Odds & Ends
By Devin D. O'Leary
NOVEMBER 16, 1998:
Dateline: Israel--Israeli mayoral candidate Yigal Yanai
woke up to find his name in the papers. Unfortunately, it was
for his death notice. Yanai, an independent candidate in the town
of Rosh Ha'ayin, read in Israel's largest paper that he had passed
away just a week before municipal elections were set to start.
The candidate, 46, tried to call friends and family to let them
know he was still alive. Dozens of people still showed up at Yanai's
door to express their condolences to his "grieving"
wife. Police are investigating and have arrested a suspect for
perpetrating the political fraud.
Dateline: India--After a week of panicked salt buying,
the Indian Government and leading salt-makers tried to allay fears
of salt-crazed consumers. Newspaper reports warned that the price
of a one-kilogram (2.2 pound) bag of salt had jumped from six
rupees (14 cents) to between 20 and 50 rupees (47 cents and $1.18).
Long lines soon formed at salt sellers' stores in New Delhi and
the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Last Tuesday, Tata Chemical
and Hindustan Lever Ltd. both ran advertisements in leading newspapers
assuring that their products were in abundant supply and available
at their usual price.
Dateline: England--A chubby British railway manager known
as "The Fat Controller" has admitted to stealing four
locomotives, six passenger coaches, three breakdown coaches and
30 wagons. Barry Daly, whose nickname is derived from the "Thomas
the Tank Engine" children's books, planned to sell the trains
to a number of clients. At a trial last Monday, Daly admitted
to "circumventing" the correct paperwork and dishonestly
obtaining checks for almost 43,000 pounds ($71,000) in exchange
for the purloined choo-choos.
Dateline: Thailand--Five Buddhist worshippers were killed
and dozens more injured last Monday when three giant ceremonial
joss sticks collapsed at a temple near Bangkok. According to police,
the 79- to 88-foot joss sticks--the largest incense sticks ever
built in Thailand--crumbled under their own weight after a night
of heavy rains. The victims were among more than 1,000 Buddhists
attending a religious ceremony at the Phra Pathom Pagoda to commemorate
the 84th anniversary of the construction of a Buddha image at
the temple. The gigantic joss sticks were constructed from thousands
of smaller incense sticks bundled together and were due to be
lit on Monday evening.
Dateline: Pennsylvania--"Mistress Donna," busted
in suburban Philadelphia for prostitution, has asked police to
return her sex toys. During the raid on Donna Gorton's Doylestown,
Pa., home, police seized the tools of her S & M trade: whips,
chains shackles, a dunce cap, potty chairs and a can of vegetable
shortening. The Mistress, who is currently serving one year's
probation, says she has an "emotional attachment" to
the items. District Attorney Alan Rubenstein said he will return
the disputed gear so long as Gorton does not use any of it for
Dateline: Wisconsin--Gov. Tommy Thompson, stumping for
a state-record fourth term as Wisconsin's top politico, thought
he had found the perfect way to mix politics with Packers. At
a rally before the Green Bay Packers/San Francisco 49ers game
last Sunday, Thompson told fans to cheer every time the 49ers'
punter--also named Tommy Thompson--ran on to the field. "Cheer
Tommy Thompson! More! More! More!" instructed the Republican
candidate. Unfortunately, the 49ers had waived punter Thompson
and relied on Reggie Roby to do all their kicking.