Odds & Ends

Rage against the machine

A 14-year-old girl in Ukraine destroyed a cash machine with her bare hands. Police were called out to investigate reports of a thug vandalizing an ATM machine in Yalta, only to find that the girl started punching the machine after it swallowed her bank card. The girl said she got angry and couldn’t control herself, chalking her ability to damage up to the training she does at a boxing club. Bosses at Privatbank, the company that owns the machine, are demanding $8,121.60 in damages from the girl to repair the machine.

Poll dance

Ukrainian voters are being offered a free striptease in a bid to win their votes for Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich in the presidential election. Campaigners for Yanukovich organized the free striptease show in the Santa Fe Bar in Donetsk hoping they could get him re-elected. One organizer said they hope voters remember who gave them the show for free when they go vote. The election is scheduled for Oct. 31 and, according to polls, Yanukovich has 33 percent of the vote while opposition has 31 percent.

New Pope-mobile

Ferrari bosses have decided to give the pope a $451,200 special-edition racing car to celebrate his 26 years as pontiff. Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, chief at Ferrari, revealed the plans at a meeting with Vatican officials and said the company was preparing a special red Formula One car for the pope. Pope John Paul II, 84, was elected head of the Roman Catholic Church on Oct. 16, 1978.

Laughter – the best medicine

A Croatian armed robber aborted a bank robbery after a cashier laughed at his demands to put her hands up. The masked robber entered a bank at Zagreb’s main square in broad daylight and threatened the clerk with a gun. Knowing she was behind bulletproof glass, the clerk laughed and then rang her boss to tell him she was being robbed and asked him to call the police after which the humiliated robber turned and left, a police spokeswoman said.

He’s no Leatherface

A German man attempted to fight off a repossession agent with a chainsaw and gasoline bombs before being arrested by police special forces. The 52-year-old man barricaded himself in his single-family house when the agent arrived with a two-man police escort and then drove the trio off by throwing the bombs and a barbeque lighter at them. The police called in reinforcements and when they stormed the house the man fired up his chainsaw but was quickly overwhelmed, injuring two police officers in the process. Brigit Bandermann, a police spokeswoman, said the unit had a number of repossession cases in the past but never anything like that, adding that the man faced charges of attempted manslaughter.

Tub toy trouble

Katherine Williams said the yellow ducky sponge she put on sale at a flea market is a child’s toy. Nashville officials said the vibrator inside makes it a sex toy. Officials backed off from citing Williams for violating the city’s sexually oriented business ordinance because the display was already taken down by the time they responded to complaints and nearby vendors refused to be witnesses. Ken York, the city administrator, said the city declined to prosecute because of lack of evidence. Williams, whose Passions & Pleasures business sells lotions and adult novelties at in-home parties described her product line as PG-13 and said she received only two negative complaints. She added that nothing she sells is nasty unless the buyer has a nasty mind and that her 3-year-old son plays with the ducky in the tub, putting it on his neck and head. She said she will return to the market next year and York said if she does she will be cited.

From mice to millions

A squatter in London sold the one-bedroom flat he lived in for 35 years for $1,281,408. George Weiss won a legal battle, which ruled that because there has been no contact with his landlord for 12 years the property is his. Weiss, 64, moved into the Mews house in 1969 and stopped paying rent in 1983 as the house fell into disrepair and has not spoken to his landlord since 1990. Weiss said he will use the money to launch a magazine titled “Goodbye,” which will feature dead celebrities and the houses they lived in. He also launched a political party – the Wonderfully Egalitarian Association of Creative Thinkers.

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