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It’s a Weird World

COSTLY SUICIDE BID
MOSCOW — A court ruled that a Russian man must pay more than 100 000 roubles (US$3 330) for medical bills and damages to the parents of a girl he hit when he jumped from a window in a suicide attempt.

The seven-year-old girl was in hospital for months after the man fell on her when he jumped from a ninth-storey apartment during an argument with his ex-wife, a court in the Siberian city of Omsk heard, the Interfax news agency has reported. — Reuters.

REPEAT OFFENDER
A GERMAN robber held up the same bank in Hamburg twice within 24 hours just a week after being released from jail — for the same crime.
A police spokesman said the 50-year-old man went into a savings bank in the centre of the northern port city and flashed a pistol, saying: “I was here yesterday, and I want money again today!”
He made off with 450 euros (US$600) but with the help of video surveillance cameras, police were able to detain him three hours later. They said he had been in jail for robbing banks in Hamburg in 2002 and 2004. — Reuters.

BOOZY CHIMP
A RUSSIAN chimpanzee has been sent to rehab by zookeepers to cure the smoking and beer-drinking habits he has picked up, a popular daily reported last Friday. An ex-performer, Zhora became aggressive at his circus and was transferred to a zoo in the southern Russian city of Rostov, where he fathered several baby chimps, learned to draw with markers and picked up his two vices.
“The beer and cigarettes were ruining him. He would pester passers-by for booze,” the Komsomolskaya Pravda paper said.
It added he has now been transferred to the city of Kazan, about 800km east of Moscow, for rehabilitation treatment. — Reuters.

NON-PAYING TAXMEN
THERE were some embarrassed faces at Bulgaria’s tax office  after an investigation found more than 400 tax inspectors had failed to pay their traffic fines.
The Balkan nation has launched a crackdown on civil servants who don’t pay what they owe, as part of plans to stamp out rampant fraud and raise revenues during the recession, the national revenue agency said.
Those tax officials caught will have money deducted from their February salaries to pay the fines.
More than 50 000 civil servants also face being checked for unpaid taxes and fines in March, a sign of the pressure Sofia is under at home and abroad to demonstrate results in its fight against graft and crime.
In July the European Union is due to assess the government’s record and failure to show progress could threaten access to more EU aid after in 2008 Brussels froze millions in aid over fraud. Some political analysts and EU diplomats say the centre-right government, elected last July on promises to restore the rule of law, has so far spared powerful oligarchs and big tax evaders. — Reuters.

SEX-CRAZED JUMBO
AN elephant hired for a Hindu wedding in India caused over £200 000 in damage after trying to reach an in-heat female.
The turned-on mammal crushed 20 limos trying to get to the female in a nearby sugar cane field in the Indian capital New Delhi.
He then mounted and attempted to mate with a truck, and smashed through a shopping mall in a 15-hour rampage, reports the Metro.
Wildlife experts managed to finally bring him down with a tranquilliser gun to end the elephant’s chaotic adventure.
One expert said: “It is a very powerful urge.” — Ananova.com.

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