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News Quirks (5/20/15) 

Curses, Foiled Again

Moments after robbing a tourist of her gold chain on a street in Miami Beach, Fla., the gunman returned to the scene in his Mercedes and confronted the victim about the poor quality of the jewelry, complaining it was fake. The victim flagged down police and pointed out Daniel Sion Palmer, 26. "That was a brazen move," Det. Ernesto Rodriguez said, "and because of that, he was able to be apprehended." (Miami's WTVJ-TV)

The suspect fled after fatally shooting a man outside a convenience store in Fairfield, Ala., but his car broke down. He abandoned the vehicle, which police found and towed to the impound lot. The next day, Willie Lee Brown, 29, showed up at the police station to retrieve his car. Police Chief Leon Davis said that Brown, who was wearing the same clothes as the suspect in surveillance photos, was immediately recognized and arrested. (

Fruitful Gesture

Hoping for a new home in Venezuela's Anzoategui state, Marleni Olivo, 54, wrote her name and phone number on a mango and threw it at visiting President Nicolas Maduro, hitting him in the head. Maduro kept the mango and later announced that he had approved a new apartment for Olivo. "Tomorrow, no later than the day after tomorrow, we will give it to you," he promised. Olivo later explained that she wanted to write her request on a note but lacked paper: "What I had was a mango that I was about to eat because I was hungry." (CNN)

Do the Math

Claiming racial bias in undergraduate admissions, a coalition of Asian American groups filed a federal discrimination complaint against Harvard University. They pointed out that Asian Americans represent 5.6 percent of the U.S. population but constitute only 21 percent of Harvard's incoming freshman class (up from 17.7 in 2006). (Bloomberg News)

Mind Like an Ostrich

After Marsha Yumi Perry, 36, struck a 5-year-old boy with her pickup truck in Washougal, Ore., she left the injured victim at the scene and then hid from police by crawling into a shallow hole and covering herself with dirt. A police dog tracking her scent indicated her location, and the handler warned that he was about to unleash the dog. "The ground moved, and she sat up," police Sgt. Geoff Reijonen said. (Portland's Oregonian)

When Guns Are Outlawed

Authorities charged John Connolly, 52, with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon at a medical clinic in Englewood, Fla., after they said he disputed a pain-medication prescription and began choking a physician's assistant with a stethoscope. (Sarasota's WWSB-TV)


Muslims may now use toilet paper, according to a new Islamic fatwa by Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs. It noted that although toilet paper is acceptable for hygiene, water remains preferable. Men and women still aren't supposed to stand while relieving themselves but should squat or sit. (Britain's Daily Mail)

A sex shop that caters to Muslims is opening in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Abdelaziz Aouragh, owner of the Halal Sex Shop, said the store targets married couples looking to enhance their sex lives. Aouragh pointed out that its 18 halal-observant sex toys do "not include inflatable dolls." (International Business Times)

Problem Solved

Female lifeguards at China's most dangerous rapids, in Henan province, have been fitted with cameras to discourage men from deliberately throwing themselves into the water so that they can grope their rescuers. Intended to identify sex-pest swimmers, the waterproof cameras are attached to the women's helmets and legs, waists and chests, and decoratively covered by leaves and flowers. (Britain's Daily Mail)

Second-Amendment Thrills

The conservative group ForAmerica invited key contributors to donate $50,000 to spend a "historic weekend" at an exclusive resort in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and shoot machine guns with Robert O'Neill, billed as the Navy SEAL "who shot Osama bin Laden." When critics condemned the promotion's portrayal of O'Neill, ForAmerica's founder, Brent Bozell, apologized, explaining that his team "got a little ahead of itself" in issuing the invitation. He regretted describing O'Neill "in a way that is inconsistent with the high standards he applies when he characterizes the service of Navy SEALS" and added, "There will be no machine guns involved; this is strictly a sport shooting event." (Washington Post)

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Roland Sweet

Roland Sweet is the author of the syndicated column "News Quirks," which appears weekly in Seven Days.


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