FRANCE: Authorities in France seized three stuffed lions, three leopards, and a giant crocodile head from a private home and turned them over to Paris’s natural history museum.
The specimens were brought back from an African hunt in the 1980s and stored in a home near the eastern city of Besancon along with dozens of other animals that the homeowner’s late father had killed and stuffed.
Customs agents seized the specimens after a tip-off last year. Even dead, the animals are protected by the Washington Convention on trade in endangered animals.
The hunter’s son was given an undisclosed fine.
A bridge too far
A 59-year-old man took a backhoe digger on a joyride across the famous Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys, dumping boulders on the road along the way, officials said.
Monroe County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Becky Herrin said Carl Blahnik damaged the road and the sides of the bridge while recklessly driving along it for 90 minutes. She said when he left the bridge, he hit spikes that deputies had placed on the road. He was taken to hospital for treatment and will face charges.
Iran drops the ball
Volleyball’s world governing body said “misunderstandings” in Iran are to blame after female spectators were denied entry to a men’s beach volleyball World Tour event.
While female fans are traditionally barred from attending male-only sports matches in Iran, allowing women to attend the five-day competition at Kish Island had been a condition of world body FIVB for the Iranian volleyball federation to host the event.
FIVB spokesman Richard Baker said that “there were some misunderstandings with regard to security” during play on Tuesday and women could then watch games from a cafe overlooking the main court.
It’s snow joke
A suburban New York family is seeking snow donations to help its 4.3m-tall snowman last until spring — and some cold weather would help, too.
Members of the Fregoe family of Massapequa Park wrapped their indomitable snowman tightly in plastic before heavy rain hit on Monday.
Then 51-year-old Mike Fregoe climbed a ladder and planted a beach umbrella on its head.
Fregoe says the snowman survived the rain but is looking “a little thinner”.
The Fregoes crowdsourced their snowman last year by soliciting contributions of snow through Facebook.
Fregoe says donated snow helped keep the snowman standing until April 20.
A conscientious “wanted thief” left a handwritten note for police urging them to give the suspect a call.
Officers working a local beat for West Midlands Police tweeted a picture of the message they found taped to a door, with the comment that their persistence in tracing the individual appeared to have paid off.
Police working the Bushbury and Oxley neighbourhood patch in Wolverhampton said: “The team’s persistence paid off with a little note left on a door from a wanted thief.”
The letter writer also left a name and contact telephone number — both redacted in the image posted to Twitter.
The officers said the matter would be resolved soon.
In the note, its writer stated they would like “to meet you, like before, OK?”
It continued: “A friend in the street said you had been (officers, anyway).
“OK — call me and I will come down and sort whatever out!
“After I finish work is best.”
It ended: “So yes, just call me. Thanks.”
The i360 tower, the tallest building in Brighton, has won a place in the Guinness World Records as the “most slender tower”, the BBC reported.
Due to open this summer, the structure is just 3.9m in diameter and 162m high.
John Roberts, chief engineer and director of the British Airways i360, said the tower’s height to width aspect ratio of 41.15:1 beat those of The Shard and the BT Tower in London.
$2k jeans stolen
Police say thousands of dollars’ worth of jeans have been stolen from a luxury department store chain in Philadelphia.
Police say nine males donning ski masks stole 20 to 30 pairs of jeans, worth about $2,000 (€1,800), from a Bloomingdale’s store at around 7.30pm on Tuesday. No injuries were reported and no arrests have been made. Police are trying to gather surveillance footage.
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