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The skinny

Published May 25, 2007


Wild, crazy Tajiks

President wants to cut down on all the partying

Tajikistan President Emomalii Rakhmon thinks there is way too much partying in the former Soviet republic, and he wants laws to limit them. "About $220-million is spent on weddings (annually), " he said. "But most of these wedding-related ceremonies are completely unjustified." Rakhmon wants to restrict attendance at weddings to 150, funerals to 100 and circumcision ceremonies to 60, which, frankly, seems kind of high. Also, the law would make birthday parties family-only affairs. Rakhmon says the parties are too expensive for the poor farmers that make up the country.

Snakes on plane

Metal detector spots copperheads

Make sure you don't have any large bottles of liquid in your carryon bag. Oh, and don't try to bring 700 snakes on a plane in your carryon, either. Yahia Rahim Tulba was unaware of that rule when he tried to get on a flight from Cairo to Saudi Arabia. For extra fun, Tulba told security officials that two of the snakes in the bag were poisonous cobras. Turns out almost all of that is against export laws, and Tulba was arrested. He wanted to take the snakes to Saudia Arabia to sell them. The street value of the snakes wasn't known.

Monkey in midst

Orangutan busts out of Taiwan zoo

If you want a really up-close experience with animals, the Shaoshan Zoo in Taiwan is the place to go. On Wednesday, an orangutan named Little Blackie escaped from his enclosure and went over to a restaurant courtyard. He overturned picnic tables and motorcycles, terrifying the patrons. No word on whether he was responding to news reports of the gorilla who broke free in Germany last week. Eventually, the orangutan was hit with a tranquilizer dart and taken off for treatment. In the same zoo last month, a crocodile chomped the arm off a veterinarian. Doctors were able to reattach it.

Baby on board

Set up an ER in the back seat already

Stephanie Green needs to allow more time to get to the hospital. For the second time in 17 months, the Raleigh, N.C., woman delivered a baby in a car. "I thought I was going to make it this time, " she said. She didn't. "We saw the exit and said, 'We are almost there, ' " Green said. "But the water broke, and then out came the baby. Yep, we are not going to make it - yet again." Luckily, the friend who was driving worked at the hospital and helped with the delivery of Zaria. Seventeen months ago, Green got stuck in traffic on the way to delivering her first daughter, Semajai.


Trooper fired

James Randy Moss, the Tennessee trooper accused of getting rid of a porn star's drugs in return for oral sex, has been fired. The state will also pursue charges against him. Moss was not available for comment.

Compiled by staff writer Jim Webster from Times wire services and other sources.

[Last modified May 25, 2007, 01:52:11]

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