. I had nowhere to go, and this is where I had to do what I had to do." The Broward County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

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