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News Quirks 

Curses, Foiled Again

Philippine authorities charged Jeane Napoles, 23, with tax evasion after she posted pictures on social media documenting her lavish lifestyle, including one showing her bathing in money. “We follow the internet,” Bureau of Internal Revenue chief Kim Henares said. “That is where we heard about her.” (Agence France-Presse)

Belgian authorities arrested Somali pirate chief Mohamed Abdi Hassan after luring him to Brussels by pretending they wanted him to act as an adviser “on a film project on maritime piracy,” federal prosecutor Johan Delmulle said. “The film was supposed to reflect his life as a pirate.” When Hassan and an accomplice landed to sign the movie contract, “they were awaited and taken into custody,” Delmulle said. (Agence France-Presse)

Criminal Act of the Week

Scottish authorities accused Dogan Arsian, 47, of staring at Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in her Glasgow office. The Glasgow Sheriff Court said his staring, which occurred during a three-month period, caused Sturgeon and people in the office “fear and alarm.” (Scotland’s STV)

Ignorance Isn’t Bliss

More than 33 million workers are eligible to have their student loans forgiven because they work in public-service jobs, according to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but few teachers, soldiers, firefighters and law-enforcement officers take advantage of the options because programs to ease the financial burden are too complicated or confusing. (Associated Press)

Pittsburgh residents are being ticketed for parking in their own driveways. They claimed they were unaware of the ordinance requiring a $225 zoning variance and permit to park closer than 30 feet to the street, but the Bureau of Building Inspection explained it has been on the books for years. Building-code officials only recently began issuing tickets to residents who park in driveways or “parking pads” in violation of property setbacks because neighbors have complained. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

New-Time Religion

Pastor Tony Crank is trying to boost membership at his One Love Church in Eugene, Ore., with a campaign that proclaims “Church Sucks.” Insisting that people are turned off by churches focused more on sin and not enough on connecting people with God, Crank said he’s trying to appeal to people who’ve had bad church experiences by offering revamped services that last just over half an hour and have a mix of contemporary and worship music. (Christian Post)

Make Up Your Mind

After Britain’s National Health Service paid $7757 for Josie Cunningham, 23, to receive breast implants so she could pursue her dream of becoming a model, the woman complained that her 36DD bust actually keeps her from getting work. She also said that she has been taunted through social media and even shouted at in public by people demanding their tax money back. Now she wants the NHS to pay to have the implants removed. “I don’t want to spend my life known as the girl with the massive NHS boobs,” she said, “so having smaller implants is the only option.” (Britain’s Daily Mail)

Digital Doctor

The Oklahoma Medical Board disciplined Dr. Thomas Trow for using Skype to treat patients with mental health issues and prescribing dangerous drugs without seeing patients in person. Trow, who lives in Park Hill, Okla., said he believed that the internet communications system was suitable for the practice of telemedicine. It isn’t, according to the board, which placed Trow on probation for two years. (Oklahoma City’s Oklahoman)

Drinking-Class Hero

Michigan Rep. Brandon Dillon co-sponsored a bill that would amend the Liquor Control Act by making it an offense to “advertise or sell any glass of beer as a pint in this state unless the glass contains at least 16 ounces of beer.” Acknowledging that short pints aren’t the most crucial issue facing Michigan, Dillon explained, “A lot of people, I think, would appreciate knowing what they get when they order a pint.” (Associated Press)

Avoirdupois Follies

Alan Jackson, the lawyer for Liam Johnstone, 21, pleaded guilty in West Lothian, Scotland, on behalf of his client, who he said was unable to appear in court because he is “too fat” to leave his house. The 560-pound Johnstone was accused of using a stolen credit card four separate times to pay $194 for pizza delivery. (Britain’s Daily Mail)

Show-Off

After 9-year-old Tyler Weaver won his fifth consecutive prize for reading the most books during summer vacation, Marie Gandron, director of the Hudson Falls, N.Y., public  library, said he should “step aside.” The boy completed 63 books in six weeks, giving him a total of 373 over the five contests. He “hogs” the contest, Gandron said. “Other kids quit because they can’t keep up.” (Glens Falls’ Post-Star)

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About The Author

Roland Sweet

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

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