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It’s a weird world

SACKED: A US judge who decided a custody dispute by tossing a coin has lost his job.

The Virginia Supreme Court ruled that Judge James Michael Shull failed to uphold the dignity of the judiciary.


l admitted tossing a coin to determine which divorced parent would get a child for Christmas.

He said he was trying to encourage the parents to decide the issue themselves, but later acknowledged he was wrong.

“A judge’s act of tossing a coin in a courtroom to decide a legal issue pending before the court suggests that courts do not decide cases on their merits, but instead subject litigants to games of chance in serious matters without regard to the evidence or applicable law,” the court said.

Judge Shull was also criticised for telling a woman to drop her trousers in court in a case in which she was seeking a protective order against a partner who had allegedly stabbed her in the leg.

Shull knew the woman had a history of mental problems and insisted on seeing the wound, the court said.

The woman lowered her trousers once to display the wound, then a second time after Shull left the bench for a closer look to determine whether she had received stitches. — Ananova.com

CHARGED: A man in Sweden who was angry with his daughter’s husband has been charged with libel for telling the FBI that the son-in-law had links to al-Qaeda, Swedish media reported.

The man, who admitted sending the email, said he did not think the US authorities would be stupid enough to believe him.

The 40-year-old son-in-law and his wife were in the process of divorcing when the husband had to travel to the United States for business.

The wife didn’t want him to travel since she was sick and wanted him to help care for their children, regional daily Sydsvenska Dagbladet said without disclosing the couple’s names.

When the husband refused to stay home, his father-in-law wrote an email to the FBI saying the son-in-law had links to al-Qaeda in Sweden and that he was travelling to the US to meet his contacts.

He provided information on the flight number and date of arrival in the US.

The son-in-law was arrested upon landing in Florida. He was placed in handcuffs, interrogated and placed in a cell for 11 hours before being put on a flight back to Europe, the paper said.

The FBI contacted Swedish intelligence agency Saepo, which discovered that the email tipping off the FBI had been sent from the father-in-law’s computer.

The father-in-law has been charged with aggravated libel.

He has admitted sending the email, but said he didn’t think “the authorities were so stupid that they would believe anything. But apparently they are”. — AFP.

APOLOGISED: An Australian woman who stole a pet goat and was involved in slaughtering it in a mock Satanic ritual in a church, was ordered by a court on Monday to apologise to the church and the dead goat’s owners.

Tracey Arnold (26) was drinking with friends at a Friday the 13th party in 2006 when she decided to steal the pet goat named “Maddie” from the front garden of a house in the northern city of Brisbane,
local media reported from the

The partygoers then broke into a local church, dragging the goat onto a raised platform and killed it in a mock Satanic ritual, reported Brisbane’s Courier Mail newspaper.

The goat’s head was later found by police in the freezer of Arnold’s home, along with a camera containing photos of members of the group with the head. — Reuters.

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