QUIRKY WORLD ... A daily look at some of the world’s stranger stories

Unsimulated reality

ENGLAND: A toy gun meant for computer game shoot-’em-ups sparked an armed siege on a residential street.

Armed police officers surrounded a house in Spellow Lane, Walton, Liverpool, after a passer-by dialled 999, claiming that a man was wielding a firearm from the window. After a short stand-off, officers detained the suspect — and discovered that his weapon was a plastic games console gun.

Jesus ‘was first ever Tweeter’

ITALY: Jesus Christ was the world’s first tweeter because his pronouncements were “brief and full of meaning”, Vatican cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi said.

Christ “used tweets before everyone else, with elementary phrases made up of fewer than 45 characters like ‘Love one another’,” said Ravasi, the Vatican’s equivalent of a culture minister.

“A bit like in television today, he delivered a message through a story or a symbol,” Ravasi said at a conference with Italy’s leading newspaper editors.

The cardinal emphasised the importance of clergy making full use of modern-day computer technology.

“If a cleric, a pastor is not interested in communication, they are defying their duty,” he said.

‘Insensitive’ Halloween costumes stun shoppers

ENGLAND: Two British supermarket chains have apologised for selling Halloween costumes that made insensitive references to mental health issues.

Mental health groups condemned retailer Asda for offering an outfit including a blood-splattered straitjacket and a meat cleaver, labelled as “mental patient fancy dress costume”.

Paul Jenkins, chief executive of the charity Rethink Mental Illness, said the costume was “breathtakingly insensitive” and would add to the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Asda, which is owned by US giant Wal-Mart, said it was “deeply sorry” and would be making a large donation to a mental health charity.

Tesco also apologised, for a costume consisting of an orange boiler suit emblazoned with the words “Psycho Ward”.

Both stores said the costumes had been removed from sale.

Nose for a sale

ENGLAND: The medical notes of Lord Lucan, which show that he had surgery on his nose prior to his disappearance, have sold at auction for £100 (€118.82).

The record contains details of the visit that he made to a hospital after he broke his nose in a speedboat accident in 1963.

Lord Lucan, whose real name was Richard John Bingham, disappeared in 1974 after his children’s nanny was found dead in Belgravia, London.

Rare haul gets eaten

ENGLAND: A fish from North America made an appearance in British waters for the first time — and was eaten by the man who caught it, it is reported.

Martin White, 56, from Barnet, north London, caught a 21b 7oz striped bass at Dover, Kent, and baked it with black pepper and lemon, according to the Daily Mirror. He said of his catch: “I was quite surprised because it is not a fish native to our waters.”

Streaker ban

USA: An Ohio man accused of streaking across the field during a Cleveland Browns football game will no longer be able to set foot at the team’s stadium because its administration has banned him from the property.

Anthony Saveriano, 20, was notified of the team’s decision during his sentencing hearing in Cleveland Municipal Court. Judge Lauren Moore found Saveriano guilty of a criminal trespassing charge and ordered him to clean up after tailgaters in the city’s municipal lot for four games this season. He will be on probation for one year and must pay a $200 (€148.35) fine and court fees.

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