QUIRKY WORLD... Minister’s UFO posting sparks fury

INDIA: With many worrying about the threat of tough measures in the new government’s first budget next week, a Facebook post suggesting the finance minister might be pondering less earthly matters quickly roused anger.

QUIRKY WORLD... Minister’s UFO posting sparks fury

Arun Jaitley, a key confidante of Narendra Modi, the prime minister, published a message celebrating “World UFO Day” on his page, which is one of the main forums in which he publishes official information.

“This day is celebrated to raise awareness about the existence of UFO’s and with that intelligent beings from outer space,” said the Facebook post, which was followed by Jaitley’s name and included a depiction of a flying saucer in a wheat field.

World UFO Day is a day dedicated to spotting and proving the existence of Unidentified Flying Objects. It was first celebrated in 2001, according to the website worldofuday.com.

A member of Jaitley’s personal staff confirmed their team had posted the message and said the account had not been hacked. The post sparked a storm of criticism among his followers and was deleted after a few hours.

“Sir FM, today we the people of India are celebrating the price hike day instead of UFO day,” a Facebook user called V Bhushan Bhushansharma said in a comment on Jaitley’s post, referring to India’s recent moves to raise rail fares and fuel prices.

Modi swept to power in May with a vow to revive India’s economy after the longest spell of growth below 5% in a quarter of a century, and he has since warned that the turnaround will involve some “bitter medicine”.

On July 10, he is expected to unveil a budget that will try to rein in a wide fiscal deficit in a country where 70% of people live on less than €1.46 a day.


USA: A man was accused of animal cruelty after hundreds of domesticated rats were found dead or dying in a north-central Arizona travel trailer.

Yavapai County Sheriff’s officials said 28-year-old Jeffrey Wendorff was arrested on suspicion of cruel mistreatment and neglect/abandonment of animals.

County Health Services officials said they got a call about numerous rats around a trailer in Black Canyon City.

Officials said there were between 300 and 500 rats in pens at the front and back of the trailer and the odour was overwhelming.

Inside the trailer, authorities found several aquariums with newborn and adult rats.

Wendorff told authorities he had stopped caring for the rats recently, but had been in a business partnership to breed and sell rats.


ENGLAND: Police have released footage of a “fireball” meteor caught on an in-car camera by a motorway patrol.

The 10-second video clip filmed by officers in the West Midlands shows a bright object hurtling through the sky above a traffic island on the M42.

A police spokesman said officers had recorded the footage as they left the southbound carriageway on the motorway near Solihull.

In a tweet accompanying the film, the West Midlands Police traffic unit said: “We’re used to catching suspects on camera but on Mon we recorded this meteor fireball in the sky.”


USA: A letter written by a Maine school teacher in 1931 to her mother 240km away has finally been delivered — 83 years later.

Miriam McMichael had sent the nine-page letter from Houlton to Dollena McMichael in Pittsfield when she was 23 years old.

Both women have since died.

The letter was lost and only recently found at the Pittsfield post office. Postal worker Michelle Rowell found it and knew it was old because of the 2c stamp.

The postmaster and town officials tracked down the family, and the letter is now in the hands of 69-year-old Ann MacMichael, of Cornville, Miriam’s niece and Dollena’s granddaughter.

The spelling of the family name has changed.

MacMichael says the irony is that the writer apologises for not writing sooner.


USA: Police used a boat to catch a burglary suspect who made his getaway in a kayak in southern Minnesota.

The 31-year-old man from Austin, Minnesota, was arrested as he tried to kayak away from a restaurant with allegedly stolen items.

Police say the restaurant was closed when an employee giving a tour interrupted a burglary.

Officers found two people in kayaks on the Cedar River and got one to talk to them.

That information led police to believe the second man was involved in the burglary.

Police got a fire department boat and, with a firefighter driving, were able to catch the kayaker.

Authorities recovered cleaning supplies and lighters apparently taken from the restaurant.

The Post-Bulletin reports the suspect faces burglary charges.

More in this section


Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox