Quirky World ... Man fined for false promise on contract killing

NORWAY: A 21-year-old Norwegian man was fined 10,000 crowns ($1,300) for fraud because he accepted a contract killing job without intending to carry it out, police told Reuters

Quirky World ... Man fined for false promise on contract killing

The man agreed to take cash to kill a 17-year-old youth, but authorities could not prove any intent to complete the task, so he could only be charged with defrauding his client, police said, confirming a report in local newspaper Varden.

The man accepted the charge and paid the fine, police added.

Another 21-year-old, who ordered the killing, was sentenced to two years in prison but most of the sentence was suspended after he confessed, saying the teenager he wanted killed had rejected his romantic advances.

He claims to have paid 60,000 crowns for the job but the other man said he received only 40,000 crowns, Varden said.

Man overboard


A man who fell overboard from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship off the coast of Cozumel, Mexico, was rescued hours later by a passing Disney Cruise Line ship after a passenger heard him calling for help.

The 22-year-old man, who was not identified by authorities, somehow fell off the Royal Caribbean ship during the early hours of January 8.

Scott Campbell, a passenger on the Disney ship, told ABC that he was on his balcony with his daughter at about 6.30 a.m. when he heard the man calling for help.

“I’ll never forget the scream, ‘Somebody help me,’” Campbell told the network.

Video of the rescue shows the man swimming through choppy seas toward an orange lifeboat apparently launched by the Disney ship.

Cozumel Port Captain Alfonso Rodriguez told CNN that the man, who does not remember how he fell into the water, was treated at a local hospital before being flown back to the US.

“This man was reborn. Most people that experience, that kind of fall, break their neck. It’s like hitting concrete,” Rodriguez told CNN.

Representatives for Royal Caribbean Cruises and Disney Cruise Line did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Plant intelligence


A carnivorous plant displays what looks like plant intelligence to outwit its insect prey, scientists have learned.

The pitcher plant disables its traps for hours on end to fox the ants it feeds on and lure them into a false sense of security. Scout ants pass the word back to their nests that a bountiful source of sweet nectar is available, deep inside the plant’s funnel-like “pitcher”.

With a large number of worker ants taking the bait, the plant finally springs its trap. The insects lose their grip on the slippery edge of the pitcher and slide to their doom. In this way, pitchers capture large batches of ants instead of making do with measly meals of ant scouts.

Puppy love


A dog believed to be the “most overlooked” in Britain has been rehomed after spending seven years in a rescue centre.

Jed arrived at the Dogs Trust in Darlington as a puppy in 2007 and has since spent more than 50 dog years searching for a new home. But the lurcher finally has a new family after being rejected by an estimated 14,000 potential owners during his time at the centre.

Ian Woodcock and Elizabeth March, from Whitby, went to meet Jed after seeing an appeal on the internet and agreed to take him home. Mr Woodcock said: “Jed is settling in really well and we absolutely adore him, he is always by my side and we already can’t imagine life without him.

Flying high


Ride-sharing service Uber offered a novel way to get to American football’s college national championship game – by helicopter.

Twenty fans took the UberChopper air service from Dallas to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for the first College Football Playoff national championship game. Each paid $350 (€296) to be airlifted over traffic to the stadium.

Uber teamed up with Epic Helicopters to offer the service. Passengers hailed a private car through Uber for a ride to a helipad, where they boarded a helicopter for an aerial tour of Dallas before being dropped off at the stadium to watch Ohio State play Oregon.

Stick in the mud


Rescue workers freed a 16-year-old boy who spent about five hours stuck in mud up to his thighs in a muddy stream in Washington state.

Central Pierce Fire and Rescue said the boy and a friend had wandered away from a skateboard park in Puyallup, near Tacoma, and ended up at the stream near the Puyallup River. A spokesman said the friend spent hours trying to free his pal.

He eventually walked to a nearby fire station to get assistance, and crews managed to free the teen, who was cold but unhurt.

Sixth sense


A dog called Eclipse just wants to get to the dog park. So if her owner takes too long finishing his cigarette and their bus arrives, she climbs aboard solo and rides to her stop.

The black Labrador and her owner, Jeff Young, live near a bus stop in Seattle. Jeff says Eclipse sometimes gets on the bus without him and he catches up with her at the dog park three or four stops away. Bus riders say she watches from the window for her stop.

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