Leaky pants snitch on fish smuggler 

Stranger than fiction

Curses, foiled again

New Zealand authorities nabbed a Vietnamese man at the Auckland airport trying to smuggle tropical fish into the country after they noticed his bulging pants pockets were leaking. Ministry of Primary Industries official Craig Hughes said the man explained that he was carrying water from the plane because he was thirsty, but subsequent questioning turned up seven tropical fish hidden in two plastic bags in his cargo pants. (Agence France-Presse)

Police investigating a break-in at a home in Westborough, Mass., where the intruder used a hammer to smash a fish tank, windows and mirrors, identified Michael D. Turpin, 44, as their suspect after finding blood on the floors. Officers followed the bloody footprints to a home, where they found Turpin "bleeding profusely" from both his feet. (The MetroWest Daily News)

Aerial disasters

Several people were injured during a running-of-the-bulls event in Dinwiddie County, Va., but not by the bulls. Sheriff's Major William Knott said a camera-equipped drone crashed into the grandstand overlooking the Great Bull Run. (Washington's WTOP-FM)

When Roman Pirozek Jr., 19, lost control of the remote-control helicopter he was operating in a New York City park, it plummeted from the sky and sliced off the top of his head, killing him instantly. (New York's WNBC-TV)

Wishy-washy policy

After gun rights groups praised Starbucks for allowing guns to be openly carried in its stores, the company ran full-page ads in newspapers advising customers that guns are no longer welcome. They're still permitted, however, and customers who choose to carry guns will still be served, according to CEO Howard Schultz, who declared, "We are not pro-gun or anti-gun." (Associated Press)

Crisis management

When a landing-gear accident caused a Thai Airways jumbo jet to veer off the runway at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport, the airline evacuated the 288 passengers and 14 crew members and then dispatched a team to paint over the Thai Airways logos on the tail and fuselage of the disabled aircraft. The airline explained it "generally practices the de-identifying of an aircraft after an incident (or accident)." (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Slipshod education

Mexico's Education Department acknowledged finding at least 117 mistakes in new textbooks after printing and distributing 235 million of them to the nation's elementary schools. Although officials wouldn't release a list of mistakes, an independent review by the news blog Animal Politico found many words had been written with a "c" instead of an "s," commas had been overused, words lacked correct accent marks, and a geography textbook located the Caribbean resort city of Tulum in Yucatan state instead of Quintana Roo. Officials promised to give teachers a list of the errors to correct textbooks manually. Mexico's National Commission of Free Textbooks, which prints books that are mandatory for both private and public schools, blamed freelance editors for missing the errors. "The telephone rings, you have to go to the bathroom," commission head Joaquin Diez-Canedo said. "You get distracted. You miss a word." (Associated Press)

The same day that Georgia state school superintendent John Barge announced his gubernatorial candidacy, his official website misspelled the word "governor." It appeared as "govenor" until reporters alerted Barge's campaign staff, which corrected it. (Atlanta's WXIA-TV)

Authorities investigating a report that Kenneth R. Webb, 29, of Middletown, Ind., repeatedly struck his 3-year-old son in the face said that Webb acknowledged slapping the boy "more than once" because the child "wouldn't look him in the eye" while he was trying to explain "sentence structure." Webb said he wanted the child to begin requests with, "May I please." (Indianapolis Star)

Government giveaway

Small-town police departments across the country are taking advantage of the Defense Department's 1033 Program to snap up used equipment being given away by a downsizing military, regardless of whether the items are needed or will ever be used, according to an Associated Press investigation. The program, intended to help local law enforcement fight terrorism and drug trafficking, operates with little oversight and results in a disproportionate share of property going to rural areas with few officers and little crime. In the farming community of Morven, Ga., population 700, for example, Police Chief Lynwood Yates acquired three boats, scuba gear, rescue rafts and a couple of dozen life preservers, even though the deepest body of water is an ankle-deep creek. Yates also received a shipment of bayonets, which remain in storage. "That was one of those things in the old days you got it because you thought it was cool," he said of the bayonets. "Then, after you get it, you're like, 'What the hell am I going to do with this?'" (Associated Press)

Second-Amendment follies

Robert Hood, 35, and Demario Buchanon, 30, both convicted felons prohibited from possessing firearms, were handling a pistol they intended trading or selling, according to authorities in Lancaster County, N.C., when the weapon accidentally discharged, wounding Hood in the stomach. (The Charlotte Observer)

Mark Cruz, 28, a convicted felon banned from possessing a gun, accidentally shot himself in the leg, according to authorities in Hillsborough County, Fla., when his .22-caliber pistol fell out of his pocket and discharged upon hitting the ground. (South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Slick tricks

After a Massachusetts school district canceled classes at all six of its schools because of "weather-related building issues," Amherst Regional High School Principal Mark Jackson explained that the cause was slippery floors. Noting 22 falls were reported throughout the district, Jackson said the schools' floors had been waxed during the summer, and high temperatures after schools opened melted the wax, making the floors slick. (Associated Press)

Concerned about long-term damage to roads and the environment from using rock salt to de-ice city streets, Milwaukee's Department of Public Works announced it will add cheese brine to rock salt. The brine is a liquid waste product left over from cheese-making. It has a distinctive odor, but officials expect it to be more effective than the city's previous de-icing experiments: beet juice that turned into an oatmeal-like substance when mixed with road salt, and a sticky molasses-type product that residents complained was being tracked into their homes. (Associated Press)

Tax dollars at work

Taxpayers in Arlington County, Va., are paying $13,000 for an electronic billboard sign instructing motorists, "Don't hit the car in front of you." Police Lt. David Green Jr. defended the sign, saying that previous signs with more subtle messages didn't reduce accidents at the location, almost all of which "are rear-end collisions." (The Blaze)


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