QUIRKY WORLD...You’ve to kiss a lot of frogs, but scorpions too?

USA: Feeling the sting of rejection? The San Francisco Zoo is offering the chance to “adopt” a hissing cockroach or giant scorpion in honour of that special ex-someone for Valentine’s Day.

QUIRKY WORLD...You’ve to kiss a lot of frogs, but scorpions too?

The zoo is highlighting two of its less desirable inhabitants through the adopt-an-animal programme that usually raises money for the care of more cuddly-looking creatures, such as penguins and pandas.

For $50 (€44) and up, donors can adopt a scorpion and have the zoo send a certificate and stuffed stinger to the person who inspired the adoption. The cockroach valentine that the zoo claims represents “the detritus of your love life” costs $25.

L and back

ENGLAND:

Rising numbers of learner drivers are being caught trying to cheat their tests by hiring lookalike.

More than 670 cases of impersonators sitting theory and practical exams have been reported so far in 2014/15, more than a fifth higher than the previous financial year, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) said.

Andy Rice, the DVSA’s head of fraud and integrity, said driving test fraud was putting “innocent road users at risk” and it had “stringent measures” to detect offences.

Still tilting at windmills

SPAIN:

Experts searching for the remains of Miguel de Cervantes have found a casket bearing the initials “MC” with bones inside it in a crypt underneath a cloistered convent in Madrid.

Archeologists say they made the find over the weekend during excavations to solve the centuries-old mystery of where the Spanish writer was laid to rest.

The experts said bones of at least nine other bodies were also found in the space containing the coffin.

The initials on a plank of the coffin were formed with metal tacks.

Cervantes is a towering figure in Spanish culture. His novel The Adventures of the Ingenious Nobleman Don Quixote of La Mancha changed Spanish literature.

His wife, Catalina Salazar, was buried at the convent, although the location of her grave is also a mystery.

Foxy the firedog

USA:

A family of seven who were sleeping when a fire consumed their California home say they escaped from the blaze unscathed thanks to their barking dog.

Vera Mendez says Foxy, her two-year-old mixed-breed dog, began barking “like crazy”. Mendez’s son woke up, and he woke the rest of the family as flames tore through three rooms of the home in Santa Ana.

Nearly 50 firefighters tackled the fire, but were not able to save the house. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

Hitting the books

ENGLAND:

A secondary school has defended expelling a student after he made insults about his head teacher on Facebook.

Jordan Ford, 14, posted derogatory comments about Keziah Featherstone’s hair colour, looks, and weight alongside a photo of her.

The Bridge Learning Campus in Bristol, where Featherstone is associate head, said Ford had broken the school’s social media policy.

Hole in his plan

USA:

Authorities say a man’s plans to break into a store fell through, after he crashed through the ceiling and landed in front of police.

Police in Houston said the man climbed a tree and on to the roof of a Family Dollar store, then managed to break a hole in the roof and enter the building.

However, after making his way into the store, the man fell through the ceiling just as a police officer arrived in response to a call about a potential burglary. The officer ordered the unidentified man to stay on the floor and he was later arrested. Authorities believe the man was trying to steal cigarettes.

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