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

Army loses its pep after Viagra tablets stolen

VIAGRA THEFTS

ENGLAND: Nearly £6,000 worth of Viagra and 100 bayonets are among millions of pounds worth of military stock stolen from Britain’s ministry of defence since 2007.

The stolen items include £5,800 (€7,000) worth of anti-impotence Viagra pills, also used for conditions including blood pressure, and equipment from nuclear submarines from RAF Marham in Norfolk, The Times reported.

In the past year 100 bayonets, thousands of rounds of live and blank ammunition, a Bedford truck and an industrial washing machine have all been taken from ministry sites.

COOL RUNNINGS

USA: The international Sundance Film Festival saw a case of life imitating art imitating life with a fundraising visit by the Jamaican Olympic bobsleigh team.

The Caribbean nation’s team caused a huge media stir at the Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada, in 1988, and inspired the hit movie Cool Runnings. Now the 2014 vintage has appeared at the film festival in Utah to promote their trip to Sochi, Russia, for the Winter Olympics and seek some much-needed cash.

“We’re here to let people know that we are here and still in need of funding. And also to see some stars,” joked coach Wayne Thomas. “Only lady stars,” added pilot Winston Watt, as the team broke into laughter.

’LIVING DOLLS’

ENGLAND: Chart act Union J have joined a long line of teen idols by being turned into dolls.

The singers — who found fame in the 2012 series of The X Factor — unveiled their 12i-high figures at the London Toy Fair.

And the quartet, Josh Cuthbert, Jaymi Hensley, JJ Hamblett, and George Shelley, posed as living dolls themselves by climbing into lifesize boxes to launch the collectors’ toys.

FOOTPATH BOMB

ENGLAND: An unexploded bomb dropped in Britain during the Second World War has finally been discovered — underneath a popular footpath.

The 100lb German aerial bomb had been lying hidden beneath the path near Alderman’s Barrow, a popular Bronze Age site on Exmoor in Somerset, for decades.

A stunned hillwalker spotted the device on Sunday after recent heavy rain washed away part of the land over it. The British navy’s explosives ordnance division carried out a controlled explosion.

RETRIAL MOVE

USA: A teenager executed in South Carolina nearly 70 years ago is getting another day in court.

Supporters of 14-year-old George Stinney say there was not enough evidence to find the black teenager guilty in 1944 of killing two white girls, aged seven and 11. He was the youngest person executed in the US in the past 100 years.

Backers say police in segregated Clarendon County did little investigation after deciding George was the prime suspect and coerced a confession from him. The confession and the transcript of the one-day trial have disappeared. Judge Carmen Mullen will decide on whether to have a new trial.

ISRAEL: With Israel situated in one of the world’s earthquake-prone areas, officials are taking action to protect the Holy Land’s most important ancient treasures so they do not come tumbling down.

After a series of five moderate earthquakes shook the country in October, experts installed a seismic monitoring system at the Tower of David, one of Jerusalem’s most important — and most visible — historical sites.

The project is Israel’s first attempt to use such technology to determine structural weaknesses in the countless ancient edifices that dot the Holy Land. The efforts have been slowed by authorities’ reticence to declare sites as vulnerable, as well as the explosive geopolitics surrounding ancient Jewish, Christian and Muslim sites at the heart of the Middle East conflict.

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