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News » News Quirks

Monkey With a Monkey on Its Back



Curses, Foiled Again
Two men tried to rob a man coming out of a convenience store in Medford, Ore., but fled when their intended victim ran back inside the store to call police. Officers arrived and were investigating when the would-be robbers returned in time for witnesses to point them out. Police arrested two suspects, 19 and 20 years old. (Associated Press)

• Police looking for a man who stole two phones from a convenience store in Orem, Utah, apprehended suspect John White after he flagged down the investigating officers to ask for directions. They noticed that White matched the description given them by the store clerk and said the address he asked about was the same as that on a slip of paper the thief had left behind. (Associated Press)

War Is Hell
The U.S. military command in Afghanistan is shutting down fast-food outlets at Kandahar Airfield, claiming that Burger King, Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen, Orange Julius and T.G.I. Friday’s use valuable resources, like water and electricity, that are needed to run an efficient military operation. “This is a war zone—not an amusement park,” Command Sgt. Maj. Michael T. Hall said. “Supplying nonessential luxuries to big bases like Bagram and Kandahar makes it harder to get essential items to combat outposts and forward operating bases, where troops who are in the fight each day need re-supply with ammunition, food and water.” Canadian coffee-and-doughnut outlet Tim Horton’s won’t be affected. “Kandahar Airfield Tim Horton’s is an initiative to support our men and women in uniform for serving in Afghanistan,” Canadian Defense Department official Megan MacLean said. “There are no plans to close the Tim Horton’s.” Canada’s troops are scheduled to leave the war zone in July 2011. (Reuters)

After U.S. and Afghan troops killed two pregnant women and three other innocent civilians during a night raid on Gardez, Vice Admiral William McRaven, commander of Joint Special Operations Command, apologized to Mohammad Tahir, the father of one of the women and brother of two men killed, by offering him two sheep. Tahir, who had vowed to become a suicide bomber to avenge the deaths, accepted McRaven’s apology. (ABC News)

Monkey with a Monkey on Its Back
After spotting a rhesus macaque that has been loose in Florida’s Hillsborough and Pinellas counties for more than a year, authorities shot the monkey twice with tranquilizer darts, but it escaped again. “The drugs just don’t seem to affect him, for whatever reason. We’ve increased the dosage every time that we’ve shot him,” wildlife rehabilitator Vernon Yates said. “What we’re really doing is turning him into a drug addict.” (The Tampa Tribune)

Slightest Provocation
A jury convicted Vernon Brandt, 52, of assaulting Richard Albers, 85, in a McDonald’s parking lot in Loveland, Colo., after Albers objected because Brandt parked in the older man’s regular spot. As Albers approached Brandt’s pickup truck and knocked on the window to complain, Brandt swung open the door, knocking Albers to the ground. Prosecutors noted that the two men had argued previously over Brandt’s use of the spot that Albers used almost daily for 16 years. (

Facing grand larceny and identity-theft charges after embezzling more than $800,000 from the Kingston, N.Y., law firm where she worked as a bookkeeper, Mary Merton, 43, pleaded with the lawyers to let her keep her job. “I do not want to put you on the spot, but I would ask that you consider keeping me employed,” Merten wrote to the firm’s Richard Riseley and Michael Moriello. “Not because of the money, but because I truly enjoy my job and want to continue to work for the both of you to make up for my imperfections.” A forensic accounting put the total stolen at $807,399, which court documents indicated Merten used for vacations, premium cable TV at her New Paltz home, manicures, dinners and a race car for her husband. (Middletown’s Times Herald-Record)

Compiled from the nation’s press by Roland Sweet. Authentication on demand.