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

BLOWING THE WHISTLE

ENGLAND: Residents who report dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets are to be given the proceeds from £75 (€90) fines handed out by council wardens.

Stafford Borough Council hopes the reward scheme will tap into anger among responsible dog owners at the inconsiderate actions of others.

News of the initiative comes days after it emerged that cash rewards of up to £1,000 are being offered by Derbyshire Constabulary and West Midlands Police to Christmas and new year revellers who “shop” drink-drivers.

QUICK AND CLEAN

USA: A British-made electric motorcycle capable of 150mph (240kmh)is taking to the wide open roads of the US.

Agility Global promises a 100% green alternative to the conventional petrol-guzzling bike with its Saietta, which means thunderbolt in Apennine Italian, and which can go from 0 to 60mph in 2.3 seconds.

The company was founded by former marine Lawrence Marazzi who, after returning from Afghanistan, went back to his roots in Formula 1 and aerospace design. Now the London-based business has transported its flagship model to Colorado to drum up interest in the US market as part of a UK trade mission supported by UK Trade and Investment and the Technology Strategy Board.

NO SIGHT VISIT

USA: A Philadelphia museum is offering special tours for the blind and visually impaired, allowing them hands-on examination of exhibits.

Penn Museum lets visitors feel Egyptian artefacts that date back thousands of years, from stone coffins to hieroglyphic writing. The experience aims to help them better understand the ancient civilisation.

Curators say the exhibits are safe from damage because guests clean their hands and use a light touch.

OUT OF TUNE

GERMANY: Police have developed software that can automatically identify banned neo-Nazi music.

Some extremist music is banned for public sale or performance, but the far-right regularly attempts to skirt the rules with concerts to attract and recruit young people.

A police spokeswoman said the software will help officers decide if the music played or sold at such concerts matches banned songs.

Ghost hunters mistaken for burglars

USA: Police in Pennsylvania are investigating a complaint concerning a ghost hunt that went bust after a police officer mistakenly thought it was a burglary in progress.

The Gettysburg Times reported the Thanksgiving night ghost tour ended with two tourists and their guide being detained at gunpoint.

A patrolman passing a closed store in Gettysburg says he saw flashlights inside, so he went in and handcuffed and searched the three ghost hunters.

Police called the owner, who confirmed the tour operator had permission to use the allegedly haunted Civil War-era building. The first union general killed in the Battle of Gettysburg was brought to the building after being fatally wounded.

The owner of the Victorian-style photography studio that occupies the building and permitted the tour declined to comment.

GHOSTLY IMAGE

ENGLAND: A quick-witted teenager captured what appears to be the ghostly image of a misty white figure during a visit to a park.

Cameron Hamilton used his iPod Touch to record the fleeting image while visiting Nottinghamshire County Council’s Rufford Abbey Country Park with friends.

Staff think he might have captured images of the ghostly White Lady of Rufford who, according to legend, is believed to be the spirit of ill-fated Arbella Stuart.

Cameron, 15, from South Drive in Bilsthorpe, Notts, said his belief in the supernatural has been bolstered after seeing the mysterious snaps.

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