Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary

DECEMBER 15, 1997: 

Dateline: Georgia--Aslan Abashidze, the controversial chief of the autonomous Adjaria region in former Soviet Georgia, has accused "enemies within Georgia and beyond" of trying to assassinate him using a special camera that emitted deadly rays. Apparently, Abashidze met two people last summer who asked to photograph him. "I noticed the unusual brightness of the flashbulb," Abashidze told local television last week. Within half an hour of having his picture snapped, Abashidze began experiencing chest pains. He was later diagnosed as having suffered a heart attack. Abashidze insisted to reporters that this was the 14th attempt on his life in recent years. Both the Interior Ministry and the Security Ministry declined comment on the alleged attack.

Dateline: Nigeria--Speaking of politicians, office seekers in Nigeria's southwestern Ogun State were warned against using magic charms in hopes of increasing their chances for election last week. The state-owned Daily Times newspaper reported on Monday that "police command has warned politicians in the state against moving about with charms ... as the police will make swift arrests of such persons."

Dateline: Afghanistan--Ten men were sentenced to one month's jail time and other unspecified punishments by Afghanistan's Islamic Taliban rulers. Their crime? Watching someone dance to music. This is believed to be the first time since the Taliban came to power last September that the fundamentalist Islamic movement has jailed anyone for defying a ban on music and dancing. According to Taliban Radio, the men had defied previous warnings that such behavior was "un-Islamic."

Dateline: Canada--The Quebec Liquor Corp. reversed an earlier decision to ban a brew called "The Christmas Beer." According to rules laid down by the provincial government-owned company, no alcohol may be marketed using real or fictitious characters associated with minors. "The Christmas Beer" bears a picture of Santa Claus' face on its label. The Liquor Corp. changed its mind after a visit from lawyers from GMT, the Montreal-based microbrewery that makes Christmas Beer.

Dateline: Spain--An easily distracted motorist in Barcelona knocked down and killed a teenage girl while staring at a sexy billboard advertisement. The man, who passed a Breathalyzer test, told police his car swerved onto the pavement, killing a 13-year-old schoolgirl and injuring two of her classmates when he took his eyes off the road to stare at a giant poster of a woman dressed only in a revealing bra and panties.

Dateline: England--The British monarchy is in an uproar over an apparent snub by one of the Spice Girls. After a royal performance, the five sexy pop stars were called to meet with Queen Elizabeth. Apparently, Geri Halliwell (known as "Ginger Spice") did not curtsey to the Queen as is socially expected. By next morning, British newspapers were awash in the scandal. According to representatives of the Spice Girls, Geri's exceedingly small dress precluded the gesture of reverence. Not wanting to flash Her Majesty, Geri bypassed the curtsey. Glad that's settled.

Dateline: Illinois--A Peoria, Ill., woman is now charged with attempted murder after covering her kitchen floor in grease in hopes of bumping off her one-legged boyfriend in an "accidental" slip and fall. Instead of taking out her boyfriend, the woman took a spill herself and was knocked cold. When she awoke at the hospital, the woman confessed to the slippery plot, leading to her arrest. Her boyfriend, meanwhile, says he doesn't believe it.

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