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

Dog blamed for apartment fire

USA: Fire officials say a dog reaching for treats turned on a stove and started a fire causing smoke damage to an apartment in the central Washington city of Wenatchee.

Wenatchee fire official Mark Yaple tells KPQ radio that it appears the black Labrador was reaching for a bag of dog food left on a stove top when it turned on the stove with its paw.

Yaple says the residents were not at home when fire crews arrived.

He says emergency crews were able to revive the dog with mouth-to-snout resuscitation. Damage was estimated at $10,000 (€7,250).

Beach mystery

ENGLAND: A beach has been closed after a mystery bright yellow substance was washed ashore.

The “putty-like” material was discovered on sands at Hannafore near Looe, Cornwall, on Saturday. Coastguards said the Environment Agency was conducting tests.

Earlier in the week, a white substance had been found on beaches in west Cornwall. After analysis, it later proved to be non-harmful palm oil. Officials say it was possible the two finds were linked — but as a precautionary measure Hannafore beach would be off limits until they knew for certain.

Missing home

BRITAIN: People may switch off from work when they go on holiday — but most like to keep abreast of the news, according to a survey.

Around half of holidaymakers seek out their favourite daily newspaper when they are on trips, the poll by travel agent www.sunshine.co.uk found. As many as 36% of the 1,993 adults surveyed said they were more likely to buy a paper while away than in at home.

More than three in five said it was harder to keep track of life back home when they were on holiday. Some 58% said they watched British news programmes while on holiday and 71% used social media to stay on top of what was happening back home.

Working out costs

BRITAIN: Up to £250,000 (€293,000) of taxpayers’ cash is to be spent upgrading a gym for MPs, peers, and parliament staff, new documents show.

Works to Westminster Gym, which is open only to parliamentary passholders, will include creating a room to store towels and developing a new spinning area, where members can train on static cycles. MPs can be spotted among those working out in the gym.

The reception will be given a makeover with new fittings including display cases, pin boards, shelving and a desk, while a damp problem located near a shower room will be eradicated.

Hold the sauce

USA: Ketchup fans will no longer be able to enjoy Heinz’s offerings with their McDonald’s fries after the fast food chain decided to end their 40-year relationship.

The move from McDonald’s comes hot on the heels of the appointment of Bernardo Hees, the former head of Burger King, to run Heinz.

McDonald’s said in a statement: “As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time.”

Football first

USA: The macho world of American football recorded an apparent first — with a game officiated by a majority- female crew.

Four women were part of the seven-person judging crew for a Division II college game between Miles and Lane in Alabama. The Southern Intercollege Athletic Conference billed it as the first time it has happened in a National Collegiate Athletic Association game.

It was significant enough that the elite level NFL’s director of officiating, David Coleman, and other league officials attended the game. Coleman said he had never seen more than one woman work a college game.

The four women — Yvonda Lewis, Tangela Mitchell, Sebrina Brunson and Krystle Apellaniz — were kept busy during the game, which produced 51 points in the first half alone.

Ice breaker

USA: A thaw set in for children in Scottsdale, Arizona, as ice-cream vans were allowed on the streets for the first time in decades.

Some residents oppose the vans, saying they lead to accidents involving children and strangers, and they were banned in the 1970s, but Scottsdale City Council approved a change in April allowing the trucks back on the streets of the suburb of Phoenix.

The first to benefit was 16-year-old Sydney Kirsch, the owner of Leo’s Ice-Cream, whose previous owner led the effort to overturn the ban. After being granted the first licence, Sydney said she will balance ice-cream duties with her school work.

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