Thursday, January 28, 2010

German gecko smuggler gets sentenced to 12 weeks

A German man who tried to smuggle 44 live geckos and skinks out of New Zealand in his underwear has been sentenced to 12 weeks in jail.
The Christchurch court heard Hans Kurt Kubus, 58, had sewn pouches into his clothing to hide the protected animals as he had gone through the airport.
Officials said the lizards could have sold for up to $2,000 (£1,239)each.
Kubus had pleaded guilty to capturing the animals, but said they were for his own collection and not for sale.
District court judge Colin Doherty told him he had knowingly "plundered part of the wildlife" of New Zealand.
"I don't think you necessarily came here to steal to sell, but I am sure the fact that you might have had excess was figured into your thinking," the Associated Press quoted Mr Doherty as saying.
Kubus had eight separate pockets sewn into his underwear, separating the different species he had collected, with room for 24 geckos and 20 skinks.
Department of Conservation prosecutor Mike Bodie said it was "the most serious case of its kind detected in New Zealand for a decade or more".
"It's similar to stealing our family silver," he told the Press newspaper.
Kubus was also fined NZ $5,000 ($3,500; £2,190) and will be deported to Germany on his release.

Tesco ban on shoppers in pajamas


A Tesco store has asked customers not to shop in their pajamas or barefoot.
Notices have been put up in the chain's supermarket in St Mellons in Cardiff saying: "Footwear must be worn at all times and no nightwear is permitted."
A spokesman said Tesco did not have a strict dress code but it does not want people shopping in their nightwear in case it offends other customers.
He said he was not aware of any other Tesco stores having to put up similar signs.
The signs are placed at the entrance to the store at the suburb on the city's outskirts.

Small Bits of News You Didn’t Know You Needed

Woman Celebrates Lottery Win, Then Killed by Car
Authorities Sandusky, Ohio say a woman who had been out celebrating her lottery winnings at a north-central Ohio bar was killed when she was struck by a car.
The Ohio Highway Patrol says 47-year-old Deborah McDonald of Crystal Rock had just left the bar near Sandusky on Tuesday night and was hit as she was walking along a road.
An Ohio Lottery spokeswoman says McDonald won $8,000 in the lottery's TV game show "Cash Explosion Double Play."
The show was taped Jan. 12 and is set to air at the end of the month.
Bar patrons say McDonald was with a group that had been celebrating her winnings and playing pool.
Patrol Sgt. Joe Wentworth says police are looking into whether alcohol was a factor, but they don't think the driver of the car was drinking.
Trucker was Watching Porn Caused Fatal Crash
New York State police say a truck driver was watching pornographic movies on his laptop computer when his rig struck a disabled car on the New York State Thruway near Buffalo last month, killing the driver.
Thomas Wallace, 45 of Brook Park, Ohio, was arrested Tuesday. He's been charged with second-degree manslaughter in the death of 33-year-old Julie Stratton, a mother of two from the Buffalo suburb of Snyder.
Investigators say Wallace also violated federal trucking rules by sleeping no more than four of 27 hours before the crash. Stratton's car was struck soon after she called 911 to report she'd hit a deer east of Buffalo.
Hoon driver banned for driving for five years
Victoria’s oldest hoon driver has been blasted by a magistrate for claiming he dozed off when speeding at 150km/h for more than 20km.
Eighty-year-old farmer and former Sunday school teacher Ron Bell originally blamed his lead foot on being late for an appointment, police said.
But yesterday he told Horsham Magistrates' Court he temporarily fell asleep at the wheel.
Magistrate Richard Pithouse said it was the most "nonsensical'' excuse he had ever heard and an insult to his intelligence.
Cross-dresser escapes rape attempt
The suspect was riding a bicycle when he started stalking a 17-year-old that was walking.
The teen began to walk faster, but the man caught up to him, grabbed his arm and dragged him into some nearby woods.
The attacker started to take off the teen's clothes, tearing his shirt and yanking off his boots; he realized when he stripped off the teen's pants that the victim was male, too, police said.
The victim fought back, but his attacker kicked him repeatedly, police said.
The man ran when the victim's cell phone rang, but by then witnesses on Bray Street had called 911, police said.
The victim crawled from the woods and was sitting on the ground, crying in the rain, when police arrived.
The teenager only could describe his attacker as a fat Hispanic man who wore a gray hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants, according to police.
The attacker will be charged with criminal attempted rape and false imprisonment if he's found, police said.
"It doesn't matter that (the victim) wasn't a female," Athens-Clarke Capt. Clarence Holeman said. "The suspect's intent was to commit rape."
Rape victim receives 101 lashes for becoming pregnant
A 16-year-old girl who was raped in Bangladesh has been given 101 lashes for conceiving during the assault.
The girl's father was also fined and warned the family would be branded outcasts from their village if he did not pay.
According to human rights activists, the girl, who was quickly married after the attack, was divorced weeks later after medical tests revealed she was pregnant.
The girl was raped by a 20-year-old villager in Brahmanbaria district she was so ashamed following the attack that she did not lodge a complaint.
Her rape emerged after her pregnancy test and Muslim elders in the village issued a fatwa insisting that the girl be kept in isolation until her family agreed to corporal punishment.
Her rapist was pardoned by the elders. She told the newspaper the rapist had "spoiled" her life.
"I want justice," she said.
Enjoy your "Dancing"
School Outlaws "Sexual Bending"
Like many educators nationwide, administrators at a Wisconsin high school are aiming to curb risqué moves at an upcoming school dance. To assure that Union Grove High School students do not get too footloose, school brass has issued official dance rules for the January 30 winter formal. The rules outlaw "sexual bending" and the touching of breasts, buttocks, or genitals. Leg straddling is also verboten. Additionally, students are on notice that "Both feet must remain on the dance floor at all times." This rules out performances of the Charleston, Electric Slide, and Cha-Cha. The dance "will be videotaped to insure the safety of all students attending," the rules note, though Union Grove administrators could presumably review the film for provocative moves that were initially missed by monitors.
Man took naked photos of young boys to win argument
An international pilot tried to settle a debate with his wife about circumcision by taking photos of naked boys at a popular Brisbane park on Australia Day, a court has been told.
Glenn Anthony Armstrong, 47, was arrested at South Bank Parklands yesterday after he was allegedly spotted taking a photo of a naked three-year-old boy being changed by his parents, the Brisbane Magistrates Court was told today.
When police located Mr. Armstrong, a Perth-based pilot for V Australia, they found 50 photos of naked boys on his camera.
He told police he was "obsessed with circumcision" and had taken the photos to demonstrate to his wife that more boys were uncircumcised than circumcised.
Mr. Armstrong was charged with one count of indecent treatment of a child under 12.
Robber makes his victims undress
A knife-wielding robber who ordered victims to remove their trousers to stop them chasing him was arrested today, South Korean police said.
The 25-year-old man, identified only as Kim, was accused of robbing four convenience stores of a total of 2.38 million won ($2,217) over the past four months.
In 2007, Kim received a suspended jail sentence for robbing convenience stores in the same way, the detective said.