April 1997

A collection of weird news stories from around the world.

Chilean police stopped 49 motorists for using mobile telephones while driving only to find a third of them were just pretending to talk on fake phones.

A local newspaper said police discovered they had plastic or even wooden phones.

"I was only doing it to look better," one driver told officers after he was pulled over.
A woman was arrested after going to her local police station to demand officers hunt down a drug dealer who she claimed sold her counterfeit crack cocaine.

But Rosie Lee Hill found herself in hot water when police examined the cocaine rocks and decided they were genuine.

Hill, of Pensacola, Florida, said she paid 34 for the drugs but believed they were made of baking soda.
Seven men have been beaten and burnt to death in the Ivory Coast city of Abidjan by angry mobs who accused them of being penis-shrinking sorcerers.

State radio and television broadcast appeals for calm after the wave of killings in the past few days.

Reports of sorcerers casting spells over men's genitals are not uncommon in West or Central Africa.
It was a bad haircut. Or so friends of Romeo Adrales thought, teasing him with the standard Philippines wisecrack: "Is the barber still alive?"

So fed-up Adrales, 33, returned to his barber Bonifacio Delgado and killed him

"I got mad because everyone asked me where I got my hair cut," he said from prison, adding he was angry because it was the second bad haircut he had had.
Actors could soon be treading the boards in the smallest theatre in the world - a converted Victorian loo.

The Theatre of Small Convenience would become the venue for one-man shows, poetry readings and puppet shows once the Victorian lavatory is transformed.

The council-owned building in Malvern, Worcs, would be able to seat about 10 people if plans go ahead.
Childless couples in a remote jungle region of Borneo have stolen orang-utan babies from a nature reserve to raise them as their own.

But most captors beat the endangered apes, sometimes fatally, when they grow up and misbehave, said a spokesman for the Sepilok rehabilitation centre.

The animals have been found shaved and dressed in T-shirts and nappies.
A seven-week-old baby was banned by a cinema - because his stunned mother wanted to see a 15-certificate film.

Susan Kidd, 33, carried dozing baby George to the ABC cinema in Bristol to see blockbuster Portrait of a Lady.

But box office staff ruled he was too young to go in. An ABC spokesman said: "Unfortunately it is the law. We could
lose our licence."
A mother and daughter estranged for eight years finally bumped into each other again in a car crash.

The 63-year-old mother was trying to make a left turn in the Dutch city of Capelle aan den IJssel when she hit her daughter, who was on a motorbike.

Then the daughter, 44, recognised her mother at the wheel and "an emotional reunion" followed, police said.

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Plagiarism Note: The stories on this page appeared originally on ITV Teletext or in Private Eye and are reproduced due to the kind ignorance of the original authors.

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