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By Wire services
Published August 9, 2006

Penguin mass transit proves a little dicey

A refrigerated truck carrying penguins from Indianapolis to Galveston, Texas, overturned on a Texas highway early Tuesday morning. One penguin died in the accident, and three were hit by oncoming traffic. But 25 survived, some with minor scratches, and one with a broken wing. The octopus that was making the trip is fine, too. "I have never petted a penguin until this morning," said Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Richard Buchanan.

Is that an E-ticket?

A developer had an idea for a theme park where people could go to get a real military experience. Command an M-1 tank. Feel the rush of a paratrooper freefall. Maybe a special forces flume ride and parades of Army men (Okay, they didn't actually suggest those last two.) But the Army, being all serious, said no. "That proposal ... was dead on arrival," said Keith Eastin, of the Army, who didn't encourage the developer to try again. "(It) will be dead on arrival if resubmitted."


Just add water, and the crowds go wild

No one is saying that the water that flows through the fountain of a new monument honoring Pope John Paul II is holy water. But no one is saying it isn't, either. And that's close enough for pilgrims flocking to the site in Wadowice, Poland, the former pope's hometown. "I am a little sick and I'm looking for strength to keep on going," said Slawomir Piotrowski, who traveled across the country in hopes the water will help his ailing heart. The town's mayor said the water comes from a 16th century well and was never considered special before it started getting pumped around the pope-shaped granite. "If this water evokes faith," the Rev. Jakub Gil said, "then great things might happen."

Utility lien stands in way of diplomacy

One thing appears to stand in the way of Libya reopening its embassy in the United States: a past-due water bill. D.C. Water and Sewer Authority says it won't turn on service to the building, which Libya hasn't occupied since 1981, until it gets $27,000. Libya sued to get service turned on, and figured while they were suing they would ask for $1-million in damages. The utility said embassies don't get special dispensation. Some other countries with balances due: Yugoslavia owes $14,000; Zaire $20,000. But collections are tough with them, in that neither country technically exists anymore.


Drinking and juries just don't mix

It's not enough to pass the bar exam, you have to pass the bars, too, if you're going to practice law in Las Vegas. After Joseph Caramango showed up at court 90 minutes late, slurring his words, the judge ordered a blood-alcohol test. Results came back at a 0.075, which is low enough to keep drivers out of the slammer - barely - but too high if you are arguing a kidnapping case. The judge declared a mistrial. To make it all a little more weird, it being Vegas and all, Caramango showed up in court with a woman he said was his girlfriend Christine. But she said her name was Josephine and that she had met Caramango 20 minutes earlier. At a bar.

[Last modified August 9, 2006, 01:07:36]

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