Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary

SEPTEMBER 8, 1998: 

Dateline: Japan--A Canadian "tourist" living in the passenger terminal of Tokyo's international airport for nearly three months now may be deported this week when his visa expires. Michael Omane arrived at Tokyo International Airport at Narita on a one-way ticket from Toronto on May 28. The 38-year-old traveler told authorities he was waiting for friends to meet him and accompany him to Nigeria. The "friends" never arrived, and Omane has spent his days since then sitting on a bench in the passenger waiting room and washing up in the airport bathrooms.


Dateline: India--The year's annual Gotmar festival near Chhindwara in India has resulted in some 800 injuries, 25 of them critical. The injuries resulted from part of the traditional festival in which residents from two nearby villages gather on opposite banks of a river to hurl rocks and abuses at each other. Afterward, the two groups meet to feast and rejoice together. Getting pegged with a rock is considered good luck.


Dateline: India--In other Indian party news, a batch of locally brewed liquor served at a giant soiree has killed 45 people, blinded 25 others and sent at least 100 villagers to the hospital. The tainted liquor was purchased from a shop in Paruveedhi, a village in southern India. The drink was believed to be spiked with methyl alcohol to make it more potent. In addition to the eight people arrested for manufacturing and selling the killer cocktails, at least 30 police officers have been suspended in connection with the incident. No further details have been released.


Dateline: Texas--The BBC program "Newsnight" has reported that an unnamed Texas millionaire is forking over $5 million to the cloning laboratory at Texas A&M University to produce a duplicate of his beloved pet dog, Missy. According to the report, the pet-loving Texan has given the scientists a two-year deadline.


Dateline: Utah--A ton of cereal that was recalled in June after nearly 200 people contracted salmonella was missing from a garbage bin at the Malt-o-Meal warehouse in Salt Lake City last week. Some 120 cases of Toasty O's were apparently stolen from the trash by cereal-loving thieves. State officials are concerned that the thieves will try to unload the tainted Toasty O's at area flea markets.


Dateline: Arizona--A contractor who was hired to erect wrought-iron fences around four closed campus schools in Scottsdale, Ariz., ran out of material before he hit Coronado High School. The short-sighted builder simply wrapped Coronado in barbed wire. Needless to say, the students at Coronado High didn't exactly take to their new prison camp surroundings. The school board has ordered the contractor to remove the barbed wire.


Dateline: Minnesota--An 18-year-old who vandalized a park honoring veterans on July 4 was sentenced last week to watch Steven Spielberg's World War II drama Saving Private Ryan. Roger Bendickson of Winona, Minn., confessed to judge Dennis Challen that he did not even know what a veteran was. In addition to the movie watching, the judge ordered the teen to repay damages, perform 20 hours community service and stay out of trouble for one year. If he really wanted to punish the kid, though, he should have made him watch The Avengers.


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