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It’s a weird world

HONOURED: An Australian grandmother was honoured with a bravery award for wrestling a giant saltwater crocodile as it dragged her friend from a tent.

Alicia Sorohan (61) was awoken in the early hours of the morning of October 11, 2004 by the screams of family friend Andrew

Kerr in a nearby tent at their campsite on the northern Cape York peninsular.

Seeing her friend in the jaws of a 4,2 metre, 300 kilogramme  crocodile, Sorohan “did what anyone would do” and jumped on its back.

The man-eater then turned on her, breaking her nose and almost ripping her arm off before her son Jason shot it.

“It was pretty scary. But it’s one of those things — if you see someone in trouble you’ve got to help them,” Sorohan said.

Sorohan was one of three people awarded Australia’s Star of Courage, which recognises citizens for acts of outstanding bravery. — AFP.


ESCAPED: More than 400 Ugandan inmates broke out of a regional prison last weekend as guards celebrated President Yoweri Museveni’s election victory in raucous fashion.

The 408 prisoners broke out of the Arua regional prison, about 600 kilometers northwest of the capital, on Saturday during revelry prompted by the official announcement of Museveni’s win, they said.

“They escaped right after the announcement was made that President Museveni had won and the celebration was noisy,” Ugandan prisons chief Johnson Byabasaija told AFP.

He said laxity among guards and prison administrators allowed more than half of the 716 inmates in the prison at the time to pull down a fence and run en masse to freedom.

Security forces were still trying to recapture the escapees, who included five people convicted on treason charges, Byabasaija said. — AFP.


CONFESSED: England football captain David Beckham confessed he is befuddled by his six-year-old son Brooklyn’s maths homework in an interview.

Beckham (30) admitted to being baffled when Brooklyn recently asked for help with a school assignment and had to turn to his former Spice Girls pop star wife Victoria to help out.

“Their homework is so hard these days. I sat down with Brooklyn the other day — and I was like, ‘Victoria, maybe you should do the homework tonight’.

“I think it was maths, actually. It’s done totally differently to what I was teached (sic) when I was at school, and you know, I was like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t do this’.” — AFP.


STAINED: A 12-year-old visitor to the Detroit Institute of Arts stuck a wad of gum to a US$1,5 million painting, leaving a stain the size of a quarter, officials say.

The boy was part of a school group from Holly that visited the museum, officials say. They say he took a piece of Wrigley’s Extra Polar Ice gum out of his mouth and stuck it on Helen Frankenthaler’s “The Bay”, an abstract painting from 1963.

The museum acquired the work in 1965 and says it is worth about US$1,5 million.

The gum stuck to the painting’s lower left corner and did not adhere to the fibre of the canvas, officials told the Detroit Free Press. But it left a chemical residue about the size of a quarter, said Becky Hart, assistant curator of contemporary art.

The museum’s conservation department is researching the chemicals in the gum to decide which solvent to use to clean it. The museum hopes to make the repair in two weeks and will keep The Bay on display in the meantime, she said.

Holly Academy director Julie Kildee said the boy had been suspended from the charter school and says his parents also have disciplined him.

“Even though we give very strict guidelines on proper behaviour and we hold students to high standards, he is only 12 and I don’t think he understood the ramifications of what he did before it happened, but he certainly understands the severity of it now,” said Kildee. — AP.


ORDERED: A Baton Rouge hospital, hoping to get to the bottom of an office prank, is ordering 25 employees to undergo DNA testing or be terminated.

Leaders at Woman’s Hospital say a man who works in Building Operations returned from several weeks off to find that someone had placed urine in his toolbox.

After hearing of the incident, hospital administrators sent a memo to 25 employees who also work there telling them that
DNA testing would be done unless someone came forward admitting guilt. Since no one came forward, the hospital said the DNA testing will begin within the next few weeks.

“We checked with our legal counsel first and this is the next step in using technology to help solve a workplace incident,”
hospital supervisor Stan Shelton said ON Monday.

The DNA testing, to be conducted by ReliaGene Technologies of New Orleans, will cost the hospital US$25 000, he said. — AP.

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