QUIRKY WORLD ... ‘You talkin’ to me?’ ask Sarajevo taxi drivers

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Hundreds of Sarajevo taxi drivers have stuck posters of Robert De Niro on their cabs in tribute to the actor who will open the city’s film festival on Friday with a screening of Taxi Driver.

QUIRKY WORLD ... ‘You talkin’ to me?’ ask Sarajevo taxi drivers

In the movie, which has been digitally restored for its 40th anniversary, De Niro plays a lonely, depressed former US Marine living on his own in New York who becomes a taxi driver to cope with his chronic insomnia.

“Many of our colleagues became taxi drivers after being retired from the Bosnian army and in a sign of gratitude and compassion with the main character we have decided to stage him a warm welcome in this way,” Hasib Losic of the Sarajevo Taxi Association said.

Some 300 taxi drivers have put up De Niro posters, most depicting him with his hair shaved into a mohawk, onto their windscreens and more will follow the suit during the nine-day Sarajevo Film Festival.

The festival, founded as an act of defiance towards the end of the 1992-95 siege during the Bosnian war, will this year show 222 films from 61 countries to an audience of about 100,000.

It will honour De Niro with a lifetime achievement award on its opening night.

Dopey burglars

US: Note to burglars — don’t fall asleep outside the place you just burglarised with your vehicle full of the loot.

A pair of 17-year-olds in the Central California community of Winton were arrested and released to the custody of their parents on Friday after passing out in a haze of marijuana smoke outside a construction site, their blue SUV packed with copper wires and other items from the property, police said.

The youths also had a loaded gun, which investigators determined had been stolen in March, said Jason Goins, Undersheriff for the Merced County Sheriff’s Department.

They were spotted in their car by a sheriff’s deputy shortly after midnight on Friday, Goins said.

“There was a strong odour of marijuana coming from the vehicle,” Goins said. “They were passed out and he had to wake them up.”

The youths, whom Goins said were gang members, were arrested on suspicion of participating in a criminal street gang, possessing stolen property and having a loaded gun in the vehicle.

“We’ve run across it before — people who are intoxicated or high on drugs passed out at the scene,” Goins said. “It’s not common but it does happen.”

Gender balance

Britain: The UK’s champion male cyclists were left a note by their female team-mates warning them not to stumble into the wrong room while drunk in Rio’s Olympic Village.

Bradley Wiggins, Ed Clancy, Owain Doull and Steven Burke won the team pursuit and vowed to celebrate in style.

However, the women left them this note: “To the team pursuit men ... Congratulations!! As we’re guessing you’re probably gonna be drunk by the time you read this, and a few of you have already come into our room accidentally - just a friendly reminder that This is not your room. So please don’t try and get in at 4am. Love, the girls x.”

Losing my religion

US:

A New Jersey woman has settled a lawsuit that will allow her to display a vanity license plate that reads ‘8theist’.

The settlement was filed in federal court on Friday.

Shannon Morgan lives in Maurice River in Cumberland County. She sued the state Motor Vehicle Commission in 2014 after it denied her request to get a plate that spells ‘atheist’ beginning with the number 8 instead of the letter A on the grounds it might be considered offensive.

The settlement agreement says the commission agreed the plate “is consistent” with the commission’s applicable regulations. As part of the settlement, the Motor Vehicle Commission also won’t prohibit vanity plates with sayings such as ‘atheism’, ‘godless’, ‘heathen’, ‘heretic’ and ‘skeptic’.

Chilli aid

Tanzania: Conservationists are using an unorthodox way of keeping elephants from wandering into human settlements by throwing condoms filled with chilli powder at them.

The method has proved effective and Honeyguide Foundation, which hit upon the idea several years ago, with US-based Nature Conservancy has stepped up its promotion, training volunteers in villages in north Tanzania to use a non-violent four-step way of protecting their homes and crops without hurting the animals. Previously many used spears to defend themselves.

Friday is World Elephant Day, which is dedicated to the protection of the animals.

Chilli powder mixed with soil is packed with a firecracker into a condom, its end is twisted shut with just the fuse exposed. When lit, the condom bursts open with a bang, spraying a fine dust of chilli powder into the air.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

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