Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Odds and Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary

FEBRUARY 15, 1999: 

Dateline: South Korea--On the plus side, they've got nowhere to go but up. Kuwait's national ice hockey team broke into the record books by giving up an astonishing 79 goals in just two games early last week at the Winter Asian Games in Yongpyong, South Korea. On Sunday, Kuwait lost to China 44-1. On Monday, the team followed it up with a 35-0 shutout against Japan. Although Kuwaiti coach Bruce Smith--a Canadian national--described the loss to Japan as "the longest game of my life," player Al-Ajmi Salem did manage to score the first goal ever by any Arab country in an international hockey match during Sunday's loss to China. "It was a great moment for Kuwait hockey in an otherwise dark day," said Smith.

Dateline: Germany--A German court ruled last Tuesday that two male slave workers forced into labor by the Nazis during World War II were, indeed, eligible for government pensions. Previously, higher German courts had said that without proper pension contributions being made, no pension could be paid out. In their groundbreaking decision, the Düsseldorf Court for Social Issues ruled that "under the Nazi regime of terror, these criteria would be impossible." The judgment could open the way for other forced laborers to apply for pension payments for the period when they worked as slaves.

Dateline: Canada--In what was surely a well-planned tribute to the Three Stooges, three suspects made one of the shortest breaks for freedom as they were led from a police van to a court appearance in Ontario last Monday. The trio's spontaneous escape attempt ended a few seconds later when, forgetting they were shackled together, the men passed on either side of a lamp post. The three suspects collided in a comic heap and were quickly subdued by police.

Dateline: California--Federal prosecutors in California had offered Bernardo Arroyo, 26, a deal which would have resulted in a mere two-year prison sentence for his involvement in a reputed drug ring--but the convicted drug dealer turned down the government's offer on advice from his psychic. Arroyo was convicted last month of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, as well as a separate charge of distributing methamphetamine. A psychic allegedly assured Arroyo that he would never spend a day behind bars, so Arroyo promptly rejected the prosecutor's deal, waived his right to a jury trial and placed his fate in the hands of U.S. District Court Judge Oliver W. Wanger. Arroyo now faces a mandatory 10 years in prison and will be sentenced on April 5. For an extra $8,000, Arroyo's psychic friend offered to put a curse on the Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted him. Arroyo apparently didn't want to spend the extra money and declined.

Dateline: South Dakota--Jerold Nissen, 44, pled guilty to one count of attempted first-degree robbery after being fingered by his own odor. Nissen went to great lengths to camouflage his identity when he tried to rob the Royal Casino in Aberdeen, S.D., on Nov. 4. Disguising his face with a Halloween mask and covering his body with a long dark coat, Nissen pulled a gun on casino employees and demanded cash. Unfortunately for the stinky sneakthief, one female worker who had become familiar with Nissen's cologne during his frequent visits to the casino thought the robbery was a joke. She called Nissen by name and told him to "knock it off." With his identity uncovered, Nissen laughingly took off his mask and gambled for a while before leaving the casino empty handed. It wasn't until casino workers discovered their phone lines had been cut that they realized the robbery attempt had been in earnest. Nissen was apprehended and now faces seven years in state prison.

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