Friday, October 29, 2004

Short-arse Would-be cop hid wood in hair

An Indian man was arrested for hiding a piece of wood in his hair to meet the minimum height requirement to join the police.

Suspicious officers made Gajendra Kharatmal take the height test again and the wood popped out of his hair, reports Mid-Day newspaper.

Officials of the Maharashtra Public Service Commission in Mumbai say Kharatmal reached the 5ft 3ins mark exactly when he first stood at the scale.

An examiner said: "So we asked him to stand there once again. The second time, we felt something hard hidden in his hair and discovered a piece of wood."

Kharatmal was arrested on charges of cheating and is currently out on bail.

Police spokesman A K A Kaiser said: "He had taken the exams last year and even cleared the written test. The MPSC officials however rejected the application, as he was two inches short of their requirement.

"On his second attempt Kharatmal was aware he would be rejected for the same reason. To get selected, he adopted this approach."

In-flight lizard meal lands Indian airline in court

NEW DELHI, India (AFP) - The lizard biryani served on a Jet Airways flight in India proved just too spicy for a startled passenger who is taking the private carrier to court.

The airline admitted in a statement published Friday that it had launched an inquiry into how the two-inch lizard came to be cooked and served up to businessman Ashok Sharma.

"We are conducting an investigation of the unfortunate incident," Jet Airways chief operating officer Peter Luethi said.

"I am planning to file a case in the consumer court on returning to Bangalore," Sharma told The Statesman newspaper.

"This is a gross act of negligence and someone has to be made accountable," he said.

The biryani has been sent for testing amid claims from airline officials of "sabotage" at LSG Sky Chefs, a catering firm who supplied the food for the Bangalore to New Delhi connection on Wednesday night.

"We have taken all possible action in our operation in Bangalore to identify the potential root cause of this incident," LSG's operations director Michael Machartzek told the daily.

Jet Airways afforded Sharma VIP treatment on arrival in Delhi and a car to take him to his hotel, but he refused to hand over the lizard until he was ready.

"I insisted that I will bring it back to Delhi to highlight their negligence in the media," he said.

Witching power

Students who turn up at US schools dressed in Halloween costumes could be sent home ... out of consideration for witches.

Some schools in the Puyallup School District in Washington state have banned Halloween because of worries about offending real witches.

School officials took the step after followers of the Wiccan religion had complained about the way Halloween was celebrated. One official said: "Witches with pointy noses are not respective symbols of the Wiccan religion."

Shocking marriage

A Wisconsin man who said he threw a live electrical wire into his wife's bath hoping a near-death experience would save their marriage has been convicted of attempted murder.

William Dahlby said in court he was only trying to scare his wife Mary. He told jurors the wire was hooked to a "ground fault interrupter" designed to cut the electricity when the cord encountered water. His wife was not hurt.

Prosecutors said Dahlby was trying to kill his wife to start a new life with another woman. He will be sentenced in December.

Dog calls ambulance to save owner

It was like a scene from Lassie. A dog telephoned for an ambulance and then unlocked the door for the police after her owner fell from her wheelchair.

After calling 911, four-year-old Rottweiler, Faith, barked urgently into the receiver to get help for 45-year-old Leana Beasley.

Ms Beasley suffered a seizure at her home in Washington state, in the north west United States.

"I sensed there was a problem on the other end of the 911 call," said emergency operator Jenny Buchanan. "The dog was too persistent in barking directly into the phone receiver. I knew she was trying to tell me something."

Faith has been trained to knock the receiver off the hook and press a speed dial button to call the emergency services.

But that's not all. The dog is also trained in first aid.

"She's trained to get under my body, roll me to my stomach so that fluid can run out," Ms Beasley told the local television channel KVEW-TV.

"She takes her nose pushes my chin up to open the airway, and then she's trained to lick my face and keep any fluid away so I don't drown."

Faith also uses her sensitive nose to detect changes in Ms Beasley's body chemistry which could indicate she is about to have a seizure.

Ms Beasley believes Faith had been trying to warn her all day that she was in danger. The day of the fall, Faith "had been acting very clingy, wanting to be touching me all day long" Ms Beasley said.

Late payment

After putting up with pangs of conscience for 24 years, a Norwegian finally settled a hotel bill he skipped out on in 1980.

The Clarion Hotel Ernst in the southern town of Kristiansand received a hand-written anonymous letter of apology with a 500 kroner note (£38) attached, said hotel director Kay Johnsen.

"I've never seen anything like it," said Johnsen, who has been in the hotel business for more than 20 years. The note said the sender had stayed at the hotel in the autumn of 1980, had some sandwiches and drinks on his room bill, and then left without paying for anything "because of my lifestyle at that time."

Drug dealer gets tax break on stolen money

CANBERRA (Reuters) - An Australian drug dealer who dug up hundreds of thousands of dollars from his backyard to buy heroin but had the money stolen in the deal can claim a tax deduction for his losses.

Under Australian law, income earned from illegal activity can be subjected to income tax. The High Court of Australia ruled this week that if illegal income is subjected to tax, then losses should be deductible.

The ruling ended a 10-year battle between convicted drug dealer Francesco Dominico La Rosa and the Australian Tax Office, which argued the tax deduction was against good public policy.
Drug dealer Francesco Dominico La Rosa buried more than A$220,000 (90,000 pounds) in his back garden in 1995 and dug it up again to buy heroin, but had the cash stolen. La Rosa spent six years in jail for heroin import and possession.

The Australian government said on Friday it would close the tax loophole to stop other drug dealers claiming tax breaks.

It (the court) said that this drug dealer could claim as a deduction some money that was stolen from him. If that's the state of the law as interpreted by the high court, I don't think it's very good," Treasurer Peter Costello told local radio.

"I will seek to introduce legislation to change that law," he said.

Train conductor stamps dead man's ticket

LONDON (Reuters) - A train conductor carefully stamped the ticket of a slumbering passenger without realising the man was dead.

The thoughtful train worker thought the passenger was dozing when he came across him in the carriage clutching his ticket.

He carefully prised the ticket from the man's hands, punched it and returned it to him.

Shortly afterwards the train pulled into the station at York and rail staff alerted paramedics when they realised the man was not breathing.

"The conductor needn't have been so careful, as it turned out that the passenger had expired, long before his ticket ever did," said a report in the Transport Police's staff magazine.