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News » News Quirks

Bush’s Legacy


Curses, Foiled Again
Police investigating a creditcard theft in New Britain, Conn., identified Joel Rubin, 42, as their suspect. They said that after using the stolen card belonging to a coworker to make an $11 purchase, Rubin handed the clerk a store discount card in his own name.

A man entered a business in Nicholasville, Ky., waving a gun and demanding money. When an employee told him there was no money, police official Scott Harvey said the robber insisted, “I know you have money. It’s a bank.” After being told the bank moved four months earlier and that it was now the office of the Jessamine South Elkhorn Water District, the robber looked around, realized it wasn’t a bank and left empty-handed.

Bush’s Legacy
Shoe-throwing has gained a foothold as a form of protest since Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi hurled his size 10s at President George W. Bush during a December news conference in Iraq. The Washington Times reported six incidents within days of each other in January.

During a council meeting in Ithaca, N.Y., an antiwar protester identified as Robin Palmer threw three shoes at Mayor Carolyn Peterson. Palmer was removed from the meeting but not arrested.

Benny Dagan, Israel’s ambassador to Sweden, was hit on the leg by a barrage of shoes, as well as books, during a student gathering at Stockholm University.

A Ukrainian reporter shoed a local politician over taxes.

Several hundred Bosnians threw their shoes at effigies of local officials.

A lone British protestor threw a shoe that missed Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during a speech at Cambridge University.

Brazilian President Luiz Lula da Silva threatened to throw his shoes at unfriendly journalists.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi town of Tikrit, home of Saddam Hussein, unveiled a 6-foot, ton-and-ahalf monument to Zaidi that depicts a bronze-colored shoe, filled with a plastic shrub. The “Statue of Glory and Generosity” by artist Laith al-Amiri bears the inscription, “Muntazer: fasting until the sword breaks its fast with blood; silent until our mouths speak the truth.”

Hooray for Science
In a dispatch about German scientists having reconstructed the genome of Neanderthals, The New York Times reported that Dr. George Church, a genome researcher at Harvard Medical School, estimated a Neanderthal could be brought to life using present technology for about $30 million. Doing so, he said, would satisfy the deep-seated human desire to communicate with other intelligences.

Second-Amendment Follies
Steve Tapp, 59, reached into his pocket for money to pay for lunch at a hospital cafeteria in Lafayette, Colo., and shot himself in the right thigh with a gun concealed in that pocket.

He was treated at the hospital and released.

Joseph Lyle, 31, was killed by his own hunting rifle while driving his pickup truck in Rutherford County, Tenn. Detective Sgt. Dan Goodwin said evidence indicated that Lyle was handling the loaded weapon with the safety off when it accidentally discharged.

Police in Fargo, N.D., said a woman sleeping with a shotgun in bed rolled over on it, causing the gun to fire and send a pellet through the wall and into the headboard of her neighbor’s bed. Sgt. Jeff Skuza couldn’t say why the woman was sleeping with the gun but told the Fargo Forum individuals who keep guns in the bedroom rarely sleep with them. “It’s not something we recommend,” he said.

A woman trying to commit suicide in Tallahassee, Fla., instead accidentally shot her boyfriend in the shoulder, according to police Investigator Derek Friend. The victim was treated at the hospital and released.

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