QUIRKY WORLD... Thieves target police baseball team

BASEBALL RAID

QUIRKY WORLD... Thieves target police baseball team

USA: A New York Police Department baseball team was forced to cancel a tournament championship game after its bats, jerseys, and gloves were stolen in a raid.

New York’s Finest Baseball Club had been scheduled to take on the Dallas Fire Department when equipment worth about $15,000 (€10,810) was stolen from a team van.

Team manager Jose Vasquez said officers had to spend the morning filling out their police reports, rather than taking to the field. Boy who survived flight in wheel well ‘no longer in Hawaii’

USA: A 15-year-old Somali boy who survived a nearly six-hour trip from California to Hawaii stowed away in the wheel well of an airplane has left protective custody in Hawaii, officials said.

The teenager was “no longer in Hawaii”, according to a brief statement from Hawaii’s Department of Human Services. Officials would not reveal when he left the state or where he was headed, citing privacy concerns and the boy’s age.

The boy has been in protective custody in Hawaii since he sneaked into the wheel compartment of a Boeing 767 that took off on April 20 from San Jose International Airport.

His survival was considered miraculous, given the freezing temperatures and low oxygen levels in the wheel well.

The boy, who was hospitalised after the incident, told investigators he was trying to go to Africa to find his mother. His mother, Ubah Mohamed Abdulle, said in a radio interview that she had fled Somalia and was living in a refugee camp in Ethiopia.

She said she was divorced from her husband, who lives in Santa Clara with their son and two of his siblings.

“They were even told that I was dead, but they recently found out that I was alive,” she said.

The boy’s father arrived in Honolulu from California about a week after he was found in the jet’s wheel well, according to Child Welfare Services. The agency would not give details about whether father and son were being reunited.

FOR SALE: MOUNTAIN

ENGLAND: A Lake District mountain has been put up for sale as its owner attempts to pay off a hefty tax bill.

Blencathra, a 868m-high peak that imposes itself across the Northern Fells, has been placed on the market for £1.75m (€2.1m). The buyer will also obtain grazing rights for 5,471 ewes, 732 hogs, 200 lambs, and also be entitled to use the title Lord of the Manor of Threlkeld.

Known as Saddleback due to its distinctive shape, the mountain was dubbed “one of the grandest objects in Lakeland and one of the best-known” by Alfred Wainwright.

However, the Earl of Lonsdale, Hugh Lowther, has been forced to try and sell the 2,676 acre plot to help pay off the reported £9m tax he owes from his father’s inheritance.

USA: A dead Minke whale that washed ashore in New Jersey suffered some further indignity: Someone tagged it with graffiti.

The whale, which was roughly 4m to 5m long, was discovered below Atlantic City’s Central Pier.

Police said the purple markings are not gang-related and appear to be Greek letters. The letters appeared to be Tau Epsilon Phi, a fraternity that has chapters at several area schools, followed by what looked like “94.”

Spokesman Jesse Cohen says while it has not been confirmed that Tau Epsilon Phi members were involved, the fraternity considers it a “reprehensible act” contrary to its teachings and is co-operating with authorities. A state pathologist will try to determine the cause of death.

ICE SCREAM

JAPAN: Experts cast doubt on the feasibility of a plan to tackle the problem of contaminated water at Japan’s tsunami-ravaged plant — with a multimillion-pound wall of ice.

The Game Of Thrones-style proposal at Fukushima Dai-ichi — projected to cost 32bn yen (€225m) — aims to surround the plant’s four crippled reactors and their turbine buildings with an underground ice wall to block groundwater from flowing into the basements and mixing with radioactive water leaks from the melted cores.

Toyoshi Fuketa, a commissioner with Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority, said the hydrological impact of a frozen wall to the area was unclear, echoing international concerns.

“We need to know if a frozen wall is really effective, and more importantly, we need to know whether a frozen wall may cause any trouble,” he said.

MOBILE OFFICE

ENGLAND: Many top bosses have admitted to working at the wheel, according to a survey.

Two in five senior managers and business owners have dialled into conference calls while driving, the poll by workspace provider Regus found. And three-quarters of these bosses said they regularly made calls to colleagues or customers while at the wheel.

Of the 1,800 people surveyed, a fifth said they had held important business discussions, tantamount to a meeting requiring concentration and decision making, while driving. Also, more than 10% had recorded verbal notes using their phone at the wheel.

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